Review of ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn

Dark PlacesDark Places by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a crazy, twisted book!! I had expected as much, having read Gone Girl, but I didn’t quite know what I was in for with this one!

The book is told in parallel past and present accounts. The past is from Ben’s (the convicted murderer of his mother and two sisters) and Patty’s (mother of Ben and Libby, the MC) POV, while the present belongs to Libby.

It’s definitely haunting, reading Patty’s POV when you know that she is days away from death. To see her going about her days as a concerned parent, trying to figure out how she can connect with her son Ben, who not only is growing apart from her, but one day up and decides to dye his red hair (inherited from Patty) black, vastly changing his appearance. It’s also haunting to read about Michelle and Debby, the two sisters who never had a chance to grow up, though they are so present in the story.

When I’d first started this book, I couldn’t help but dislike Libby. She’s a woman with a very, very traumatic past, and yes, she was a survivor, but she allowed herself to become so pathetic. She lives off of the charity she has received from people who have heard her story, people who send donations with helpful hearts, not knowing that she’s squandered it all and not even bothered to save anything. It is only because she has run low on these funds that she connects with a group called the ‘Kill Club’, in the hopes of being able to sell off items that had belonged to her long-dead family.

In reading all of this, I felt a good bit of disgust for her, but as I continued the book, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Libby came from a family that was so poor, her mother would make these “special” hamburgers that included anything from the fridge that would soon spoil (and some of the things mentioned did not sound good in a hamburger, at all). They were so poor, that Ben had to work at his own high school as a janitor. I couldn’t help but feel for the girl who grew up without her mother, and never had a chance to see if she could have lived a life in which she’d learned to take care of herself.

The book only escalated with the shock factor, keeping me enthralled till the end, and boy…what an ending!!! I will only say that it gave me a range of emotions, going from the obvious shock to a deep sense of sadness to just a bit of disappointment (in my own sense of feeling somewhat unfulfilled) and back to sad. I really felt a connection with some of the characters, and it hurt to see what became of them. So much so, that I was still thinking about them after I’d finished this book. Flynn definitely knows how to write her characters, and how to make them so raw and real. And unforgettable. She does have a knack for that, as well.

Do I recommend this book?
If you’re a fan of adult, psychological thrillers with twisted story lines, then I do recommend this to you. And do make sure your heart is ready for this crazy ride.

View all my reviews

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