Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

A traumatized young woman tries to solve the mystery of her family’s murder

The carefully coached testimony of seven year old Libby Day, who barely escaped the night her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered, sends her devil worshipper brother to life in prison. Now an adult, ornery, short of funds, she gets involved with a club of nerdy mass murder enthusiasts who convince her, by means of cash infusions, to ask questions of key figures in the case. After talking to some witnesses, Libby starts to doubt her prior beliefs, and is spurred to continue the search. Eventually she comes to conclusions of her own, conclusions which upset a few people.

I’m not sure if this type of brutally violent murder mystery is my cup of tea. I read this because I loved Gone Girl, and this book happily contains the same kind of pointed social commentary, but this plot and these characters felt a bit more “gimmicky.” Also the solution to the mystery seemed implausible. Not just logically implausible or emotionally implausible, but mechanically implausible. I guess that it usually is. I admired the different points of view, especially the brother’s, which successfully evoked the terror of being guilty of a little thing but getting accused of a much bigger thing.

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