Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book #7: Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I read Flynn's first book, Sharp Objects, and loved it. I bought this book hoping it would be as good as her first effort.

I wasn't disappointed.

This is a dark (no pun intended), depressing story about a young girl, Libby, who at 7, survives her family's brutal murder in a farmhouse in the mid-80's. The only other family member to escape was her older brother, Ben, who is later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders. Libby testified at his trial that she saw him commit the murders, and her testimony is ultimately what sends him to jail.

24 years later, Libby begins to doubt her memory. She realizes that she didn't actually see Ben at all that night. After visiting Ben in prison, she decides that she is the only one who can bring the real killer to justice and free her brother.

Flynn doesn't flinch from the grotesque, or characters with seemingly no conscience. It was a hard book to read, but after I finished it, the scenes kept replaying in my mind like a movie. It's that good - it sucks you in and when I think of certain passages, I actually see them playing out in my mind.

That's the mark of a great book.