Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Page Count/Review Word Count: 440
This is the last of the Gillian Flynn books that I’ve been working through, and it’s also probably my favourite of her novels. It still has a few flaws, but not as many as I found with Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. I’d rank it as her second best after The Grownup, which is a novella. It goes The Grownup > Dark Places > Gone Girl > Sharp Objects, although those last two are pretty close together.
Here, we’re basically following the story of Libby Day, whose parents and family were horrifically murdered when she was a child and whose brother is in jail serving time for the crime. It seems as though the past is the past, all dead and buried, until Libby starts to dig into it a little more. From there, we basically embark on the typical Flynn plot, full of twists and turns and the past coming back to haunt people.
Unfortunately, it also has another Gillian Flynn hallmark which is the fact that it starts to drag a little in the middle. This seems to happen in each of her novels and I inevitably end up just skimming through the latter half of the book until the climax starts to kick in. I also wasn’t too taken with the way that it jumped backwards and forwards through time and from perspective to perspective. It wasn’t necessarily that it was difficult to follow along with it, it’s just that there were certain perspectives that didn’t interest me too much.
I had a few theories along the way as to what might happen, but none of them turned out to be correct. At the same time, I was disappointed by the actual ending because I felt as though it was too obscure. I don’t want to share the specifics but I’m pretty sure that someone popped up right at the end who hadn’t been mentioned before then. It felt a little deus ex machina, and that was a shame.
Still, if you like psychological thrillers and/or if you’ve read some of Flynn’s stuff before and you know that you like her style, I would say that this is worth reading. It’s the best of her novels, at least if you ask me, and it does keep you turning the pages to find out what happens. That’s all you can ask for from a thriller. It also means that I’m all caught up with Gillian Flynn’s work, and I’ll keep on reading whatever else she publishes. I think bigger things are coming.