2012: 68. Dark Places

"I have a meanness in me, real as an organ."

Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

     So, with all the fuss about Gone Girl, I went to the library to borrow it and found myself number 450 on the list.  So instead, I put myself on the list for Gillian Flynn's earlier two books, and the first one I got was Dark Places.  And, actually, now that I have read all three, including Gone Girl (because, as always, I am so, so, sooooo far behind on my blogging), I think this is my favorite of the three.  

     It's a mystery narrated by Libby Day, who was only seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered, and her brother was convicted of the crime.  She's grown up dark and mean, living off a fund that sympathetic strangers set up for poor baby Day.  But now she's in her thirties, and the money has run out.  She learns that there are people out there who are willing to pay her to relive the worst day of her life - and that those people think that her brother was wrongly convicted. . . 

     So, that's a pretty good idea for a story, and the writing is great.  The character of Libby, mean and dark, is so well constructed, and she teases out the emotions of a person who had suffered a terrible tragedy, and what they'd be like all these years later extremely well.  Flynn can totally write - and write people who seem like real credible people that have gone through terrible things.  Plus, she manages to write mysteries that don't shy away from the tragedy of murder.  It's not just an intellectual puzzle - it's a real, horrible thing that has happened.  My only complaint (and this goes through to all three of her books), is that her mystery plotting isn't as good as her writing.  The book works perfectly as a novel about a crime - but as a mystery novel, the solution was, in my opinion, pretty far-fetched.  I'd recommend the book anyway, for the characters and writing, but be prepared to have to suspend disbelief at the ending. 

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017