Published by Broadway Books on May 4, 2010
Genres: Adult, Suspense
Buy on Amazon
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.
A woman witnesses one of the most horrifying crimes of the century in this adult thriller. Let’s review!
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know this is not my typical read. My book club’s pick this month is Dark Places. And let me tell you, I am so glad I read it!
This is a dark, terrifying book filled with suspense and mystery. Libby Day is seven years old when she overhears her family – mom and two sisters – brutally murdered. Her brother is pinned for the crime by Libby’s own testimony. After twenty-five years, Libby decides to learn more about that night after being approached by members of a kill club (think true crime hobbyist). Interspersed between present day chapters narrated by Libby are chapters from the day of the crime narrated by her mom and brother.
Flynn knows how to create complicated characters. Libby is fabulous. She’s not a Nora Roberts heroine – she’s not well-adjusted from the events of the crime. She can’t hold down a job, she scams people for money, and she steals people’s stuff. Despite her many issues, I always understood her motivations. I also just genuinely liked her. Her brief moments of kindness toward others more than made up for her petty crimes. The rest of the characters are just as intricately created.
The mystery itself is interesting, propelling the reader forward. I honestly couldn’t put it down, desperate to know the true events of that night. The ending is a bit of a let down, but the journey to the answers more than makes up for it. View Spoiler »I am a little disappointed in Ben’s story line. Quite frankly, I felt he was just as responsible for Michelle’s death as Diondra. He did nothing to stop her from being strangled. I was hoping he had nothing to do with his family’s deaths. « Hide Spoiler
Finally, I recommend skipping the movie all together. Despite the amazing cast, I can say wholeheartedly the book is 10 times better.
tl;dr: A suspenseful mystery featuring complicated characters and a gripping story.