Published May 5th, 2009 by Shaye Areheart Books.
Literary Awards: Black Quill Award for Dark Genre Novel of the Year (2010), CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Nominee (2010).
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 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. (Goodreads)
What I have come to enjoy about Gillian Flynn’s writing with Gone Girl and The Grown Up was missing in her first two novels. The twisted plot and interesting characters seem to be present in all of her works but a larger part of the beginning in both Sharp Objects and Dark Places lacked the hook needed. They droned on with so much back story and set up that it read super slow. In Dark Places, Flynn sets the stage explaining the current state of Libby’s affairs as well as a general backstory as to why her brother is in jail and why her family is dead. Libby’s finances are in trouble. She is propositioned by a Kill Club to reach out to people surrounding the most tragic night of her life, the night her brother brutally murdered her mother and two sisters while she escaped. In exchange they will pay her. She needs the money, so she agrees.
As Libby investigates and interviews players from that night she begins piecing together what could have happened that night and in the end finds the truth of what did happen. Once the investigation begins I was completely absorbed into the world and ultimately needed answers as bad as Libby did. We begin with what Libby 100% believed to be true and discover clues and information as she does. It’s a whirlwind of a ride with a slow beginning.