Author: Gillian Flynn
Length: 349 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
In Dark Places we meet Libby Day, a woman who lost her two older sisters and mother to murder when she was just seven years old in a (supposedly) satanic sacrifice in their own home. Having testified that her oldest sibling, Ben was the killer, Libby hasn’t seen or talked to Ben in the nearly twenty five years since he was sentenced to life in prison. The support of what little family Libby had and donations from concerned citizens has about dried up, leaving Libby with little money, no income, and the frightening realization that she has never truly had to participate in a grown up world. As Libby is contemplating how she will keep herself going, she is approached by Lyle, a young twenty something member of a local true crime enthusiast group known as the Kill Club. Lyle invites Libby to be a special guest at an upcoming Kill Club convention, cash included. Unable to resist the easy money, Libby decides to go despite her innate fears of doing anything that reminds her too much of her past.
Put off by the Kill Club’s assertive members and questions about her own testimony, Libby’s anxiety almost turns her away from the group for good, but when Lyle asks for a second chance and can ensure her more money in exchange for Libby’s time speaking with the people involved in the events leading up to the deaths of her mother and sisters, she goes for it.
As the story unfolds through the present time in Libby’s point of view and through the dual perspectives of Libby’s mother Patty and brother Ben in the days and moments leading up to the murders, we learn that nearly everyone involved has something to hide. Through her journey, Libby gains an uncharacteristic sense of purpose, yet she still doubts herself enough to put herself in dangerous situations while hoping to discover what actually happened on the night of the murders.
Dark Places gives us a brutally honest look into what people will do when they become desperate. Desperate for love, for financial freedom, for a sense of belonging and understanding. Through Libby we find that even if we have an awful past, even if we have been coasting along through life and letting the world pass us by, that if we have the right motivation we might just be able to overcome our demons, even if we aren’t sure where that will leave us tomorrow.
Dark Places is set to be released as a major motion picture later this year.