Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore, False Lights & Sacred Lake. (www.gillianhamer.com)

What we thought: If I’m honest this book came as a real surprise to me (a pleasant one I hasten to add) as although I enjoyed the author’s previous novel, Gone Girl, I hadn’t raved about it as many readers had. In Dark Places though, I felt the author really drove herself hard to delve into the darker side of humanity and deliver the results to the reader in both a unique and shocking conclusion.

The main protagonist is not a character designed to be likeable but then she saw her whole family slaughtered in front of her eyes when she was only seven years old … or did she?

And there lies the crux of this novel. When is an unreliable narrator not an unreliable narrator? 

Libby Day believes her brother murdered her mother and sisters, and is so sure of the fact she not only gave the evidence at the trial that saw him convicted, but has spent the past decades living off the spoils of his horror. But when challenged by a group of her brother’s supporters on what she really remembers about the series of events on that fateful night, her beliefs begin to slowly unwind like an out of control ball of wool spinning out of her grasp. 

Split narratives take us back and forth in time – from the build up to the night of the massacre to the current day – at quite a rate, so you have to concentrate on this novel to appreciate the full effect. But I admire the author for the skill she displays here. She holds the reader captive by orchestrating her words as if she were stood in front of a world class orchestra conducting each note.

And the truth about the real killer? That was the real sucker punch.


You’ll enjoy this if you like : Karin Slaughter, B.A Paris, Paula Hawkins.

Avoid if you don’t like : Dark secrets and false memories.

Ideal accompaniments: Nachos with guacamole dip and a bottle of ice cold cider.

Genre : Thriller.

Available on Amazon


Read Triskele's Book Club Discussion on Dark Places here




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