Review on ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn

To be honest, I came across this book on accident after searching online for some recommended crime fiction novels and it definitely did not disappoint!

After hearing some good reviews about the authors work (and after watching the film adaptation of Gone Girl) I had really high hopes for this text and they were definitely fulfilled. It’s around 400 pages long and I read it all in about 3 days, I just couldn’t put it down!

The novel jumps straight in with the Day massacre and leads the reader down the path of the events of that day, using past and present tenses to explore how the protagonist, Libby Day, aims to discover the truth about the murders of her family. The use of entries from the points of view of Patty and Ben Day add to the suspense of the book and definitely made me want to read more. Each chapter finished on a sort of cliff hanger, making a reader want to read through the next chapters in order to revert back to the individual story lines to find out what happens next. The way that Gillian Flynn incorporates different tenses and points of view really allows the reader to become involved in the ‘solving’ of the mystery.

Throughout the text, the mystery surrounding the massacre was kept hidden. At some points in the text I was definitely sure that Ben was guilty and during other points I wasn’t so sure. I definitely did not predict the end of the novel, which I love about these kinds of texts! When the novel came to its’ end, I realised that there had been little clues littered throughout that I hadn’t noticed were of significance until they were reintroduced by the protagonist.

As well as the murder mystery, I really enjoyed experiencing the development of Libby. She begins as an unlovable character, but I was definitely rooting for her by the end. The exploration of mental health and depression was fascinating as Flynn explored the ways in which childhood trauma affected the protagonist and how by researching deeper into the “Dark Places” of her past, she was able to overcome some of her fears and anxieties surrounding the outside world.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves crime fiction and mystery stories and I will definitely be reading more of Gillian Flynn’s work in the near future!

Happy reading!

Meg x

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