Have You Heard About... Dark Places

… the Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas? This horrific event forms the basis for Gillian Flynn’s aptly named second novel, Dark Places.

In the nineteen eighties, Libby Day survived what was eventually dubbed “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas,” when her older brother was convicted for murdering his mother and two of his sisters. Over twenty years later, Libby is broke, mean-spirited, and struggling with the scars left over from the murder. She still firmly believes that her brother is guilty, but there are many followers of the case who believe otherwise. In order to make some extra money, Libby agrees to talk to some of her old acquaintances and try to determine exactly what happened that awful night.

I’ve noticed in all three of her books, Gillian Flynn focuses a lot on how a single event can be interpreted in multiple ways, and how these misunderstandings can have devastating consequences. I loved how as I learned more about what actually happened that night, and as I learned more about the characters, light bulbs suddenly started going off in my head and everything started to make sense.

I have now read each of Gillian Flynn’s novels twice, and I am still in awe of her writing and her ability to craft some of the darkest, nastiest stories I’ve ever read. I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered an author who was able to provoke such a strong, visceral reaction in me. And as bleak as these novels are, I can’t stop reading them. They’re awe-inspiring in a slightly frightening way. Ultimately, this is a very satisfying and realistic story, despite the gruesome overtones, and I will once again mention how incredibly anxious I am for her to release a new novel. This book is just spectacular!

 

Reviewed by Katie (staff)