When Libby Day was seven years old her mother and two sisters were murdered in their sleep. Libby was so certain that her 15 year old brother, Ben, committed the gruesome murders she even testified against him in court. But when she is approached by the head of a group of amateur crime sleuths to help solve the crime she begins to wonder if perhaps they are right and Ben is innocent after all.
The novel is told from the perspectives of Libby in the present day as well as Ben and their mother, Patty, on the day of the murders. I love novels told from multiple points of view when it is done as well as in Dark Places.
The premise of Dark Places drew me in instantly. I was dying to find out what actually happened the night of the murders from the very beginning of the novel, and it was certainly worth the wait. There was no way I could have guessed the final plot twist!
Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.
Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?
She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.
Published: 1st published January 1st 2012, Broadway Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Description from Goodreads:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
My Thoughts on the Book:
I think most bookworms have probably read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn by now, so I’ll keep this review a fairly short one. I read this novel when it first came out and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around this year. I decided to read Gone Girl again before I watched the movie. I know, the movie has been out for ages, but I’m really bad at watching movies the second that they are released these days!
I thought that Amy was such a fascinating character. The more I read of her, the more interesting she became. What a psycho, hey! But then when you learn more about her parents and their books, ‘Amazing Amy,’ you can kind of understand how she became so crazy. I know that if my parents were writing about my amazing alter ego with all of the jabs the seemed to direct at Amy I’d probably go a bit loco too.
The twist in Gone Girl is why I had to give this novel 5 stars. When I read Gone Girl the very first time I had no idea what was coming. I love a novel with a good twist! I was surprised that I still felt a little bit shocked by the complete 180 on my second reading. I felt this was because it was done so well and I’d been sucked into the story so deeply all over again. Gillian Flynn is definitely a skillful story teller and I am looking forward to reading her other novels. I haven’t read them yet, so no spoilers please!
Ok, so in my opinion, Gone Girl is 110% a novel that you must read before you watch the movie. The diary style, first person narrative, is what really made the novel work for me. I find that this kind of narrative never translates well in movies (in my opinion) and they had to cut a lot of it out of course.
Ben Affleck as Nick didn’t work for me either. Nick frequently tells us in the novel that he is so classically handsome that he has to work hard to convince people that he’s not a jerk. I really don’t think Ben Affleck fits that description. He’s not bad looking, but he doesn’t look or seem like Nick to me at all.
On the other hand, Rosamund Pike was the perfect, or amazing if you like, Amy. She was definitely my favourite part of the entire movie. It’s funny, because I would have thought that Amy would have been the most difficult character to cast, but Rosamund Pike was exactly how I expected her to be.
I did enjoy the Gone Girl movie, but definitely not as much as I loved the novel.