Author: Gillian Flynn

Audiobook Review – Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

February 14, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 4 Comments

Audiobook Review – Dark Places by Gillian FlynnDark Places by Gillian Flynn
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Rebecca Lowman
on May 05, 2009
Length: 13 hours, 44 minutes
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Gone Girl

four-stars

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

‘The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.’

Libby Day is the sole survivor of “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas” when her mother and two older sisters were murdered with an ax. She was only 7 years old. After accusing her brother Ben of committing the crime he is sent to prison with no real possibility of ever being released. Twenty-four years later Libby finds herself struggling financially after the trust fund to which people donated to help her cause has dwindled down to nothing. ‘The Kill Club’ is a group of individuals obsessed with particular crimes from over the years and there are several enthusiasts who are obsessed with not only the crime but of the innocence of her brother, Ben. Deciding she’ll resort to anything just as long as she gets paid she begins investigating the deaths of her family and realizes that the money isn’t the only incentive; she truly wants to know what happened that night she was left an orphan.

Dark Places was a fantastically written thriller that was thoroughly engrossing. The audiobook has 3 separate narrators and each do a fantastic job of encouraging readers to continue this mesmerizing tale. The story alternates between snippets of Libby’s investigation (told in first person) and the rehashing of past events (told in third person from the POV of Libby’s mother and her brother, Ben) so that we’re slowly able to fit together the jumbled pieces of the puzzle. Did Ben truly commit the crime? Was he associated with the Devil? Was it actually their dead beat father? Or someone completely different? This is an incredibly alluring story that I could not put down. While clues are given and you think you’re starting to formulate, nothing is as it seems. That’s an easy enough statement to make in regards to any mystery thriller story but the answer to this one is truly unpredictable from anything I was expecting.

‘I am, I guess, depressed. I guess I’ve been depressed for about twenty-four years. I can feel a better version of me somewhere in there – hidden behind a liver or attached to a bit of spleen within my stunted, childish body – a Libby that’s telling me to get up, do something, grow up, move on. But the meanness usually wins out.’

Libby is a wonderfully jaded and emotionally hardened character that I couldn’t help but love. She’s perfectly imperfect and her flawed and bitter nature completely drew me to her. She’s earned every right to those emotions though and then some. Dark Places is full of extremely unlikable characters though and a few in particular did things that were completely unfathomable. The issues presented throughout this novel are often hard to stomach and were incredibly gruesome and disturbing. In specific there are Satanic animal sacrifices, excessive teenage drug use and teenage pregnancy and of course the less than pleasant mass murder by ax.

Dark Places is a prime example of simple choices that can have a catastrophic domino effect on anything and everything from that point on. Peeling back the layers of this multifaceted tale of suspense is a total thrill-ride, as long as you can stomach the terror this story is drenched in.

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Early Review – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

May 5, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Published by Crown on June 5, 2012
Pages: 434
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Dark Places

three-stars

Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

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?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

On the day of Nick and Amy’s five year wedding anniversary Nick comes home to find the door ajar, the iron still on, but no Amy. Amy’s typical anniversary gift to Nick includes a treasure hunt with small personal messages to help lead him to the next location and to the big present. When he finds the first clue she had left for him he begins to follow the clues and realizes that Amy had been trying to fix their fractured marriage, but it may have been too late.

The alternating POV (from present time to a past entry in Amy’s diary) absolutely killed this story for me. I’ve ready stories that were written in this same format before but for some reason this one caused me to develop ADD and I was being distracted by the tiniest things. I think I started and stopped this one at minimum a half a dozen times. Now despite this, I must say that it was an extremely detailed and well-written story, I just obviously lack the patience and focus to truly appreciate it.

As far as the characters go, Nick in particular was a very hard read. I didn’t find myself liking him or even feeling sorry for him; however, I suppose that’s to be expected as the way it was written made him a very obvious suspect for the reason Amy went missing in the first place. But of course, it’s hardly that simple. Once the story picked up, and Nick finally started to follow Amy’s clues I got into it a lot more. And once the story hit the midway point and did a complete 180? I was enthralled. Unfortunately that feeling didn’t last very long and I felt that the last half of the book was very disheveled and seriously crazy, and not in a good way.

This is a stand alone novel so I expect a wrapped up ending that answers all of my questions and gives some semblance of a resolution for the characters. I’m not asking for it to be all tied up in a pretty bow or anything but at least don’t leave me with out big wtf. Well, that’s exactly what I got. By the end, the story seemed so unraveled to the point of being undetectable from the story that I originally started reading. Having a story surprise me and go a completely different direction is one thing, but that’s not what happened here. Not a lot can be said without giving serious spoilers to the story but suffice it to say I failed to be impressed by the end. I do give this story credit for the intricate build-up even if the resolution was less than satisfactory.

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