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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is Gillian Flynn's second novel. Just as Gone Girl, this contains everything that a thriller should have. Libby Day's family was murdered twenty-five years ago. Her whole life changed over a night, and she was the only one that survived her brother's massaker. Ben is still in prison, but a mysterious union turns up and makes her question his guilt.

The union, with the not so imaginative name the Kill Club, contacts her and it couldn't have been at a better moment. The members are totally obsessed with the murder case and Libby needs money. She is not having a envious life. She is constantly poor, angry, alone and she is even a cleptomaniac, something that she has developed because of her poor childhood. She is living on a fund from the time after the murders occurred. She decides to sell some of her family's belongings and letters to the Kill Club, to be able to pay rent, and she also begins to dig into the murder mystery and very dark places in her mind.

Gillian Flynn has a fantastic ability to reach the core of people, through their thoughts and behavior, associated with class. It could be small details such as Libby's observations that rich ladies always correct you when you get their name wrong, or don't even look at the one serving them coffee. Gillian Flynn's greatest achievement is the ability to portray nuanced characters, which makes them so alive. She portrays their layers extremely well. She digs into the mechanisms of psychology. The book contains many unlikable and manipulative people that are both fascinating and repellent.

The book illuminates flaws in the society. One theme is the peak of moral preach about satanic hard rock music, and the prejudices that followed. Another is the legal system. Flynn have the police officers and psychologists make Libby point out her brother as a murderer, not accepting any other answer, even though Libby didn't se anything, just to proove their theory. That is not a completely unrealistic event, just look at the scandal where Thomas Quick, in Sweden, was treated by such people and confessed thirty-nine murders and was sentenced for eight murders, despite later being proved innocent.

What diminishes some of the big picture is the ending. It's not a total surprise, even though Gillian Flynn has several traces confusing us. She twists the plot once more, but somehow it doesn't feel totally succesful. There are too many forced coincidences. Except that, this is an excellent, well-written book that really takes you to dark, twisted places.

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