Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

Dark Places Gillian Flynn
Dark Places Gillian Flynn

Dark Places is a novel by Gillian Flynn.  She had wrote this novel prior to Gone Girl.  It is available on Scribd as an audio book.  Dark Places, like Gone Girl, will be adapted into a movie coming out in August 2015.

In 1985, in a rural town in Kansas, two sisters and a mother were brutally murdered.  25 years later, Ben Day (one of the brothers) is serving prison time for the murders, Runner (the father) is just running around town up to no good.  The book begins with Libby meeting with her accountant.  She is not well versed in her own finances.  She wants to know how much money she has remaining from the insurance settlement and a published book.  She assumes she has about $10,000 left to work with.  She doesn’t like to hold a steady job and she just needs money for everyday expenses.  Libby is informed that there is less than $1,000 remaining.

She is approached by a dorky looking young man.  He is part of some kind of kill club and wants to interview her about the murder.  The last thing Libby want to do is recount the dreadful night of the murders.  But she needs money to survive.  Lyle (the dorky looking young man) offers her $500 just for the interview, she accepts.  Lyle and others in the kill club don’t believe that Ben killed the family.  After reviewing the facts it just doesn’t make sense to them.  Next they offer Libby money to go visit Ben in prison to get information from him.

Since the murders, Libby had not responded to any of Ben’s letters or visited him in prison.  To make some money, Libby pays Ben a visit in prison.  Shockingly, Ben is kind to Libby during the visit.  About 25 years ago, it was Libby that testified against Ben.  He told her that he did not commit the murders.  But he was dealing well with being in prison.  It’s not mentioned in the book, but since the family was so poor, maybe prison isn’t a bad thing.

Ben divulges certain information that helps Libby continue the investigation.  When he worked as a janitor around the school he was accused of molesting a young girl named Chrissy Kates.  He also got his girlfriend Diondra pregnant.  He used to hang around bad kids before prison.  They would sit around the house and do drugs and alcohol.

With this information and being offered more money from Lyle she searches out Chrissy Kates.  Chrissy admits to Libby, that she made up the molestation story.  Her and a bunch of young girls at the time made up those rumors.  Next she wanted to pay Runner a visit.  Her father welcomed the visit because he needed money.  After meeting with her scumbag father, she concluded that he was too dumb to have committed the murders.

I will tell you that Ben is right and he did not commit the murders.  It’s a great dark, mystery novel.  The conclusion to Dark Places is crazy and some sites will spoil the story for you.  If you don’t want to read the book, see Dark Places the movie in August.  It will star the great Charlize Theron.