Dark Places, Gillian Flynn, 2009
My favorite quote: “Coffee goes great with sudden death.”
Notable characters: Libby Day, the woman in search of answers; Ben, her incarcerated brother; Patty Day, their exhausted mother
Most memorable scene: The big reveal — which I can’t disclose.
Greatest strengths: EXCELLENT writing. Every sentence is given genuine thought and care — and it shows.
Standout achievements: Flynn’s penchant for deliciously vile characters whose voices you’ll wish you could get out of your head
Fun Facts: Author Gillian Flynn is a self-described true crime junkie and her idea for the “Kill Club” is based on real-life groups of people who come together to discuss certain crimes. According to Flynn: “The idea for the Kill Club came from wondering what these people would be like if they were actually together at a convention, which is how Libby is introduced to them. It’s like a big underground carnival where they meet, network and swap souvenirs or collectible items.” (Reader’s Digest)
Other media: 2015 film starring Charlize Theron
What it taught me about writing: Don’t hold back. Dark Places has murder, molestation, spousal abuse, bullying, devil worship, drug use, animal abuse, alcoholism, and underage sex — but the overall effect is powerful. Each of these horrors serve as instruments to create a sordid symphony that can’t be ignored.
How it inspired my own work: I read this book while I was writing The Silver Dagger, book two in the vampires of Crimson Cove series — and the “Kill Club” in Dark Places inspired my idea for the “Exterminators” and their meetings in The Silver Dagger.
My rating: 4 of 5
Haunt me: alistaircross.com