This is one of those books where you read the last sentence, close the book, and exhale. It's one of those books where the whole time you're reading, you feel completely tense. I read the book with two other gals from the book instragramming community, and Leslie (@leslieslibrary // blog) put it best when she asked, "Who feels suffocated every time they read this book?"
DARK PLACES by Gillian Flynn is about a girl named Libby whose mother and two sisters were murdered when she was seven years old. She survived, and all the blame was shifted to her brother (who also survived). Now, as an adult, Libby encounters the Kill Club, a group of people who are obsessed with notorious crimes - including hers. They rope her into looking into her past and the murders, and she may find some truth she didn't expect...
This book kept me on edge the. entire. time. DARK PLACES was the first novel I've read by Gillian Flynn, and while part of me wants to be mad at the mental anguish she put me through, I can't even be mad. Her character development, for starters, was phenomenal. The book is told from the perspective of a few different characters and each time you read from a different POV, you uncover another layer of who that person is. I found myself feeling annoyed, sad, and sometimes just mad with and for these characters. It would have been nice to have one character to latch onto and root for, but I'm not sure a likable character would fit in this world.
The mystery itself kept me hooked. Not unlike AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, this book had me (and my reading companions) shifting suspicion between about 5 different characters. It took until about 3/4 way into the book before I guessed who the killer was, but even then, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the situation would have played out.
I hear it's a hallmark of Flynn to pack a punch with her endings, and she did just that. In the end, this book was extremely gripping but maybe almost too exhausting. Maybe that's just the point of a Gillian Flynn novel?