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Gillian Flynn is excellent at crafting horrific, yet brilliant mysteries. Dark Places is very dark and gruesome, a suspenseful and fast well-paced thrill ride that will leave you gasping for breath at every turn. The chapters alternate between the present and the date of the murder, a tactic that works wonders for the story as it allows the reader to see beyond Libby's perspective. Lines start to blur and everything turns to shades of gray - again Flynn really excels at creating compelling and complex plots and characters. Although, for the most part, her characters are very much unlikeable, she is still able to create such engrossing mysteries that I can't get enough of...I wonder what that says about me. I wouldn't want to be friends with any of her characters - in fact, if I saw one of them coming toward me on the sidewalk, I would probably switch to the other side of the road, or better yet duck into a brightly lit very public place. The only ones that come close to that (still alive in the present) would be Lyle (didn't expect to like his character as much as I ended up liking him) and Diane (mostly the flashback scenes as we don't see her very much in the present). Regardless, I highly recommend Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, if like me you can't get enough of a tightly-written pulse-pounding mystery. I'm really interested in seeing what happens in the movie adaptation due September 1st starring Charlize Theron as Libby (too tall and old for Libby and she's not a natural redhead, but she is very good at playing complicated characters) and Nicholas Hoult as Lyle (seems okay so far).
I read this from January 17 - 21, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.