Monday, June 12, 2017

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

9867582It took me like 8 weeks to get through this audiobook.  About halfway through my Couch to 5k program this spring I decided that I needed a book to listen to while running, and Gillian Flynn might actually be riveting enough to keep my interest while going in seemingly endless circles around a track.  And this book has several narrators, which promised a better experience than my first audiobook, Anna and the French Kiss, which only had one--which I felt was to its detriment.

The story here follows Libby Day, who survived the slaughter of her mother and two sisters when she was eight, and lost part of her hand and part of her foot in the process.  She testified that her brother was the killer, and he's consequently been in prison for more than two decades.  Now running out of money, Libby encounters a group called the Kill Club who are willing to pay her to investigate her own family's murder...and so she starts digging.

Now, the actual description of this book makes it sound like Libby ends up being chased by a killer again, someone who's eager to finish the job.  Maybe someone who's even linked with another recent disappearance in Libby's area.  That's not actually the case, so don't get your hopes up.  No one is hunting Libby.  No one actually wants her dead.  She literally wanders into a killer's living room and starts prodding them, and the killer gets antsy--no spoilers there, because Libby wanders into a lot of living rooms in this book.  There's also no big twist in this book, no unreliable narrator who's suddenly found out like in Flynn's more recent Gone Girl.  The three main point-of-view characters here (Libby in the present day and her brother and mother from the day of the murders) are all reliable to the best of their knowledge; there's no misleading, they all lay things out as they find them.  I kept waiting for one of them to turn out to be unreliable, adding a whole new dimension to the story, but it just never happened.

Overall, the writing and reading here was okay, though slightly nauseating at times--I almost puked while listening to a description of a character vomiting, not gonna lie.  The three main voice actors do a good job with the voices, distinguishing them enough that they sound relatively realistic.  But the story itself just ultimately wasn't as riveting as I wanted it to be, hence why I had to renew the book twice in order to get through it.  And while the details eventually come out and justice is served, it just didn't feel very satisfying, and the denouement was definitely too long.  Maybe audiobooks just aren't my thing, and this worked better in the printed work?

Sigh.  The search for good material to listen to while running continues.

3 stars out of 5.

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