DARK PLACES, Gillian Flynn. Twenty-five years ago Libby Day's mother and two sisters were murdered in a crime labeled "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas." Libby was seven at the time and her then fifteen-year-old brother Ben was charged and convicted of the grisly killings. Libby's eye-witness testimony was instrumental in Ben's conviction and she hasn't seen him in the intervening years. Now almost out of the money she's received over the years from well-wishers, Libby becomes involved with helping the Kill Club, a society of strange people with morbid interests in headline-news crimes. The Kill Club is convinced of Ben's innocence, and for the first time Libby begins to wonder: What if she's wrong about what happened on that fateful night? All I can say is: The ending was not something I saw coming...and I mean that in a good way.
Also of interest: Ms. Flynn's prior crime thriller, SHARP OBJECTS, which I read just a few weeks ago. That one's about a Chicago reporter, Camille Preaker, with a penchant for cutting herself - her body's like the result of someone tattoo-obsessed but without the ink - who returns to her smalltown Missouri home to cover a case. The home in question contains assorted eccentric relatives - whacky mom, distant stepdad, bizarrely precocious half-sister - while the case in question involves the abduction and murder of young girls; oh, and the killer removes the girls' teeth before dumping them. This one also had an ending that was surprising in a satisfying way.
Ms. Flynn has written two books to date, both winners. If you're looking for a walk on the dark side, she knows exactly what streets to lead you down.
How about you? Read any good books this past week?
Be well. Don't forget to write.