Publication Date: 2009
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #29
In 1985 when Libby Day was seven years old, her mother and two sisters were horrifically murdered in their Kansas farmhouse. Libby got out of the house and ran in hid in the January night. Her testimony that her fifteen year old brother Ben murdered the rest of the family sent him to prison for life.
Libby spent the rest of her childhood with a series of family members and as an adult lived off the trust fund of donations made by people touched by the little girl’s tragic story. Twenty-five years later, the trust fund is running out and Libby is in no way prepared to truly take care of herself financially.
When a group of true-crime junkies who call themselves the “Kill Club” contact her, Libby agrees to appear (for a fee) at their meeting. She finds out that they’re sure Ben didn’t kill his family. When Libby agrees to talk to people connected with her family (again for a fee) she soon finds herself questioning things she’s been sure were true.
The book plays out alternating Libby’s present day search for people and answers with flashbacks of what really happened that fateful day. I went back and forth with myself several times about what I thought was going to be the real story and the final chapters had to be read in one sitting.
Gillian Flynn’s first novel, Sharp Objects was an incredibly well written, but also incredibly disturbing book. This one is much the same way. I liked it, but probably not as much as Sharp Objects. It’s a good suspense/mystery story, populated with even more seriously disturbed people than her first book. None of the characters were likeable, but I couldn’t put it down. This one maybe went a bit heavy on the gruesome as opposed to psychological scary end of the realm for me, but I still thought it was good.
If you’re prone to nightmares (Bookfool) or don’t like the gruesome stuff, avoid this one. If you read Sharp Objects I’ll be curious to think how you feel this one compares.