Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn (of Gone Girl fame), scared the ever-loving shit out of me.
And there you have it.
The story both sucked me in and repelled me. I wanted to know more, to solve the puzzle, to KNOW what happened. Simultaneously, I just wanted to get it out of my head.
It’s grizzly y’all. The scene that plays over and over again is horrific. It gave me nightmares. And I couldn’t shake it, couldn’t stop it from running on a loop in the back of my mind.
But what’s really compelling about the book is that there are no heroes. Everyone (save perhaps one character) is multi-faceted, complex, and far from perfect. The points of view vary, which adds a texture that builds suspense and draws out the mystery. And it relies on the one principle that shoots abject fear through my heart: everything can rest on one decision. One decision can end life as you know it.
But can it really?
Or is there something bigger at play, beneath the surface, in our subconscious, in events that other people set in motion?
I’m not sure this book will answer that question. But it sure as hell will make you ponder it. And isn’t that what horror is supposed to do: make us wrangle with the light & darkness within ourselves and question what really separates the good from evil?
And maybe that line is much thinner than we think.