Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.
Since then, she had been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?
She begins to realize that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.
Who did massacre the Day family?
The Days were a clan that mighta lived long
But Ben Day’s head got screwed on wrong
That boy craved dark Satan’s power
So he killed his family in one nasty hour
Little Michelle he strangled in the night
Then chopped up Debby: a bloody sight
Mother Patty he saved for last
Blew off her head with a shotgun blast
Baby Libby somehow survived
But to live through that ain’t much a life
—SCHOOLYARD RHYME, CIRCA 1985
You guys know that I don’t try to follow any trend, or pay attention to what books Oprah pimps out. The release of the movie GONE GIRL reminded me that I had seen that book somewhere before, and that I wanted to read it. (I want to see the movie, too.) I grabbed three books by Gillian Flynn – DARK PLACES, SHARP OBJECTS, and GONE GIRL. I started DARK PLACES yesterday, almost completely bypassed sleep and finished it this morning. (I’ve already begun SHARP OBJECTS).
I stopped to make a note on Goodreads –
Shadow Girl is 30% done with Dark Places: I’m finding it hard to set this book down, even for a few minutes.
The character of Ben Day reminds me of Damien Echols. The 1993 Damien who sat on the stand with his witness room haircut, and a smirk on his face, knowing that everything would be ok because innocent people don’t go to jail, right?
Libby Day is the only survivor of “The Satan Sacrifice” murders of Kinnakee, Kansas. She was only seven years old when it took place, but it was her testimony that helped to put her fifteen year old brother behind bars for the murders of their mom and two sisters.
Twenty-five years and a book deal later, she’s bitter, she’s depressed, and she’s almost broke. (She also has a bit of narcissism about her and her family’s case that I think is great. It might seem like a weird statement out of context, but if you ever pick this book up you’ll see what I mean.)
An intriguing letter arrives that might just be able to help her out of this financial bind. The letter is from Lyle Wirth. He is interested in having Libby make a guest appearance at a special club meeting, and will pay her $500 just to show up. This is great – it’s an ‘underground’ thing, sounds a bit sleazy if explained to the wrong kind of person, (I am not that kind of person… so, if this whole sleuth-y, fight cluby, underground group could really exist… send Shadow Girl an invitation, would ya?!) The club is called (for lack of a better name) THE KILL CLUB, and is a whole underground networking group who not only collect murderabilia, but also do some LARPing, and amateur detective work – discussing alternative theories for their favorite cases. (See! Totally awesome, and I’d go in a heartbeat!)
Being broke gets Libby in the door, but the people she meets, and the details of her family’s case keep her meeting with Lyle and the group. She only knows what she said when she was seven, but when she sees the other theories and possibilities, she starts to think that her seven year old self might have been mistaken.