Monday, July 08, 2013

Gillian Flynn: Dark Place

Come summer Swedish newspapers and magazines that have a literature section/page always have an obligatory "time for crime fiction" feature. Come any holiday, now that I think about it; whenever we have some time off. (Speaking of time off: my new job that I started today doesn't do what we in Swedish call squeeze days, so I won't be getting any more of those lovely long weekends that I feel is AN OFFICE WORKER'S PRIVILEGE. Dammit!) Anyway, this book was mentioned in one of said features recently, and the write-up interested me so I got it from the library. I'm basically avoiding reading Wolf Hall.

This book has been praised for its prose, it's a remarkably literary crime story. When Libby Day was a child her brother murdered her whole family - her mother and two older sisters. Libby's testimony put him in prison. Since then she has lived off money donated by strangers to help the poor orphan, but now that money has run out. Hoping to sell family trifles to crime collectors, she agrees to meet with a group of hobby investigators who believe her brother is innocent. And of course, the question is: if he is innocent - then who killed her family? And will she be in danger looking for the real murderer?

The book starts off really well. It is more a story of Libby's survival than the usual detection stuff, and it's both sad, poignant and bitter. Libby isn't a great person, but who can blame her? Gillian Flynn certainly has a knack for writing a good story. The ending  is a letdown though, it ends up being a case of connecting the dots and tying the knots and ta-daah, all problems are over! I can see this being made into a film soon, but it will be a dull, conventional thing. The book is written alternating chapters between the past and the present, between Libby now and her mother and brother then. This is exactly how it will be filmed one day. If I knew anyone else who'd read it I'd suggest a game of guess the director...

I might read Flynn's other book (books?), because she writes well and describes the Midwest farming society the story is set in just perfectly.

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