The small town of Kinnakee, Kansas was rocked with a massacre that would change the lives of many people in the years to come. The story begins by introducing the readers to Libby Day in the present time. It’s been almost twenty-five years since her mother and two sisters were killed. Libby’s testimony sent her fifteen year old brother, Ben to prison for the rest of his life. Libby’s father, Runner ran away long before the murder and didn't return to help Libby. Instead, she skipped around in foster homes and stayed with her aunt when she could.
While mentally fragile from the events in her past, Libby Is unable to hold down a “real” job but has been living off of the profits from telling the public about her experience on the fateful night. As time passes, new murders gain the interest of the public and the Day Massacre becomes old news. Depressed and desperate for money, Libby agrees to meet with a macabre, underground society known as the Kill Club. The club members have promised to pay Libby for helping them investigate the murder of her family and help free Ben, whom they believe is innocent. This takes Libby on a path of discovery and intriguing pieces to the ultimate puzzle surrounding the murders.
The reader follows Libby, as well as, other members of the Day family, and important people involved with the case. The present day sections are told in first person and narrated by Libby Day. Intermittent flash backs offer details about the real events which took place on the night of murders from the different perspectives. The flashback sections are told in third person. This might sounds like a confusing way to present the material, but the author has a way with piecing the pages together and making them easy to understand and follow. The plot and the killer are revealed in layers and unfolding them is a delight.
As the title suggests, the story is dark. It is a thriller and a suspense novel. At one point in the book, there is a play by play description of the murders. However, the author finds a unique way to show the readers the events without making it feel like a crime log or a horror film. The day to day life of some characters was more disturbing than the actual murder scene. Satanic killing of animals, drug use, teenage pregnancy, it seems no subject is taboo. That being said, this book may not appeal to the squeamish. For the rest of the people out there, it’s like driving past a horrible wreck on the road. You know you should look away, but you can’t. You need to learn what will happen next and how the final outcome presents itself.
The characters in the book weren't likable, but in a good way. Several characters seems pathetic and at the lower end of the social scales, including all of the Day family. Some characters are snotty and think they are better than everyone else, including at least two people who directly impact the Day murders. However, they form a love hate relationship with the reader. The author describes them in graphic detail and brings them to live.
One action can set off any number of reactions. This is proven in the novel, Dark Places.
To buy the book: Amazon