Read November 3, 2013

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

I'm one of those people who are more interested in telling stories than they are in writing - the methodical, rigid, deadline-driven task of executing an idea, fleshing it out from beginning to end.  For me, writing is like getting pregnant thousands of times, but never, ever carrying the fetus to term.  I know that's a weird analogy, but it's accurate.  I play dialogue in my mind constantly.  Characters talk to me, to each other, but they never actually do anything.  It's a form of madness.


That's what I thought about when I finished Dark Places - great ideas, never brought to life.  I know in my heart that I could have a written a better ending to this story.  I figured out who did it halfway through, and the surprise second killer wasn't as much of a shock as Flynn intended.


i so wanted Diondra and Trey to be brother and sister, a tag team of vicious cons who had selected Ben as just the latest in a series of marks.  Set the kid up, make him feel he belongs, talk him into acting out, and then frame him when he falls nicely into the trap you've set for him.  Show up out of the blue, disappear just as quickly, leave NOTHING behind.  No evidence, no emotions, no consequences.  Walk away, and don't look back.  Evil lurks in dark places.  


i don't crave escapism.  I need reality.  Like a drug.  I need a puzzle with pieces that fit together properly.  I need to know what, where, when, why, how.  I don't need to be spoon-fed - I love figuring it out for myself - but I do want to be able to relate to the story the author is telling me.  Gone Girl filled the void in so many ways.  Dark Places just left me running on empty.


Too bad.  It could have meant something.