Chapter One: Libby learns she’s out of money and agrees to meet with a club obsessed with the murder of her family, for a price of course.
Chapter Two: Patty Day, (Libby’s mother) makes breakfast for her kids and discovers her teenage son has dyed his hair.
Barely a few pages in and I’m already enjoying this a lot better than I enjoyed the Corrections. Told in the first person (which is an interesting change and a tactic that for me either works or fails miserably, there is no in between). In third person you can not like the character and it doesn’t much matter, but in first, when the narrator is literally who you interact with in such an intimate way, to hate them, truly hate them in the way I detested every character in the Corrections, it wouldn’t work. Had the story been told by Chip, or Gary, or Enid, or any of the loathsome characters it would have been if possible more intolerable than it already was. In the case of Dark Places however, at least thus far, Libby Day appears to be far more interesting to follow around, and a much better narrator. Though I suspect (two chapters in as of this writing), not a particularly reliable one.
The book is broken up between the past and present with the first chapter showing present day Libby, and chapter two showcasing life before the murder that took her family. This particular idea, breaking up the book between the past and present can be tricky, but I actually really love it as a storytelling tactic, and it works particularly well for this story. It’s worth noting that not only does the story slip into the past, it slips almost imperceptibly into the third person in chapter two, and back into first with chapter three.
I’m really pleasantly surprised with Dark Places, thus far. Libby isn’t necessarily the hero of our story, I’m willing to guess she’s more of an anti-hero, and yet, she’s fascinating in a sort of Lisabeth Salander way that makes you curious to see what she’s going to do next.