Here's the thing. I was sort of happy to read this, even though dark fiction isn't really my thing, because it was partly set in my stomping grounds. A book set in Kansas City? Woot! Bring it!
I should have known better - I should have known a book about the train-wrecked lives of the survivors of a prairie style satanic axe/knife/gun/strangulation murder of a family would probably not really paint the picture of Midwest life that I was so hoping. I know, surprise, surprise. Sometimes my optimism shocks even me.
Libby Day, youngest daughter of the Day family, survived a brutal night that took her entire family from her, killing her two sisters and mother, and jailing Ben Day, her only brother and presumed murderer. Twenty-four years later, Libby is out of charity money, utterly broke and the very definition of maladjusted.
Desperate to avoid working for money, Libby finds a unique opportunity with a local group called the Kill Club. This club of amateur sleuths dedicated to solving cold cases believes that Ben Day is innocent and is willing to pay Libby to help them solve the murder. Libby finds that the truth becomes more irresistible to her than she previously imagined. She becomes brave, digging through her past, both in boxes and on doorsteps, until she uncovers the dangerous and devastating truth.
I commend Gillian's tight plotting. I love when a story is crafted well from beginning to end and you can visualize the loop towards the close. What wasn't so great for me was that I had the mystery nearly guessed. Sort of took the wind out of the sails at the climax.
This wasn't so dark that I loathed everything - the characters were appropriately messed up, if I may state it that way, and not quite as off putting as I imagined. It didn't put me off from trying another and think that I will Sharp Objects a try.