Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on May 5, 2009
Length: 13 hours, 44 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.
When Libby Day was seven, her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in their farmhouse, her 15-year old brother convicted of the crime thanks in part to her eye witness testimony. It’s now almost 25 years later and Libby goes back and reconnects with the major participants, including her brother, Ben. However, she’s not doing this for altruistic reasons.
To describe this story as dark is an understatement. What makes it so disturbing are the ages of those involved and how ordinary most of the others are, creating the feeling that, in similar circumstances, any of us could make some of the same bad choices as many of those in the story. Libby is both tragic and unsympathetic at times and her motives for revisiting the past are pretty sad. The story is told in three narratives for most of the story: Libby’s, Ben’s and their mother, Patty’s. There’s a fourth narrative near the end that provides a surprising twist.
I listened to the story and the four narrators were excellent. It’s incredibly interesting, drawing you in immediately and almost suffocating you with all its dark places. Even so, I couldn’t stay away. While Gone Girl was rather twisted, this was different…just dark. Well done?
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