"Dark Places" had the misfortune to be read right after I had read "Twilight," by William Gay. The latter, a near masterpiece by a writer who is the near equal of Cormac McCarthy, himself the near equal of William Faulkner, makes "Dark Places" seem like a piece of tabloid journalism. Mr. Gay could give Ms. Flynn a lesson or two in darkness. He could also teach her how to write sentences that dazzle you with their brilliance. "Dark Places" is at least a hundred pages too long, which means that many scenes are bloated, and the novel never acquires forward momentum.
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