Deanna Parsi, mystery buyer, Borders, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The heroine of Gillian Flynn's Dark Places [Crown, May] is the sole surviving member of her murdered family. Libby Day's family was murdered when she was very young and her brother was convicted of the crime, based in part on Libby's testimony. She is now a barely functioning adult. After living on the goodwill of others, her savings have come to an end. Just then, she's offered money from a group of true-crime aficionados obsessed with the murder. They are willing to pay her to talk to people from the past, and Libby soon discovers that her brother was not the killer. Flynn has created a great character in Libby Day. The narrative is well-crafted, with the story moving seamlessly between past and present. The past is seen from different perspectives, and we see how in just one day, everything can go so horribly and tragically wrong. Libby's quest to find the answers to her past will keep you reading far into the night.