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Dark Places: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Gillian Flynn

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5,4213381,237 (3.83)261
Title:Dark Places: A Novel
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Broadway (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  1. 73
    Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (kraaivrouw)
  2. 31
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  3. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  4. 21
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Dark Places was undoubtedly influenced by In Cold Blood, but brings an interesting form of storytelling to superficially similar plot lines.
  5. 00
    Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These intricately plotted, fast paced and suspenseful murder mysteries feature young women struggling with dark family secrets and intense drama. Both expertly switch between past and present to slowly reveal disturbing truths.
  6. 00
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (sturlington)
  7. 11
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)
  8. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  9. 00
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  10. 11
    In the Woods by Tana French (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These psychological suspense novels feature characters who, as young children, witness horrible crimes and must now revisit their painful pasts to discover the truth. The stories are fast paced, chilling, and atmospheric.
  11. 12
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
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    The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly (amyblue)
    amyblue: Both books have a strong sense of place, compelling main characters and involve both a present day and a past story. Also both are very intricately plotted thrillers.

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English (326)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (338)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
Gillian Flynn is the modern day master of the murder mystery, as is evident by her most popular book, Gone Girl. Dark Places, her second novel, follows Libby Day, a woman haunted by her dark past. When Libby was seven years old, her mother and two older sisters were murdered, while she and her brother, Ben, survived. Ben, eventually convicted of the murders, rests behind bars, while Libby spends her days living off a substantial trust. Now in her early 30s, the money has run out. In order to maintain her lifestyle, she finds herself associating with a group willing to pay her for her time—a group that insists her brother is innocent of the crimes. With money as her incentive, Libby sets out to learn more about the murders, and in the process, discovers far more than she bargained for.

Libby narrates the majority of the book in the present day. Interspersed throughout Libby’s sections are chapters set a few days before the murders, narrated by Patty, Libby’s mother, and her brother, Ben. While this method of storytelling provides a clever way for the reader to piece together the evidence alongside Libby, it also adds an element of frustration. All three characters possess highly distinctive voices, and often I found myself wanting to hear more from one or the other. Likewise, some chapters are so short that they tease more than they provide information pertinent to the story.

Every character in Dark Places oozes desperation and depravation. When a reader cannot understand even a small thread of a character’s train of thought, their decisions baffle the mind. Libby’s motives behind investigating the murders reek of selfishness and hypocrisy. I could never quite forgive her, even as she matured throughout the rest of the book. Ben’s chapters are full of so many bizarre and pathetic decisions that I could never quite feel sorry for him. Libby’s mother, Patty, has the most heart-wrenching storyline, but even her decisions are confusing and upsetting. A book full of unlikeable people needs a sliver of rationality to maintain a reader’s interest and to give them the desire to invest in at least one character.

Highly plot-driven and fast-paced, Flynn does not disappoint with her plot twists. Of all three of her books that I’ve read, Dark Places offers the most outlandish twists, by far. But this is not always a good thing. The drama is often so exaggerated that it borders on unbelievable. Satanic rituals, child molestation, and a hidden pregnancy (just to name a few) add even more spectacle to an already chaotic plot. With so many distractions, even with the additional aid of the chapters set in the past, it is hard to follow, let alone find, the threads of evidence that lead to the murderer.

If you’re looking for a whodunit mystery that you can solve, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn will not satisfy. The characters and plot are also so over-the-top that relating to the story at all is nigh on impossible. The best I can say about the book is that it certainly surprises, and hey, maybe it will surprise you too. ( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
I highly recommend this book. The story is dark as the title suggests but the writing is excellent and this is a quite suspenseful thriller. ( )
  debbiebellows | Jun 1, 2019 |
When reading Dark Places I first felt slightly scared by the flashbacks being presented. Later, when understanding how the flashbacks tied into the story, I felt less afraid and more eager to read more. Even though, the start to this book was slow I continued to want to wait to learn more about the main character Libby. Dark Places has you on the edge of your seat and eager to read more. ( )
  aesthetic.reader | May 31, 2019 |
I can now count Gillian Flynn as one of my favorite authors. She's not afraid to go to Dark Places. This is a fantastic book. I expect her to turn out a five star book in the future. I can't wait. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
What an interesting setup! Libby is, not surprisingly, a complete mess. The story shifts between the present day and the days leading up to the murder. She’s an unreliable narrator simply because she doesn’t remember what happened that night, so she’s as surprised as we are by what she finds. Great, believable characters and a hard to swallow resolution, though I was happy to go along with it.
Complicated plot, crazy people, improbably coincidences, but still fantastic. For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they (we) like. ( )
  piemouth | Mar 10, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gillian Flynnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyytinen, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Days were a clan that mighta lived long, But Ben Day's head got screwed on wrong, That boy craved dark Satan's power, So he killed his family in one nasty hour, Little Michelle he strangled in the night, Then chopped up Debby: a bloody sight, Mother Patty he saved for last, Blew off her head with a shotgun blast, Baby Libby somehow survived, But to live through that ain't much a life --Schoolyard Rhyme, circa 1985
To my dashing husband, Brett Nolan
First words
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it. It’s the Day blood. Something’s wrong with it. I was never a good little girl, and I got worse after the murders.”
“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
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Book description
Libby Day, still haunted by the day she witnessed the murder of her family on their farm in Kinnakee, Kansas, and twenty-five-years after testifying that her fifteen-year-old brother Ben was the killer, Libby is contacted by the Kill Club and devises a money making scheme that leads her back into a killer's path.
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After witnessing the murder of her mother and sisters, seven-year-old Libby Day testifies against her brother Ben, but twenty-five years later she tries to profit from her tragic history and admit that her story might not have been accurate.

(summary from another edition)

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