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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
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Dark Places

by Gillian Flynn

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2,6861722,209 ()191
Member:knyzhka
Title:Dark Places
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Phoenix, Paperback
Collections:Liked
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  1. 72
    Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (kraaivrouw)
  2. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  3. 21
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  4. 00
    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. 11
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  6. 11
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)
  7. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  8. 00
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  9. 01
    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 (160)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Really good. It jumps back and forth in time, but is easy to follow. The story is a page turner and a good mystery and keeps you guessing the entire time. ( )
  adam.d.woodard | Feb 23, 2015 |
Originally seen on my book blog!

My review: How do you even say that you like a book like this? How do you explain what you just read other than “what the hell did I just read and why was I addicted to it?” I read this book basically only between the hours 9 pm and 7 am. I had plenty of weird or creepy dreams while reading this book because that’s exactly what it was. But it was one of the best books I’ve read all year and now I’m impatiently waiting for Flynn to come out with the next extremely creepy book.

I can handle of gore and creepiness, but this was on a different level. This book not only had a lot of talk about murder but Satanic rituals as well. There were times when I was grossed out and wanted to quit reading but I just couldn’t put the book down. I had to know if Ben was the killer and was rightly in prison for the last 24 years or if someone else did it and he just took the blame. It was an intense battle between me wanting to stop reading the book and needing to keep reading the book. Thankfully the latter won out most times.

Flynn has been great at writing protagonists that the readers hate but kind of love at the same time. Libby is selfish and rude, but I found myself cheering for her and sticking up for her. When she was getting interrogated by the Kill Club, I was wanting to tell her to yell at them. When the members of the Kill Club were choosing her brother’s innocence over her testimony, I was seething with anger. I felt horrible for Libby during the Kill Club scenes but then I hated Libby at other times. It was a battle that went on the whole book, but in the end I found myself just cheering for something good to happen to her even if I didn’t like her.

There were three different perspectives in this book: Libby’s present day, Patty (the mother) in 1985, and Ben (the killer) back in 1985. Patty and Ben both started the morning before the killings and ending when the killings began. I like books with different perspectives and Flynn does this masterfully. I was never confused about the time period that they were in because she makes them seem like completely different worlds. In 1985, there is no mention of cell phones or even house phones that don’t have cords. In the present day, there was mention of e-mails and cell phones. Flynn makes us aware of how different the time periods were. I found that reading the 1985 perspectives, I learned more about the family that was killed which broke my heart at times. The family reminded me a little of the girls in The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. The Day girls, not unlike the Lisbon girls in The Virgin Suicides, are close-knit and look out for each other. They don’t have many friends outside of each other. They are also known as The Day Family (especially after the murders) even though each of them have their own personalities.

I loved learning things about the other sisters through Patty and Ben’s stories because Libby’s perspective didn’t show us much of before That Night because she doesn’t remember much about it. We also learn a lot about Libby between That Night up until present day 25 years later. We learn that she was troubled and rude and unlovable which personally made me love her even more. I loved her and I hated her.

I hated Ben and sometimes I liked Ben. Conflicting feelings came when I got to know him from before That Night because I just saw a kid that was trying to fit in anywhere and unfortunately found the wrong crowd. I hated Ben because even though he found the wrong crowd, he still was a rude kid to his family. I liked Ben because he was trying to be a better person and 25 years later, maybe he wasn’t such a bad person after all?

And then there was Patty. I didn’t know how I felt about her until the end of the book. I can’t say why because it was spoil everything but I didn’t know that I could like a character so much after being so indifferent towards them for the first 300 pages. When the book was in her perspective, I felt sad that she had to live the way she did but I also knew that she could have changed it had she tried hard enough to.

About Ben being the killer: I went back and forth on this for most of the book. There were things that he said the day before the killings that made me feel like he did it and I was so sure he did it. Then there were things that were said by other people that made me so sure that he didn’t and couldn’t do it. In the end, I was very surprised. I don’t know if I loved it or was just kinda meh about it, but I felt like it was the best ending possible. Sometimes the best ending isn’t what we all want, though. Either way, that definitely did not stop me from giving this book five stars. It also won’t stop me from reading this book a second, third, or fourth time.

This book really made me think about what I would do in her situation. If I had a brother that has been in prison for a quarter century who might not even be the killer, then would I actively try to find out myself? Would I go talk to the other people that were around in that time and see what they knew or thought? Or would I just keep it the way it was and try to live my life as normally as I possibly could? Would I even get so desperate for cash that I would risk my life to try to dig up old facts about the tragedy?

I would recommend this to anyone that likes thrillers, anyone that likes the other Flynn books, anyone that liked The Virgin Suicides, and anyone that doesn’t mind gore and a lot of talk about murder and blood. ( )
  beearedee | Feb 14, 2015 |
This book was included in the download with Sharp Objects, that is why I read it even though I swore I wouldn’t read any more Gillian Flynn.

The murder in this book happened 24 years before the story starts and the murderer is behind bars. The Day family was massacred and seven-year old Libby testified against her brother, Ben, resulting in his conviction. Since then Libby has been living from relative to relative, paying her expenses with money raised through charity and a book deal. Now the money is running out and Libby is not qualified – or doesn’t want to – work. These circumstances lead to her contacting a group willing to pay for her to appear at a “Murder Convention”, what she is not told, this group believes Ben is innocent. They want Libby to help them get him released from prison. Libby doesn't like thinking about that day, she calls the memories, "Dark Places", but she needs – wants money, so she agrees to contact, her brother, her father and others to find out the truth.

The story is told from two different points of view, Libby’s in the present, first person narrative, and in the past, the day of the murder third person narrative, told from differing points of view. So you know you’re going to find out what really happened. There is a twist at the end though.

Libby is not a sympathetic character, she is also not ‘strong woman protagonist’, she is whiny and manipulative, she doesn’t see any reason to be a responsible adult, I don’t remember if she got therapy after the murder of her family, but she is definitely a damaged person. Much like Camille is in “Sharp Objects”, Libby however, makes no attempt to get better, just spends time blaming everyone else for her problems. Another offering that didn’t thrill me. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I was really excited to read another novel written by Gillian Flynn. I absolutely loved 'Gone Girl' and I had high expectations for this book. It pales in comparison to 'Gone Girl'.

The story was very slow and although it was supposed to read as a mystery/thriller, I just found it dull.

Its a story about a family of 5 that gets murdered with only the eldest son and youngest daughter surviving - the eldest son gets covicted of the crime and the whole story is about the surviving daughter (Libby) finding out what actually happened that night.

Libby is a very unlikable character and it seemed everything she did was motivated by money and not ya know.... motivated by any real desire to find out the truth like other normal human beings.

By the time the book got to the end, I just didn't care what happened that night and just wanted it to be over. Disappointing. ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
Very dark and intense mystery that was refreshing because it was so different from anything else I've read in quite a while. Absolutely wonderful prose. Gillian writes very unique metaphors and similes that were constantly catching my eye. I went with 4 stars over 5 since I thought part of the ending reveal was too blatantly hinted at early in the book for me. Don't get me wrong though, there were definitely twists and surprises a plenty! ( )
  luminescent_bookworm | Jan 27, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gillian Flynnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyytinen, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
To my dashing husband, Brett Nolan
First words
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
Quotations
Libby Day "I have 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."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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