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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
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Dark Places (edition 2009)

by Gillian Flynn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6792551,429 (3.83)213
Member:Pigletto
Title:Dark Places
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Phoenix (2009), Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:mystery, thriller, USA, read in 2013

Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  1. 82
    Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (kraaivrouw)
  2. 31
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  3. 20
    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.
  4. 20
    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. 21
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  6. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  7. 00
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (sturlington)
  8. 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.
  9. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  10. 00
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  11. 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.
  12. 12
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)
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» See also 213 mentions

English (243)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (254)
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
Whoa! Gillian Flynn, you can get me to believe anything you write.

There is no one in this story to root for, only the ones you don't actually wish were dead. You can feel the grime of poverty on every page, making you want to wash your hands when you put it down. And somehow, despite how improbable the climax is, Flynn writes it so that you can only think it was inevitable.

Fantastic read. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
While I found the mystery intriguing and I definitely listened to the audiobook every chance I got, the plot is not as tightly told nor is the central mystery as believable as it is in her other works.

What worked the best for me was Libby, a childhood survivor of a gruesome murder, as some sort of modern day noiresque private investigator. A woman PI with a personal connection to the murders was just delicious to read. I’d love to see more of that in literature. I also liked seeing a thriller that included a queer person (her aunt is a lesbian) without that being used as a way of othering someone strange or being attached to a perpetrator. Her aunt is a bystander in every sense of the word. She is never a suspect, she provides Libby with a home environment after the murders, and her sexual orientation is just a part of who she is, not a plot point. I also liked the changing perspectives among Libby present, Libby past, her mother, and her brother. I thought it added to the mystery since seeing these other perspectives did not immediately reveal precisely what was going on. I also thought it made it harder to judge her mother than it might be if the reader hadn’t had her perspective.

However, this was the first time that I was both sure who the perpetrator was quite early in a Flynn novel and also that I was disappointed by who the murderer is. I thought there was nothing creative or exciting about it, and honestly it kind of bugged me a little bit. There is also one trope that shows up here that bothered me. It could be a bit spoilery (not too bad) so skip the next paragraph if you’re concerned about that.


Libby at the end of the book ends up in a scenario that is very similar to the first murders that she survived. It’s basically a trauma survivor finding that all their fears were right by improbably having almost the same scenario happen a second time. I think it was supposed to be scary, but it just irritated me.


I also must say that I felt the whole Satanic scare thing was very dated. Yes, I get it that was a huge thing in the 80s and this is a story about murders that happened 25 years ago but something about it just made the whole book feel dated to me. I couldn’t get into it partly because I was certain that the book would ultimately reveal Satanism had nothing to do with it, since that’s just the way that plot point always goes. I suppose you could sum up most of my issues with this book as the plot was too predictable to be much fun.

Overall, if you’re a big Gillian Flynn fan and just want to experience some thrills, this book will provide some of them with the dash of strong female characters you’ve come to expect. However, do expect to be a bit disappointed by a more predictable plot and twist that isn’t all that twisty.

Check out my full review.

*initial thoughts*
Very thrilling most of the way through. I predicted part of the ending but not all of it. Ultimately I was a bit disappointed by the last few pages, though. Kept it from 5 stars. ( )
  gaialover | May 19, 2016 |
this is the story of how an entire family is ruined in one day. it's one of the most deeply disturbing books i've ever read, but also somehow brilliant. normally i really stay away from books written in the first-person but this is one of the only kinds of stories where not only a split-time narrative, but also a mixture of first-person and third-person storytelling really, really works. the way that gillian flynn weaves details into the story that are seemingly unimportant but pop up later and make you shout "oh!" as you realize their significance is really impressive. this is one of those books that you can't just read casually; you have to keep reading, you have to find out who did it, you have to keep going until you get to the very end. ( )
  captainmander | May 11, 2016 |
This is the first thriller I've read since Thomas Harris' superb Red Dragon ten years ago or more, and Flynn's ability to raft suspense and to develop believable human characters is just as deft. Her phrasing and images are chlear and shap, sometimes brutal, and she avoids overblown prose or clunky, qualified dialogue. Taking place at the height of the Satanic Ritual Abuse mania of the 1980s, Flynn utilizes that as a motif to keep the reader guessing as to who and what should be believed or discounted. If you are looking for a fast paced and unflinching thriller that relies on the gravity of traumatic experience and real human weakness, this is a commendable novel. ( )
  poetontheone | May 9, 2016 |

thrilling story, couldn't put it down. Gillian Flynn creates roller-coaster rides that keep you guessing till the end. I enjoy her character development. You know each and every person. Very descriptive. and I like that she writes around my locales; seems to make it more 'mine.' ( )
  debbie-1955 | May 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
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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
“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.”
Last words
(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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No descriptions found.

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)

» see all 10 descriptions

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