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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places (edition 2009)

by Gillian Flynn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6342491,451 (3.82)212
Title:Dark Places
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Phoenix (2009), Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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 212 mentions

English (238)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (249)
Showing 1-5 of 238 (next | show all)
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Libby Day survived the massacre of her family and has had to live with the fact that her brother, Ben, killed her mother and sisters. She was spared because she hid, and she has been hiding from life ever since. Years later, a golden goose walks into her life in the form of a murder enthusiast club, offering money in exchange for the truth about that fateful day. As Libby digs deeper, she learns that not everything about that terrible tragedy was as it seemed to be.

This is the second novel that I have read by Gillian Flynn, and I am sad to say that it is the second one that has started off painfully slow in the beginning, and picked up pace about a third of the way through the book. The progression was so slow that I had to read a few chapters at a time and then reward myself by reading a different book for a while. It took me almost two months to get through the beginning because of this; luckily, the pace picked up and I finished it not long after.

The cast of characters is painfully hard to like. In fact, it is as if Flynn took stock of every character attribute that people hate, and threw them all into Libby Day and her remaining family. I would say that usually you can find something redeemable in almost every character, something that makes you feel a kind of empathy at some point, but the ones in this book are so miniscule that I couldn’t wait to move on to the next horrible character, and find out what happened. To be fair, Patty Day, the mother who we see the day of the murders, is enjoyable to read and the most relateable of the bunch for me. I kind of wish we got her full story and that this was a tale of Patty’s descent into poverty with Runner, before it meets its tragic end.

The other unfortunate thing about this book is that we get the past and present juxtaposed, with the story of the past being the better story of the two. It’s unfortunate as well because they never fully explain how Libby deduces what actually happened that night. In one instance, we find it out in the past, but then somehow Libby pieces it together with an “I figured it out” type of statement, without actually explaining it. That leaves me feeling pretty empty in terms of emotional investment, because she was supposed to be investigating it but really just keeps stumbling onto the information.

The killer is discovered in an incredible coincidence, which leaves the ending pretty flat. While still a tragic story, it wasn’t enough of a bang for the investment that I’ve had to give in reading it. We leave without knowing the future of the characters in any set terms, although the skeleton is laid out for our contemplation.

I also disliked the character personalities of the teenagers in the past. They seemed too violent and too old; although I suppose Trey was much older than Ben, and Ben was the baby of the bunch, but it was definitely eerie to read and gruesome in instances. There is a Satanic sacrifice of a bull; which was really just the teens chasing a bull around and killing it ruthlessly.

I know that this is going to be made into a movie, and I am interested to see how they manage to keep it rated R. It is incredibly violent and graphic in places, and I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is uncomfortable with that. But someone who liked the gore in Gone Girl and wants more would definitely like it.

(www.FictionForesight.com) ( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
I began reading this last year after finishing "Gone Girl," but it was very slow in comparison and I put it aside initially. That's the funny thing about books- their words change depending on what you are experiencing. I picked it up again after moving into our new place and I couldn't put it down. The story is unique in that none of the characters react in the way that I expected, and even after uncovering the truth, I had to go back and reread some as I thought I missed something.

Good weekend read! ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
Once again, as with sharp Objects, I loved the flawed characters who made an otherwise average storyline shine. I made a comment to a friend saying that I hope none of Gillian Flynn's characters notice me reading. Their lives are so screwed up and if you get to close, they'll pull you right in. Great job. ( )
  EJFin | Apr 6, 2016 |
***Spoiler Alert***

Sooooo...finally finished it today. It actually got better as the book went on. For me, it picked up around the 100 page mark. The ending kind of felt like it was put there just because she couldn't be bothered writing anymore. Saying that, I loved the story. I liked the way it played out, just felt that she could have written the Angel of Debt into it a bit better than she did. Made it fit the story more than it did. He kind of appeared from nowhere (other than the meeting in the foresty type area) and then boom! The case was solved everyone was happy.
I didn't mind the flicking backwards and forwards. That was alright and once the story got going it seemed to flow quite well, even between the time periods. ( )
  bollydophie2016 | Mar 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 238 (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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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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(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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