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Dark Places: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
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Dark Places: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Gillian Flynn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,1063251,274 (3.83)243
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Dark Places: A Novel
Authors:Gillian Flynn
Info:Broadway Books (2010), Edition: 1 Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

  1. 82
    Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (kraaivrouw)
  2. 30
    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.
  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. 31
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  5. 10
    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. 21
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  7. 10
    A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: A similarly troubled protagonist and an equally tensely-plotted and well written mystery.
  8. 10
    Every Dead Thing by John Connolly (kraaivrouw)
  9. 21
    Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (VictoriaPL)
  10. 00
    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (sturlington)
  11. 00
    The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (RidgewayGirl)
  12. 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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» See also 243 mentions

English (313)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
brilliantly written. ( )
  Starla_Aurora | Oct 29, 2018 |
This was excellent. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was fabulous. This was the second book by Gillian Flynn that I have listened to. I wish that there were a dozen more. ( )
  Max_Tardiff | Oct 29, 2018 |
Gillian Flynn writes some very dark, disturbing books... and she writes them really, really well. Both of her books that I've read (this one and Sharp Objects) are written so well that I can clearly see every single thing she's writing about as if I have experienced the things she's writing about (which can be kind of weird sometimes, especially before bed). She's fantastic! I'm going to read Gone Girl next. ( )
  thisismelissaanne | Oct 29, 2018 |


This is not a 'nice' story, but boy, is it well written. I couldn't put it down. It's raw & very violent in parts, but those parts are essential to the story. You actually KNOW people like this, regardless of your station in life. Your heart will ache; you won't want the story to end. ( )
  MeeshN_AZ | Oct 18, 2018 |
Libby Day was just seven years old in 1985 when her 15-year-old brother went on a Satanic rampage and murdered her mother and two sisters. Nearly 25 years later, she's still suffering from the emotional upheaval. She's never held a job and has lived her entire life off the 1980s equivalent of a GoFundMe campaign. But now the money's run out and she's faced with the prospect of having to make her own way. In desperation she agrees to help a local "kill club" group of serial murder aficionados who are convinced (though she is not) that her brother Ben is innocent. They will pay her to talk to people from her past to try to uncover the real killer.

I really liked the setup for the story. Libby isn't what you'd call a likable character but I felt like I understood how she came to be the way she is and to have sympathy for her even while disapproving of some of the choices she made. And Flynn is a skilled writer, handy with a phrase or an observation that advances the characters and story in positive ways. I didn't love the back-and-forth jumps between 1985 and 2009, or the changing points of view between Libby, Ben, and their mother but they were clearly signposted.

Having said that, this ultimately fell flat for me, for a variety of reasons. The ultimate reveal was unbelievable and reeked of an author who couldn't make up her mind. As I've noted in other books by Flynn (her debut, Sharp Objects and megaseller Gone Girl) she doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word subtle or where to stop. The family is not just poor, they are completely destitute. Their mother is not just struggling to cope with four children as a single parent; she's reduced to feeding them mustard sandwiches because they have no food and lets them watch TV at all hours of the day and night. One of the suspects Libby tracks down isn't just a drunk loser who is homeless after being kicked out of a group home for recovering alcoholics, he's living in the middle of a Superfund toxic waste dump. The murders weren't just committed with a knife but also a shotgun and an axe.

And speaking of that knife, shotgun and axe, the violence here is also extremely graphic. For me that was the least of this book's problems but sensitive readers or animal lovers may want to steer clear for that alone. It's all of a piece with what I wrote earlier — just too much and over the top. I wish Flynn trusted her readers enough to leave some things to their imaginations. ( )
  rosalita | Oct 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
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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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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.”
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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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