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Dark Places

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  145,538 ratings  ·  15,494 reviews
Libby Day was just seven years old when her brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Ever since then she has been drifting, but now the money is running out. When she is offered $500 to do a guest appearance, she feels she has to accept, unaware that the infamous Kill Club's members believe her brother was innocent.
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published 2009 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Abby As someone who was 14 not too long ago, I can tell you the sex stuff probably won't be the disturbing part. But the descriptions of gore and violence…moreAs someone who was 14 not too long ago, I can tell you the sex stuff probably won't be the disturbing part. But the descriptions of gore and violence are pretty vivid, so if you have a wild imagination and are sensitive to that kind of stuff, be cautious. (less)
Ashley Fox As a mom of 3 (ages 16, 12, and 8), I agree with Judy D. You will get more out of it if you wait a few years. I read a lot of Stephen King from about…moreAs a mom of 3 (ages 16, 12, and 8), I agree with Judy D. You will get more out of it if you wait a few years. I read a lot of Stephen King from about 5th grade on, and while I thought I understood what I was reading, there was a lot that went right over my head until I re-read the same books later in life. As far as being appropriate, I would say no. It contains plenty of bad language, gore, and intense situations and mature subject matter (drug use, Satanic rituals, sex, child murder, and child molestation are some of the themes that I don't think would be appropriate for 14 year olds.) (less)
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Community Reviews

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Emily May
Aug 11, 2012 Emily May rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana

I highly recommend reading this whilst sitting in the sun with plenty of happy people around you (as I did) - that way you can avoid contracting something evil and nasty from its pages, and also avoid losing any hope you had for humanity. Okay, sorry, I make it sound so negative when actually this book is pretty fantastic if you can stomach the horrors within. I ate this up in a couple of days, finding every opportunity to read that I could... Flynn certainly has a talent for dragging you into
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karen

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.

gillian flynn sure does love writing about horrible people doing horrible things.and i sure do love reading about them. especially because she isn't one of those writers coasting on shock value and "can you belieeeeeve a delicate flower of a woman is writing this??" but she can really tell a story and i, for one, was completely surprised and pleased by the ending o
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Tatiana
Oct 02, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who can stomach filth
As seen on The Readventurer

Seriously, what goes on in Gillian Flynn's head? She writes the freakiest stuff. Sharp Objects was nasty enough, and Dark Places is just as vile. Luckily for her, I (along with millions of people) like vile now and then.

Libby Day is a sole survivor of a horrendous massacre. Her mother and two sisters were brutally killed one winter night and, mostly thanks to Libby's testimony, the murders were attributed to Libby's older brother Ben, an alleged active Satan worshiper.
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Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Jan 14, 2014 Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller lovers, true crime fans, women
Recommended to Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym) by: Entertainment Weekly
Normally I wouldn't give a genre book like this a 5-star review, because I'm picky and controlling about handing out major praise. How could a crime/mystery be as good as, say, Thomas Hardy or Alice Munro? Apples and oranges.

But I just finished this about five minutes ago, and it made me gasp. It's so good -- a well-paced page-turner, beautifully wrought. I literally couldn't put it down for longer than a couple hours at a time once I picked it up (with the exception of sleep).

According to her A
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Kemper
As someone who grew up in rural Kansas and has lived in the suburbs of Kansas City for the last fourteen years, I made my peace long ago with the fact that I don’t reside in one of the hip places on the map. The only Kansas based things that have worked their way into popular culture are In Cold Blood and that goddamn Wizard of Oz. (As a Kansan, I listen to everyone I’ve met from somewhere else do the “I guess you’re not in Kansas anymore! Ha ha!” thing and can barely resist the urge to punch th ...more
Terry
Gillian Flynn's first novel, Sharp Objects, was interestingly disturbing; in fact, it walked a razor-thin line between "Huh, you certainly don't read that every day" and "Gillian Flynn has some serrrriiiious issues and I'm a little bit afraid of her". I wasn't sure whether I respected her extremely dark side or her dark side is so dark it makes her books kind of uncomfortable to read.

Strangely enough (once you know the story outline) Dark Places actually has a more conventional plot than Sharp
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Dan Schwent
When person or persons unknown murdered her entire family, seven year old Libby Day managed to escape and fingered her brother Ben as the killer. Now, decades later, she's a dysfunctional and nearly penniless, and after meeting some true crime enthusiasts, isn't so sure her brother was the murderer after all. Can Libby discover the truth?

After dodging Gillian Flynn for years in the wake of Gone Girl, I finally caved it when this showed up in one of my daily cheap ebook emails. Gillian Flynn, whe
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Nataliya
Lesson learned # 1: Gillian Flynn is excellent at creating unpleasant characters and disturbing situations.
“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.”
Lesson learned # 2: Reading her books in a dark apartment at 3 am is a big making-skin-crawl mistake.

Dark Places is a book capable of leaving a nasty aftertaste and vague uncomfortable feeling for days after finishing it. I strongly suspect it is its intend
...more
Brooke
Well. I can't really say that I liked this book. None of the characters are likable, including the main character. Libby Day's family was killed by her brother when she was 7. By the time she hits 30, she's still 7 inside, her inner growth stunted by the tragedy. She can barely take care of herself, has never had a job, and suddenly the money that strangers donated out of charity over the years is down to about $900. To replenish her bank account, Libby grudgingly agrees to pimp herself out to a ...more
Kristin (KC)
*4.5 Stars*

Gillian Flynn scares me…


But it’s a good scare! A keep-you-up-all-night-anxiously-reading-because-closing-the-book-is-not-an-option kinda scare.

If you thought Gone Girl was twisted, make room for Dark Places because this suspenseful thriller takes “freaky” to whole new level.

I went in thinking I was fully prepared…

I wasn’t.

This book is so astoundingly demented, it truly makes me wonder exactly how Miss Flynn thinks up such uniquely bold scenarios. The plot is so “out-there”, yet w
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Giselle
If I have learned one thing from this author, it's that she can write some psychotic characters. And that's what I love the most about her books. You never know who you should trust, every person you meet feels like a bomb that's about to explode in your face. Bring it ON!!

While Flynn is best known for her more recent release, Gone Girl, and while that book is a serious messed up ride that I won't soon forget, I have to say that I think I enjoyed Dark Places just as much, if not a bit more than
...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Other Reviewers mentioned they didn't like Libby! How can you NOT love Libby. She's emotionally troubled, selfish, lazy, angry and does not want to love anyone including herself. She is exactly how you would expect someone to be when your entire family is butchered while you are hiding and eventually running for your life.

Flynn, I bow down to you for not making this character "rise above" her past and for writing a character so perfectly, that my heart literally felt like it was broken while I
...more
Dean Petersen
This is an amazing novel. Black and depressing, with a main character that's both pathetic and disgusting, but likable at the same time. Meloncholy, ironic, dark and wonderful.
Aly∞
I am a liar and a thief. Don't let me into your house, and if you do, don't leave me alone. I take things. You can catch me with your string of fine pearls clickering in my greedy little paws, and I'll tell you they reminded me of my mother's and I just had to touch them, just for a second, and I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me.


Libby Day's entire family was slaughtered, and she fingered her brother as the murderer. Locked up and far out of sight, Libby is 'living' her life... as much
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Robert
Gillian Flynn scares the shit out of me. Whilst this is nothing more than pure conjecture, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn she was a serial killer in a former life, or that she stabs bunnies and kittens and hamsters and toy poodles during her spare time (for research purposes). Sure, she has her shit together, but she has an interesting way of sprinkling her love for Kansas across 368 ink-splattered pages. It begs the question: What would she do with a state like California and in a city like L ...more
Greg
If you are the kind of person who likes books where some people are killed and there is confusion over who did it, and through the course of the book complexities and resolutions happen then you just might like this book.

I don't know if I would call this a mystery, yes there is death and there is the question of, well who did it? But to me mystery's are usually kind of bland and episodic and generally not really that interesting outside of the idea of who did what (I love making sweeping genera
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Becky
My first experience with Gillian Flynn was her book Gone Girl, which I loved. I loved how each page revealed some new level of depravity and it appealed to that part of me that is fascinated by the squirmy gross things that live under rocks. It was great.

So now I'm going back to her older work, and playing catch up. I've had this one on my "I should read that someday" list for years, and I'm glad that I finally got around to it because, even if I didn't love it QUITE as much as Gone Girl, it's
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Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
Jul 13, 2009 Liberty Abbott-Sylvester rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like a twisted, suspensful story
Recommended to Liberty by: Novel Ladies 5 Star Nomination
This was my first book by Gillian Flynn and it will not be my last.
Gillian Flynn is a masterful writer who can take an idea and twist and turn it into a dark intense story that you cannot put down-not even if you wanted to. Dark Places had me hooked at the beginning and breathless at the end.

Dark Places tells the story from the perspective of three individuals-Patty Day and two of her children, Ben and Libby. The Day family was massacred at their Kansas farm, the only survivors were Libby and B
...more
9 3/4
Disturbing, violent, dark and mysterious with a hypnotic tendency towards the macabre! Gillian Flynn did it again!

I read Flynn's first novel in February and I immensely fell in love with it. It was shocking, violent, dark but it was also amazingly clever. So I had to read more books by her! I am so glad that I did! This is, dare I say, even better that Sharp Objects!

This was such a dark and violent read, exactly like Flynn's first work. She is not affraid to hint many difficult subjects that ar
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Bill
edit:

I am modifying this review because since I finished it, I have read and loved Sharp Objects. This lady is a can't-miss read.

Back to the review (and take this one with a grain of whatever. I enjoyed Gone Girl and Sharp Objects more, but many people find Dark Places their favorite. So read 'em all.)


Normally when I hear about a new author I like to read their works in the order they had written them.

This is a rare case for me where I'm moving backwards.
I loved Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn's lates
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Patrick
This had the tightest You Must Keep Reading stranglehold on me since I read "The Ruins" a year ago. Although I liked the main character from Flynn's first book, "Sharp Objects" more (both are psychologically disturbed 30ish single women), the murder mystery in "Dark Places" was more gripping and unfolded in such an interesting way, as present-day Libby digs into her family's murder while the events are illuminated in corresponding flashbacks featuring her now-dead mother or now-incarcerated brot ...more
Natalie Monroe
4.5 stars

Flynn has a gift for creating absolutely despicable characters that you can't help but sympathize with.



Everyone in this book is horrible, from the narrator's ten-year-old sister, who is a gossip-monger and blackmails people for their silence, to the deadbeat dad who physically threatens his wife for money.

Even the main character, Libby, isn't spared. She's the sole survivor of a massacre that killed her entire family when she was seven. The police arrested her brother per her eyewitne
...more
Laz
Nov 05, 2014 Laz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this author has a very unique (unique as in dark and twisted) trail of thoughts and that combined with her amazing set of writing skills, which is very depicting and cuts right to the chase of the story, makes her stand out among other writers of our times.

This story is particulary dark & twisted (darker than 'Gone Girl'). Well, we cannot blame Mrs. Flynn as she already did her part in naming the book 'Dark Places' which is NEON LIGHTS for "dark and
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Stephanie
The One Sentence Summary: A woman who testified thirty years earlier that her brother slaughtered her entire family begins to investigate the crime after doubts about her brother’s guilt begin to surface.

The Meat and Potatoes: When Libby Day was seven, her mother and two sisters were killed in their rural Kansas farmhouse, their blood used to paint satanic symbols on the walls. Ben Day, Libby’s moody fifteen-year-old brother, was convicted of the murders, largely on the basis of Libby’s testimon
...more
twelvejan [Alexandria]
A 4.5 bumped up to a 5

Do you guys watch Cold Case?

This is my first Gillian Flynn novel, and it definitely wont be the last. My journey with Dark Places was like an episode of Cold Case. I could just imagine, an episode titled "Murder Day". In place of chapters, we have different POVs, alternating between the present day and the day leading to the murder, 24 years ago. It was mostly narrated from the POV of Libby Day. Each time she met or interviewed a potential suspect, I could picture them as t
...more
Ellen Hopkins
The voice was better in GONE GIRL. This one had a better ending, although I figured out the big reveal before the end of the book. It's hard for writers to be readers, I think. We read with a different eye.
Shandra {The Happy New Mrs}
Any spoilers will be clearly marked.

warning photo: warning warning.jpg

This is a review of a very dark book. Some quotes will be included, and may offend some. You have been warned. Proceed at your own risk...

satisfied photo: Satisfied satisfied.gif

That….now, that….was a good GREAT book!!!!

I'll do my best not to fangirl out on you here. I've read all three of Flynn's books. I didn't think she could get better than Gone Girl, but color me wrong.

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 f
...more
Dem
Dark places by Gillian Flynn is great mystery Novel.

I really enjoyed this novel and have enjoyed all of Gillian Flynn's books.

This is a dark twisted tale with despicable characters, a dark and sometimes harrowing but well developed plot which some readers may find just too uncomfortable to read. This is not a happy story or a feel good book. On the other hand if you like a little of the above then Dark Places will keep you turning the pages and have you sit up reading long into the night.

What a
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Trudi
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....Draw a picture of my soul and it’d be a scribble with fangs.
With her second novel, Gillian Flynn has become one of my favorite authors. She blends genres like a mad genius -- crime, mystery, the macabre, the grotesque, family dysfunction, small town Americana -- taking the reader on dark and disturbing journeys, steeped in contradiction -- whe
...more
Jeanne

Meh.

Well, unfortunately this wasn't the page turner Gone Girl was for me. The most interesting thing about this book in my opinion was Libby's character. Where Gone Girl started out slow and then got really good, this one started out amazing and then went flat. I do like that Gillian Flynn creates these screwed up characters and I found Libby to be somewhat entertaining. Ms. Flynn isn't known for writing likable characters to be inspired by, but Libby was interesting. Her emotional growth was k
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♥ BR ♥: Dark Places br 161 49 7 hours, 35 min ago  
Novel Books &...: Flynn, Gillian - Dark Places; Relaxed Buddy Read- Starts December 1, 2014 28 171 Dec 12, 2014 08:00AM  
Out of the three narrators, which was your fave? 8 119 Dec 12, 2014 06:17AM  
hateful characters 3 65 Dec 03, 2014 10:26AM  
En Español, Please!: La Llamada del Kill Club - (Noviembre 2014) 2 14 Nov 13, 2014 06:23AM  
Am I the only one that notice? 2 170 Nov 09, 2014 12:33PM  
Did anyone else find it out of character for Libby... 4 153 Nov 07, 2014 01:07PM  
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Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Mi
...more
More about Gillian Flynn...
Gone Girl Sharp Objects The Novels of Gillian Flynn: Sharp Objects, Dark Places L'amore bugiardo - La versione di Nick L'amore bugiardo - La versione di Amy

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“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.” 351 likes
“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.” 171 likes
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