Dark Places
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Dark Places

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  126,747 ratings  ·  13,886 reviews
Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she had been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are...more
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Shaye Areheart Books (first published 2009)
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Emily May
Aug 11, 2012 Emily May rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
Tatiana
Oct 02, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
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....more
Kristen
Jan 14, 2014 Kristen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: thriller lovers, true crime fans, women
Recommended to Kristen 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...more
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 live 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 them...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...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
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.
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
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...more
Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
Jul 13, 2009 Liberty Abbott-Sylvester rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...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...more
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
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
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...more
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
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...more
Megan
Devil worship in the 1980’s! Back then, I was a rebellious Catholic school student who read a lot of horror paperbacks, listened to Metallica and dated leather jacket wearing, cigarette smoking public school boys (gasp!) Ah, those were the days =) Gillian Flynn includes tons of eighties details such as scrunching a spiral perm with mouse and rolling up your baggy pants legs a few inches to show off socks that match your shirt. In fact, Flynn is good with all of the details of the story. So much...more
Ashley Hart
Let me start this by saying I never write reviews, but I just had to for this one. I really enjoyed Gillian Flynn's first book, Sharp Objects. So when I decided I was in the mood for a good mystery, one that grabs you and doesn't let you go till the very end, I was fortunate in remembering that she had just come out with a new book. Let me tell you, this book did exactly what I was hoping for and more. The story centers on Libby Day, a broken woman who suffered an unthinkable tragedy when she wa...more
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
Jennifer
I've read Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Dark Places: in that order. Each book was better than the last. Dark Places is my absolute favorite!! Gillian Flynn does not dissapoint. She is a brilliant storyteller. And she scares me, the way Stephen King scares me. Can you be sane and think of this stuff up? Anyway, I can't wait for her next book!
Ellen Puccinelli
I loved Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. This novel was also amazingly written and makes it clear that SO was by no means a fluke or a one-time thing for this writer. The rhyme presented before this novel's beginning is so creepy that there are some who will likely read the first few pages in the bookstore and put the book right back on the shelf because of that alone. And if you are easily creeped out, putting the book back would be a smart idea. For everyone else, this novel is another must-read...more
Katie
Oh, Gillian Flynn. Reading her books always makes me feel like I need to get in the tub and scrub myself clean. That's not exactly a complaint, but nor is it a compliment. Her novels are dark, disturbing, dirty, disgusting...yet also total page-turners you can't put down.

She excels at creating grim, memorable characters and settings that leap out from the page. Flynn also consistently creates a mood in her books that has you checking out your window every now and then just to remind yourself th...more
Diane
Warning: This book is dark, twisted and is filled with unredeeming characters. But if you're interested in a Gillian Flynn book, then you probably know that already.

"Dark Places" is the story of Libby Day, who was 7 years old when her mother and sisters were murdered in their rural Kansas home. She escaped by climbing out a window and hiding in the woods. Her brother, Ben, was charged in the crime and was accused of being a Satan worshiper.

The story alternates between the present day, when Libby...more
Ij
The chapters in Dark Places center around three persons:

Libby Day
Patty Day
Ben Day

Ben and Libby have both current and flashback chapters. Patty’s chapters are all flashbacks, since she and two of her daughters, Michelle and Debby, were murdered, on January 3, 1985.

The family unit which had consisted of a mother, Patty, who lived on a family farm with her four children, Ben, Michelle, Debby, and Libby. Libby was seven years old when the murder occurred. The story is about Libby’s survival of the...more
Jess Michaelangelo
I'm just gonna come right out and say it--this is easily one of the best books I've read this year.

I knew it was going to be as soon as I read the first page, which I will now force you to read so you can bask in its awesomeness:

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. Litt
...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.
Blair
Ever since I (along with half the world) enjoyed Gillian Flynn's most recent novel Gone Girl last year, I have had her previous books on my mental to-read list. I'm not sure what made me decide to read this now, but I wish I'd done it earlier, because it is a great book - extremely enjoyable in a very dark way.

Libby Day is the sole survivor of a massacre in which her mother and two sisters were violently murdered. Aged seven, she was encouraged to testify against her older brother Ben, who was c...more
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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 Gillian Flynn CD Audiobook Bundle: Gone Girl; Dark Places; Sharp Objects ゴーン・ガール Vol. 1

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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.” 301 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.” 136 likes
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