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Dark Places

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  642,937 ratings  ·  37,588 reviews
From The #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Of Gone Girl

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and p
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Shaye Areheart Books
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Judy Desetti As a middle school librarian my vote is NOT appropriate for a 14 yr old. Give yourself about 2 or 3 more years and come back to it. Books don't go awa…moreAs a middle school librarian my vote is NOT appropriate for a 14 yr old. Give yourself about 2 or 3 more years and come back to it. Books don't go away, they will still be available in a few years when you have more life experiences and can understand the depth of emotions for the characters and events. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  642,937 ratings  ·  37,588 reviews

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Emily May
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
“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.”

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 t
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
yo this book freaky, Ben real creepy and Libby kinda dumb
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
cool idea, shitty ending
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 a whole *nuther* 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 bold scenarios. The plot is so “out-there”, yet w
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Miranda Reads
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

I was raised feral, and I mostly stayed that way.
Libby Day is famous for all the wrong reasons.

When she was seven years old when her mother and two sisters were murdered at the height of the Satanic Panic in her small town in Kansas.

All the evidence pointed to Ben, Libby's older brother. The same older brother that Libby adored and idolized.

And with that, Libby's life came crashing down, and it hasn't stopped falling since.
I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable a
Jun 25, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: detective, novel, horror
Gripping and entertained!


You gotta believe in something, right? Everyone has their thing.

This is my second novel by Gillian Flynn, and now I am realizing that I have been reading them backwards, I mean in the opposite publishing order, but this has been due mainly the order of film adaptations. However, I won’t wait until having any film adaptation of Sharp Objects, to read that one. I do hope to read it in the following months.

My reading experience with Gone Girl wasn’t an
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my first experience with gillian flynn was a minor disaster. i had no idea how dark and disturbing her stories would be, so i was nowhere close to being in the right mental state for that kind of thing. now knowing the twisted things she is capable of writing, i found this book to be quite thrilling!

ive also found GF has quite a slow paced style of writing but, with this particular story, i thought it worked really well. it helps develop the characters, establish a timeline of day of the crime,
Dan Schwent
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 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, where
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
chan ☆
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
i do NOT like the ending of this book. maybe that's just me and thrillers, idk.

but otherwise this was fantastically told.
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Noémy

4.5 stars . *breathes deeply* What a ride! Finally a mystery that keeps its appeal intact after the first 50% and does not make me roll my eyes all duh! like in the end. Let's see why, shall we?

Highly recommended if you can stomach the depression. *whispers* In the end, I even rooted for Libby. Don't ask me why. I just did. Nobody's perfect, okay? I said that the characters made me sick, but oh, the sadness. The despair. The misunderstandings. The loneliness. My heart aches from lack of hop
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is by far my favorite book ever! I started this knowing how much I enjoyed Gone Girl and when I got started with this I couldn't put it down. My soul bonded to this book from the first word. Page turner and an unforgettable ride. A hell of a ride. The movie is just as good and I can rarely say that about books and movies. Ugh, great, spectacular, amazing, eventful, mind-blowing, utterly fantastic. Read this book!!!!!! After reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl I knew I had to read her other no ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

Dark Places is a mystery novel by Gillian Flynn published in 2009.

The novel deals with class issues in rural America, intense poverty and the Satanic cult hysteria that swept the United States in the 1980's.

Libby Day, the novel's narrator and protagonist, is the sole survivor of a massacre in Kinnakee, Kansas, a fictional rural town. After witnessing the murders of her two sisters and mother, in what appears to be a Satanic cult ritual, she escapes through a window an
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing like reading Gillian Flynn during the holidays to make you feel significantly better about your own family

Watch me discuss this book in my December wrap up:
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, mystery
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
j e w e l s
“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, Dark Places

Gillian Flynn is the MUTHA of all domestic noir. She's my spirit animal. I feel defensive about her books, I think sometimes she gets a bad rap because her novels are so dark. Her characters unlikeable. Her plots are crazy. True, true, true.

Underneath it all, it is impossible to overlook her talent in characterization. Every book I read
Jul 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Wow, I am flabbergasted! Is this what people are reading in the name of 'mystery' these days? A boring book, with unpleasant and unrealistic characters and an unbelievable resolution. The protagonist is Libby Day, a woman whose family was murdered when she was a child, and she was the one who gave evidence that put her brother behind bars for these murders. Twenty four years later, when she is contacted by a murder club, which offers to pay money to her to help them investigate, she accepts the ...more
Andrew Smith
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t like Gone Girl, which I though started quite well but went rapidly down hill from half way. So I approached this one with caution. I shouldn’t have worried though, I could tell from the start this was going to be right up my alley. Libby is a lazy kleptomaniac who is living off the inherited life insurance from her hideously slaughtered family – well, who wouldn’t warm to a character like that!

Libby’s brother Ben is the only other survivor of the massacre, and he is in prison having a
Jonathan Janz
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Back in 2012 and early 2013, I remember hearing a lot about a baseball player named Mike Trout. Being a Cubs fan (see: suffering), I didn't get many chances to watch the Angels since they play late at night, and for me that's prime writing time.

But my son and I got the opportunity to catch an Angels-Cubs game on July 10th, 2013, and I finally got the opportunity to watch Mike Trout play in person at Wrigley Field.

His stat line? Three hits, two of them doubles. A walk. A stolen base. Some spark
This book was insaaaaane. But so so good. Dark Places was my first Gillian Flynn book (though I have seen the Gone Girl movie) but I fully plan on picking up her other books now.

It’s the kind of novel that makes you question what on earth we humans can come up with. I kept wondering what was going on in Gyllian Flynn’s head. How does she think of these things?

Dark Places is vile, macabre and gruesome. The author doesn’t hold back, instead she seemingly bombards you with everything ugly that is o
Clumsy Storyteller
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reading, favorites
Disturbing /heartbreaking /Perfect/thriller/mystery/suspense novel i loved the twist i really didn't see that one coming, The main character, Libby was a damaged soul, 3 of her family members were killed by her brother Ben (that's what the author wants you to think :p) i didn't like Libby very much she's a slob lonely woman, she had a rough start in life but that's not an excuse for sitting around and waiting for people to support her financially, it was annoying but she had her reasons, her br ...more
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'Dark Places' contains everything that makes a great murder mystery: conflicting accounts of the truth, unnerving characters, a complex and clever protagonist, and an over running theme of macabre. I would almost go as far as saying that it surpasses Flynn's hit novel 'Gone Girl'.

Libby Day is still burdened by the brutal murders of her mother and sisters that took place in their family home in 1985 when Libby was just seven years old. Now, thirty-one years of age, Libby has to deal with the pres
Reading Corner
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark Places is a masterpiece, composed of troubled characters,disturbing deeds and buried secrets.For me, it wasn't as good as Gone Girl or Sharp Objects but it still managed to be a fantastic mystery, full of suspense and tragedy.Gillian Flynn takes a similar route with her characters as Libby Day is a deeply troubled individual, seeking the truth behind her family's murder.She uncovers numerous shocking truths which shape this novel into a true page-turner.

Libby Day is an incredibly complex ch
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers-us
Dark Places is Gillian Flynn’s second novel.
Libby Day is 31 years old and her funds are running low!
Her mother and two sisters were massacred when she was 7 years old . Since the tragedy she has been living on the donations given to her by well-wishers. She has never had a job, she is a loner and she feels deeply embittered by new tragedies that take people’s donations away from her......
As a result of Libby’s testimony, her 15 year old brother, Ben, was imprisoned for the crimes. He has been
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read Dark Places waaaaaaaay before I ever thought about writing giffy reviews for a hobby. That ‘splains why there’s always just been my 4 Star rating sitting here with no picture book accompaniment. But I live where this book takes place and I’m familiar with the landmarks and the vibe of certain locales that made the action so tangible to me and soon it will hit the big screen filled with A-list actors in the starring roles causing people to poke around and find my ugly blank review space.

Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-to-film


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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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

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Twists, turns, and whodunits. We pride ourselves on recommending some great mysteries and thrillers here at the Goodreads office. So, we decided...
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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.” 647 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.” 485 likes
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