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Dark Places: A Novel | [Gillian Flynn]

Dark Places: A Novel

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.
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Publisher's Summary

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer.

Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details, proof they hope may free Ben, Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club...and maybe she'll admit her testimony wasn't so solid after all.

As Libby's search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby's doomed family members, including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town.

Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started...on the run from a killer.

©2009 Gillian Flynn; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre." (Stephen King)
"A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (9993 )
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4.3 (8536 )
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4.5 (8512 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-23-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-23-15 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    297
    ratings
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    94
    50
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    13
    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Haunting"

    Gillian Flynn seams to have a knack for telling a story. She is able to put you smack in the middle of the fray. I had issues with the conclusion, but not enough to say this wasn't a masterfully crafted story. Kudos to the narrators.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    General Zod Springfield, IL 05-17-14
    General Zod Springfield, IL 05-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Kneel Before Zod!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
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    69
    36
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    Story
    "Really Good Mystery"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dark Places to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version, but this version is nicely done.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it was told, and the pace.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Meeting the fans of her brother.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 04-14-14
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2015

    An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brutally Good!"

    I am a fan of Gillian Flynn. Not only is she an excellent story teller, she does something continually that amazes me...she creates characters that I often dislike and then, through the magic of her craft, I find myself hooked on them, cheering them on, routing for their cause. Much like I did in Gone Girl, I did not initially like the Libby but by the end, I was pulling for her the whole way through as she pursued the truth about her family's brutal murder. There are parts that are very graphic and brutal, this story is very viseral. Flynn's writing is razor sharp and she carries the plot all the way through, answering all the questions no matter how difficult or unappealing. I found myself listening, tense and fearful but unable to put the story away. I had to know what happens! Gillian Flynn is a master storyteller and Dark Places might just be my new favorite over Gone Girl!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Venatries 12-13-12 Member Since 2013

    There are few things better than a good story well told!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    954
    ratings
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    108
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    Story
    "Dark and Grim but Good"
    Where does Dark Places rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely in the top 25. Great murder mystery with very real characters.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes! As unlikely as it might sound, it was a mass murder mystery. And the suspense and twists kept going until the very end.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Actually, as I was listening I didn't really notice the narrators so they did a good job of "doing no harm" to the story. Looking back I would say it was whoever was voice for the father and Trey.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I almost did. It is a compelling listen. I wanted to know just what the heck happened that night. And I am confident that no one will guess whodunnit.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie DURHAM, NC, United States 06-20-12
    Connie DURHAM, NC, United States 06-20-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    "This one will keep you guessing till the very end."
    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Libby, of course. She was narrated just right, with just exactly the right amount of hopelessness, desperation, and then determination.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted to but couldn't. I would sit in my car an extra several minutes after arriving at work, though, just listening and trying to figure out who done it.


    Any additional comments?

    I've never written a review before. Never felt compelled. But after finishing this book tonight, felt I had to. This book kept me hopping from one suspect to the next, and just when I thought I had it figured out...I didn't. I've never given a book 5 stars before, even in my head. This one deserved every last little bit of stars.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 08-09-09
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 08-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    209
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    "Darkness at it's best!"

    I loved this book. The title is perfect because the book is very dark - characters, setting, etc. I did not agree with the reviewer who complained about the "f" word. In this novel, it was completely appropriate and not overly used. Great mystery book that keeps you hooked!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 07-23-12
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2015

    How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A dark and gut wrenching mystery"

    Ms. Flynn is the best mystery writer I've encountered. The story is entirely unique and though one may guess who the real killer is, no one could remotely imagine how the mystery concludes.

    It is a painful, dark mystery with characters entirely believable. The narration is exceptional. Highly recommended!

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 06-11-09
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 06-11-09 Member Since 2013

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quirky Girl deals with Loss and Mystery"

    I really liked the tone and pace of this book. Initially I did not like the main character, a disturbed victim of a horrific crime. But as I kept listening, I liked her more and more, and was so drawn into her thoughts and actions. The mystery unfolds in surprising ways and entwines serendipitously, just like life all too often does. This book held my interest and I really liked it even though the story was about such a horrifying event.

    21 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Clio, MI, United States 03-24-13
    Diane Clio, MI, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Horribly Dark!"
    Would you try another book from Gillian Flynn and/or the narrators?

    I did read Gone Girl and loved it! But this was painful to read.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gillian Flynn again?

    I doubt it.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dark Places?

    All the scenes were gory, that was the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I only completed it because I wanted to know who dunnit. I would not recommend this except to someone who enjoys the macabre.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Overland, MO, USA 06-27-09
    Susan Overland, MO, USA 06-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Awesome Story"

    This book held my attention right to the end. Interesting characters. Great narration. A mystery with some very surprising turns. Loved it!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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