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
"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)
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
A marriage has gone wrong, four children each with their own issues overwhelm their mother, a father, irresponsible and self centered, caring only about money and a wife who is barely capable of functioning. A farm going broke in central Kansas. The rumor of Satanic rituals on the plains. This is truly a dark bleak novel with what love there is gone bad.
Finally, one terrible night, the farm is invaded and murder is done. The scene is told from the view of several different characters. The family, except for 7 year old Libby, is torn apart. Libby runs into the frozen January night, hiding from the monsters who have invaded her home. She looses toes and fingers to frostbite and her heart to the bleak life she is left with. Her brother is accused of the murders, Libby's life spirals into one foster home after another and we meet her again 25 years later, broke, afraid of everything, alone and looking for another way to avoid responsibility for her life. Looking for another way to avoid life itself.
This is truly a dark, sad and dismal story, with involved plot lines-several of them. Gillian Flynn shows mastery of dialogue and character development with each of the very flawed people in her story and, along with the gripping writing is fantastic narration performed by half a dozen different people. This made listening to the story almost like watching a movie for me. I could picture the action in my head as the story is performed.
There is a lot of backstory from 1985 then returning to modern day, especially telling Libby's and Ben's part. This can make for occasional confusion as to which character is speaking but usually it can be determined from clues at the beginning to the chapter.
Did I enjoy the book? No, not really. Flynn does not write enjoyable novels. But she does write the sad side of reality, that side none of us wants to address but is part of almost daily news now. There is no love or romance here, no happy ending where everything comes out fine. But it was a gripping tale that fascinated me from the start to the end and made me feel very lucky that my own children never were subject to this kind of terror.
Not for everyone.
The story follows mostly Libby and her quest for the truth of her family's murder. A lot of this story was told in flashback, and I loved how the tension slowly ratcheted up as the characters hurdled towards their fate. This isn't an action thriller or a mystery as such. I felt like it was more of a personal transformation story with elements of thriller and mystery woven into it. I liked it. True, the story is gory and gruesome at times, but I doubt you'll put this book down. The author is very skilled at pulling the reader in and taking them to dark places.
Since listening to Gone Girl, I have been searching for all things Gillian Flynn. This was a very good listen, kept me guessing the entire time and was hard to stop, once I started.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
I LOVE GILLIAN FLYNN. Please stop making movies and write more books. Dark Places will keep you guessing until the very end.
How the author wove in and out of the history of the characters, all building up to the final twist and climax of the story. A Masterful 'Who was the Killer', all bound in the agony and lost life of the one suriving child.
This was one of the few books with male / female readers. It worked wonderfully to give added light to the story line. I always wonder why they don't do this more.
The readers pulled this off wonderfully!
Oddly Yes. It kept the pace up very well.
It is a Dark Book, Graphic at Points, visceral in others, sweet and charming in most places.
I highly recommend this book.
Dark Places is definitely worth a second listen. Gillian Flynn has such amazing insight into psychological complexes, trauma and motivations. It's as much of a pleasure to get to know her characters as it is to follow along the twisting paths of the plot. (I always find myself casting the inevitable movie as I listen.) I also loved her descriptions of Kansas, my home state.
As with "Gone Girl," Gillian Flynn unfolds the story masterfully. Bit by bit, events are slowly revealed, as you view the same circumstances through different characters' eyes. Flynn shows how wrong we can be in our perceptions of others, as when listening to the story, I realized I was wrong in my judgement of the characters.
I found the narration of the three main characters, particularly Libby and Ben, to be almost painfully slow at times. I suspect the reason was to contrast the delivery (slow, flat) with the sometimes gruesome, sad or horrifying events -- to convey the characters' somnambulistic response to the grim circumstances of their lives in a way that would point up the horror in an understated way, rather than making it "pulp fiction," lurid and cheap. I'm reminded of the flat narration of Sissy Spacek in "Badlands" (or the bleak cinematography of "Fargo"). The banality of evil and all that. Nevertheless, the narration was just too flat and slow in places, and distracted me from the story somewhat. I did enjoy the voices and accents, although Kansans don't really have a Southern accent. And, having grown up in Kansas, I winced every time "Salina" was pronounced "Sal-EE-na" rather than "Sal-EYE-na." It's a common mistake for those who've never been to the state, but could have been prevented with a bit of research.
This is my second Gillian Flynn novel, and I could have listened to it all in one sitting. I had to stop everything to listen to the last hour and a half.
While not quite as good as "Gone Girl," "Dark Places" is excellent, and sealed my decision to buy "Sharp Objects." I can't wait for the next Gillian Flynn novel!
evil, strange, interesting
The twists in the characters as they switched from Past to Current.
no laughing or crying... more like wow can people really be this screwed up?
Not as good as the other two books she's done.... but still very good. Would have liked a little more to the ending...
Kept me listening because I wanted to find out who the killer was.
Nothing special in narration
Enjoyable listen, but not as good as "Gone Girl". Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable book that kept me wanting more and to uncover the mystery.
i could not stop listening to this! I was enthralled within minutes of listening.
The book gave me chills. The way Flynn writes her characters are so real. And i like how the ending isnt all happily ever after.
HUGE!! fan of this author. will continue to read/listen to anything that she writes
The narrators are fantastic.
It's a good story. Disturbing, but good. You want to know what happened that night, and it's very satisfying once all is revealed.
The scene where Libby goes to see Trey in the present was the best, it felt very intense to me.
Yes! I had to stop with one hour left so I could go to bed, and I finished it as soon as possible the next day.
This writer is my new favorite. This book has a lot of layers to it. It's complicated, a whodunit with family issues, not too lovable characters, and disturbing imagery. Glad I took the risk and tried it after reading "Gone Girl". Next is "Sharp Objects". Highly recommend! Definitely worth a credit.
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