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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

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  •  
    Domenic Kansas City, MO, USA 11-09-09
    Domenic Kansas City, MO, USA 11-09-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Great book, great characters"

    Rebecca Lowman does an excellent job reading this book. The characters are well developed and you get a feel you really know the main characters.

    Locking forward to book 3. Hope Rebecca Lowman narrates.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Harvey Hungry Bay, Paget Bermuda 10-31-09
    S. Harvey Hungry Bay, Paget Bermuda 10-31-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not To Be Missed"

    Could not turn this off. One cold winter's night 7-year old Libby's mother and two sisters ae murdered. Her brother is convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Twemty years later Libby begins to look into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, unravelling a complex history woven by a mixed cast of dysfunctional characters. The narration is excellent. As the story is told first by Libby and then by the men and other women involved in the action, male and female narrators provide their voices. It is immensely effective.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob North Lauderdale, FL, United States 09-26-09
    Bob North Lauderdale, FL, United States 09-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tooooo Dark"

    I love mystery and thriller novels but this was too much. I had a very hard time finishing it because of the content, not the writing or narration. It was very upsetting. I don't feel there was excessive use of the F word as some said.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Whitfield Sacramento, CA United States 08-24-09
    K. Whitfield Sacramento, CA United States 08-24-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Couldn't Stop Listening"

    This story kept me completely hooked until the end. The characters felt very real, and the story is full of twists and turns. A great story and I definitely recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dacia Boise, ID, USA 07-07-09
    Dacia Boise, ID, USA 07-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Libby"

    I really enjoyed this book and the twists that came after the very subtle set ups excellent book looking forward to reading the next one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Englewood, CO, United States 06-08-09
    Mark Englewood, CO, United States 06-08-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Writing!"

    Gillian Flynn is just a fabulous writer. She has a knack with verisimilitude in her characters that makes me want to go back and track just how she built them up, piece by piece- but only after I get to the end of this engrossing mystery. I'd rate this among the best books I've read (or listened to) in quite a while. I loved Sharp Objects and this is even better. LIsten, you won't be sorry!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Worm Merrillville, IN 06-01-09
    Book Worm Merrillville, IN 06-01-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved It!"

    I loved this book. Like the title implies, this is a dark story. But it is also a well written and very engrossing story. I really got drawn in by the mystery of who killed Libby Day's family. I liked Libby, she made an interesting heroine, even though her past had left her bitter and depressed. The book slowly unravels the mystery of what really happened by alternating Libby's story, her mother Patty's story, and her older brother, Ben's story. This is a great book with great character development. The narrators also did a good job, adding to my enjoyment of this book. Give this book a try if you enjoy dark mysteries that delve deeply into the tragedy of a family, and the ramifications to those who survived.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Chicago, IL, United States 05-28-09
    Karen Chicago, IL, United States 05-28-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark Places"

    This book is a must listen. The characters are extremely well developed, the plot compelling and the narration was excellent. After listening to several dogs, this was excellent!! THANK YOU!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim McGrath Chicago 05-20-09
    Tim McGrath Chicago 05-20-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious"

    "Dark Places" had the misfortune to be read right after I had read "Twilight," by William Gay. The latter, a near masterpiece by a writer who is the near equal of Cormac McCarthy, himself the near equal of William Faulkner, makes "Dark Places" seem like a piece of tabloid journalism. Mr. Gay could give Ms. Flynn a lesson or two in darkness. He could also teach her how to write sentences that dazzle you with their brilliance. "Dark Places" is at least a hundred pages too long, which means that many scenes are bloated, and the novel never acquires forward momentum.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley CA, United States 01-06-11
    Kelley CA, United States 01-06-11 Member Since 2006

    Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Painted by numbers"

    I admired the careful construction of this novel, but little else. Trapped in the meticulous plotting of plot, the characters are never allowed to come alive. The conclusion to the book's whodunit side is 'shaggy dog' and unaffecting. And the prose teems with similies like a gothic poem written on a Hello Kitty bedspread.

    Sharp Objects is such a good book. I don't blame Gillian Flynn for looking for an easier way to write - I just hope she goes back to suffering her way through and gives us a true emotional experience next time.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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