Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 368 pages, 8 × 5.18 × 0.78 in
Published: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307341577
ISBN - 13: 9780307341570
About the Book
The sole survivor of a family massacre is pushed into revisiting a past she'd much rather leave alone, in Flynn's scorching follow-up to "Sharp Objects."
Read from the Book
Libby Day Now 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. Little Orphan Libby grew up sullen and boneless, shuffled around a group of lesser relatives—second cousins and great-aunts and friends of friends—stuck in a series of mobile homes or rotting ranch houses all across Kansas. Me going to school in my dead sisters’ hand-me-downs: Shirts with mustardy armpits. Pants with baggy bottoms, comically loose, held on with a raggedy belt cinched to the farthest hole. In class photos my hair was always crooked—barrettes hanging loosely from strands, as if they were airborne objects caught in the tangles—and I always had bulging pockets under my eyes, drunk-landlady eyes. Maybe a grudging curve of the lips where a smile should be. Maybe. 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. It was miserable, wet-bone March and I was lying in bed thinking about killing myself, a hobby of mine. Indulgent afternoon daydreaming: A shotgun, my mouth, a bang and my head jerking once, twice, blood on the wall. Spatter, splatter. “Did she want to be buried or cremated?” people would ask. “Who should come to the funeral?̶
From the Publisher
FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
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
society obsessed with notorious crimes-locates Libby and pumps her
for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.
Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history:
She'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her
findings to the club-for a fee. As Libby's search takes her from
shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns,
the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back
where she started-on the run from a killer.
About the Author
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the runaway hit
Gone Girl, an international sensation that has spent more
than seventy-five weeks on the New York Times bestseller
list. Her work has been published in forty languages. Gone
Girl is soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth
Century Fox. Flynn's previous novels, Dark Places and
Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, were also New York
Times bestsellers. A former writer and critic for
Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her
husband and son.
From the Hardcover edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Named one of the Best Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly A Weekend TODAY “Top Summer Read” The New Yorker ''s Reviewers'' Favorite from 2009 A 2009 Favorite Fiction Pick by The Chicago Tribune “[A] nerve-fraying thriller.” — The New York Times “Flynn’s well-paced story deftly shows the fallibility of memory and the lies a child tells herself to get through a trauma.” — The New Yorker “Gillian Flynn coolly demolished the notion that little girls are made of sugar and spice in Sharp Objects , her sensuous and chilling first thriller. In DARK PLACES, her equally sensuous and chilling follow-up, Flynn…has conjured up a whole new crew of feral and troubled young females….[A] propulsive and twisty mystery.” — Entertainment Weekly “Flynn follows her deliciously creepy Sharp Objects with another dark tale . . . The story, alternating between the 1985 murders and the present, has a tense momentum that works beautifully. And when the truth emerges, it’s so macabre not even twisted little Libby Day could see it coming.” — People (4 stars) “Crackles with peevish energy and corrosive wit.” — Dallas Morning News “A riveting tale of true horror by a writer who has all the gifts to pull it off.” — Chicago Tribune "In her first psychological thriller, Sharp Objects, Flynn created a world unsparingly grim and nasty
A Readers' Guide for Dark Places by Gillian
For additional features, visit
In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and
thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal
important aspects of the plot of this novel. If you have not
finished reading Dark Places, we respectfully suggest that
you wait before reviewing this guide.
Libby Day has been unwillingly famous since age seven-when her
family was massacred, and the brother she once adored was convicted
of the crimes based on her accusation. Now in her thirties, Libby
finds that the donated funds in her "Baby Day" account are nearly
gone, and her financial supporters have moved on to fresher crimes.
After decades of avoiding responsibility and effort, Libby is in
need of a job.
The project that presents itself seems like an easy way to start:
a "guest star" appearance for a group of true-crime fanatics who
will happily pay to pick her brain about the "Kinnakee Kansas
Farmhouse Massacre." The fact that their version of the story
differs from hers is merely an annoyance at first. But as
doubt begins to needle at her long-held convictions, Libby takes
another look at that long-ago night, and the dark place she's run
from since childhood.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Did you like Libby as a character? Do you think the author
intended for her to be likeable?
2. As the book shifted between points of view, did you find one
most appealing, most enlightening, or most reliable?
3. Why has Libby ignored Jim Jeffreys's advice to earn an income
for so many years? Do you believe she feels she's earned the money
she's been gifted by strangers? What is her attitude toward money?
4. Throughout the book, many characters seem to feel as though
life is something that happens to them; others take a more
proactive role in steering its course, often with disastrous
consequences. Discuss the book's theme of action versus reaction,
investigation versus acceptance. Where does Libby's behavior fit in
5. Like others Libby meets during her investigation, Barb Eichel
seems pleased to have been contacted, having "wondered if you'd
ever get in touch." Why did Barb wait for Libby to come to her? Did
Barb do enough to remedy the harm she thinks her book has
6. As Lyle first brings Libby through the Kill Club gathering, he
distinguishes between different types of members-role players and
solvers, for instance. Do you consider these to be meaningful
differences? How do the various groups make use of the club?
7. In considering the case of the missing girl Lisette Stephens,
Libby thinks to herself, "There was nothing to solve . . . She just
vanished for no reason anyone could think of, except she was
pretty." Do you think it's strange that Libby considers this an
uninteresting case? What does her attitude toward Lisette say about
her view of her own family's murder? Was there something to "solve"
in the Days' murder?
8. What do you make of Magda, the middle-class Kill Club member so
fond of Ben, and so callous to her own son? What does her character
tell us, if anything, about the Kill Club and its members?
9. One of the appealing aspects of the Day case (according to
Lyle) is the role of children as instigators, victims, and
unreliable witnesses. Do you see any similarities among Krissi's
accusation, Libby's false eyewitness account, and Lyle's role in
the California fires? Were these children to blame for their
mistakes? In what ways did they attempt to right the wrongs they
10. "No one ever forgives me for anything," one character says.
What role does forgiveness play in Dark Places? Which characters
should be more forgiving? Less?
11. What do you think of Diondra's relationships? Why is she
attracted to Ben? Why is Trey such a constant companion? Do you
think she was romantically involved with Trey?
12. Patty Day frequently worries whether she is a good mother.
What do you think? How does the book depict parents in general? Who
do you consider the "good" and "bad" parents in the book?
13. Did you think Ben was guilty? Does the author intend for us to
14. Why doesn't Diane return Libby's phone calls? What does she
mean at the end of the book when she says, "I knew you could do it
. . . I knew you could . . . try just a little harder"? Do you like
15. Why do you think Libby, at the end of the book, thinks twice
before shoplifting? Is this reflective of a new attitude toward the
16. Do you think Ben will find Crystal? What do you imagine their
reunion would be like?
17. Why do you think the author chose to set the murders on a
farm? What images and themes does the heartland and farming
18. Libby is a liar, a manipulator, a kleptomaniac, and an
opportunist. Does she have any redeeming qualities? Are you able to
empathize with her? If so, why?