Dark Places: A Novel

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Dark Places: A Novel

by Gillian Flynn

Crown Publishing Group | May 4, 2010 | Trade Paperback

Dark Places: A Novel is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 20.
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 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.75 in

Published: May 4, 2010

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307341577

ISBN - 13: 9780307341570

Found in: Mystery and Suspense

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner Once I got into the story I couldn't put the book down. It had you guessing all along the way what happened and who might be involved in something so horrific. A must read :)
Date published: 2014-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent New Author!!! I read this book because of Gone Girl. I found this book even better than gone girl. The story line was not predictable. I loved this book because you could just get lost in the story. The book was well written. Flynn has an excellent knack of conceptualizing human nature and behaviors.
Date published: 2014-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Sad but a good read The book is dark and sad but a good read overall, I did n't think as good as her other books but still enjoyable.
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dark places indeed I loved Glynn's Sharp Objects and Gone Girl but was a bit disappointed in this one. I really didn't like Libby as a person but realize that her personality was flawed partly because of her history. There were several unsavory characters in Dark Places! I lent my copy to a friend and avid reader who returned it after the first couple of chapters as she found it depressing. I am glad I read it all but didn't love it.
Date published: 2014-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad but great! This was my first time reading a Gillian Flynn novel and I'm glad I did! The characters are well developed and the storyline is quite good. You relive the pain of the characters while learning the tragic truth of what happened to this family. A little gory at times, but still a great page turner!
Date published: 2014-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thinker!! This book was amazing just like Gone Girl! This book kept me thinking the whole time. When I thought I had it figured out they through something totally out of nowhere at you and make you rethink everything! It was written very well and I look forward to reading more books for Gillian Flynn
Date published: 2014-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So, So Good Not only did I love this book but when I suggested it to my German friend (I'm canadian) she loved it too. READ THIS you will not be sorry.
Date published: 2014-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GOOD She's a brilliant author. Also, chapters is very affordable and the shipping was fast. I'm always happy with their services.
Date published: 2014-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I decided to read this after being blown away by Gone Girl, and Dark Places did not disappoint! I had a hard time putting this book down. Highly recommended!!
Date published: 2014-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazingly haunting I bought this book a while ago and it did not disappoint.  It is a haunting story and the main character relives the tragedy over and over again in order to come to terms with it and discover the truth. 
Date published: 2014-02-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed Was expecting a great read but ended up being disappointed. 
Date published: 2014-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique page turner Thrilling page tuner that is well written from three perspectives and as feely moving as it is deeply disturbing! I could not put it down and I wanted to finish it desperately once I had picked it up. Much better than her third and first novels! 
Date published: 2013-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a very dark and sad story about a depressed and lonely siblings. 2 protagonists Ben (oldest) and Libby (youngest). Chapters switched narrator between Ben, Libby and Patty (mom). Themes: Extremely down on their luck family, poverty, teenage, emotions, misunderstandings, explicit sexual content (involving minors), devil worship, alcoholism, murder, money, drugs, animal torture, gore. Pros: - good story, moves smoothly - likeable characters - a good whodunnit story and what actually happened? - povs not over detailed, straight to point Cons: - animal torture - underage sex and sexuality - was hoping for a better twist (read Gone Girl first and expectations were high) Flynn is a great writer on disturbed stories and characters. This is the second book I read of hers and it is disturbing. She can take any happy go lucky cheery reader to an extremely dark place. We really are our own worst enemy. I gave it a 3/5 because I extremely dislike animal torture, but it paints a picture of what is actually going on and how messed up these people are.
Date published: 2013-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark Places is Most Definately a Dark Read! Extremely dark fiction seems to be making a ressurgence with authors like Flynn, Haynes and Watson. I love the real-life, dark portrayals of some of the twisted events that life can throw our way. I think this novel was much better than Flynn's most recent one "Gone Girl", but it definately has the darkness and twists that "Gone Girl" gave us. Highly recommended to lovers of dark fiction.
Date published: 2013-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Check out this earlier book by Flynn Libby Day is a survivor. She’s survived a drunken, dead-beat father, Runner, extreme poverty, and the horrific massacre of her mother, Patty, and two older sisters, Michelle and Debby. Well, maybe to call her a survivor is a stretch because Libby is reclusive and mean. She says it hersel fat the beginning of Gillian Flynn’s terrific novel, Dark Places. "I have a meaness 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 can 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." Ah, yes, the murders. For the past 24 years Libby’s older brother, Ben, has languised in prison for the crime. He was 15 when he is alledged to have killed his mother and younger sisters. Libby has never once visited him partly, perhaps, because it was her testimony that sent him there. She was seven at the time. Now, at 30, Libby is alone, broke and desperate. That’s how she comes to accept The Kill Club’s offer. Lyle, one of the Kill Club’s members, reaches out to Libby and makes her a propostion. If she’s willing to come to a meeting and talk about the case, they’ll pay her $500. That original deal morphs into something more and suddenly Libby is revisiting the night that changed her life forever. Gillian Flynn (right) is a new-to-me writer although everyone and their dog has likely heard about her by now due to her recent novel, Gone Girl. She started her writing career as a journalist and was the TV critic for Entertainment Weekly for a decade before turning her hand to fiction. She’s beautiful. And scary. And it just occurred to me that her writing reminds me of one of my all-time favourite writers, Lisa Reardon. Her writing is fearless…and fear-inducing. Dark Places unspools the Day murders in two ways: as Libby digs for the truth and as the events of the day unravel. For this, we spend time with Patty and Ben. Patty is a sympathetic character, a mom who loves her children and tries to care for them, but whose dwindling emotional and financial resources make it nearly impossible. Ben, on the other hand, is a fifteen-year-old boy in a house full of women. He’s desperately searching for a place to belong and an outlet for the anger which bubbles inside him. Flynn skilfully weaves the threads of this story together offering the reader equal measures of horror and heartbreak. I couldn’t put the book down – that’s just about the highest praise I can give a book.
Date published: 2013-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Before the wildly popular "Gone Girl" there was "Dark Places". Flynn takes us on a thrill ride with loads of suspense and a page turning plot. Graphic and intense at times you can't help but get emotional for this poor dysfunctional family, the struggles they endure and the mystery of the horrific family murders that affect surviving siblings Ben and Libby. Gillian Flynn is a great storyteller.
Date published: 2012-12-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Something a Little Different I liked this book. It was good. Not my top ten, but I really enjoyed the mystery in the novel. And for once, something a little dark was interesting.
Date published: 2012-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kept me guessing! I enjoyed this book a lot. I will definitely check out her first book now that I have finished this one. I liked that I kept guessing who the murderer was, but just never guessed right, great book!
Date published: 2011-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from VERY GOOD not for the faint at heart-but excellent-the characters are flawed and this makes for a great read-grips you from the start
Date published: 2010-04-21

– More About This Product –

Dark Places: A Novel

by Gillian Flynn

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8 × 5.13 × 0.75 in

Published: May 4, 2010

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

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?̶
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From the Publisher

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 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.

Editorial Reviews

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
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Bookclub Guide

A Readers’ Guide for Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
 
For additional features, visit www.gillian-flynn.com.
 
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.
 
Introduction
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 this contrast?
 
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 done?
 
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 caused?
 
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 doubt him?
 
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 Diane?
 
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 world? How?
 
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 evoke?
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?
 
 
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