Dark Places: Book summary and reviews of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

A Novel

By Gillian Flynn

Dark Places
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  • Published in USA  May 2009,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

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 fifteen-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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine." - Booklist

"Flynn's second crime thriller tops her impressive debut ... when the truth emerges, it's so twisted that even the most astute readers won't have predicted it." - Publishers Weekly

"Although Flynn sometimes struggles with the large cast of characters she has amassed ... the tight plotting and engaging characters carry the reader over the few rough patches that appear." - Library Journal

"[E]very sentence crackles with enough baleful energy to fuel a whole town through the coldest Kansas winter." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Gillian Flynn Author Biography

Photo: Heidi Jo Brady

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies.

Gillian attended the University of Kansas, where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism. She went on to earn her master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University

After 10 years working for Entertainment Weekly in New York, Gillian Flynn's debut novel, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain's Dagger Awards. Her second book, Dark Places, was a New York Times bestseller, a New Yorker Reviewers' Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of ...

... Full Biography
Link to Gillian Flynn's Website

Name Pronunciation
Gillian Flynn: The g is pronounced hard as in gill, not jill

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