Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
A Novel

79%

31 Critic Reviews

Flynn fluidly moves between cynical present-day Libby and the hours leading up to the murders through the eyes of her family members. When the truth emerges, it’s so twisted that even the most astute readers won’t have predicted it.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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 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 Gillian Flynn

See more books from this Author
GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dark Places, which was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and a Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice; and Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, which was an Edgar nominee for Best First Novel, a BookSense pick, and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. A former writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly, her novels have been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. 
 
Published April 25, 2009 by Broadway Books. 370 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Children's Books. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon7
Peak Rank on Nov 02 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Want to Read
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Critic reviews for Dark Places
All: 31 | Positive: 27 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

Flynn intercuts Libby’s venomous detective work with flashbacks to the fatal day 24 years ago...Only the climax, which is incredible in both good ways and bad, is a letdown.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 23 2009

Flynn fluidly moves between cynical present-day Libby and the hours leading up to the murders through the eyes of her family members. When the truth emerges, it’s so twisted that even the most astute readers won’t have predicted it.

Read Full Review of Dark Places: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Laura Wilson on May 15 2009

The time-split narrative works superbly, and the atmosphere is eerily macabre - Dark Places is even better than the author's award-winning Sharp Objects

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Wilson on May 15 2009

The time-split narrative works superbly, and the atmosphere is eerily macabre - Dark Places is even better than the author's award-winning Sharp Objects

Read Full Review of Dark Places: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Sandra Salomonsen on Sep 05 2009

Knowing it could be your family, or the family you might have someday, draws you deeper into their sad lives and creates a sense of fear, despair, and even hope for not just the Day family, but for you, as well.

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Entertainment Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Jennifer Reese on Apr 29 2009

Watching one spectacularly rotten girl wreak havoc is delicious; more than that can be too much of a bad thing.

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Nights and Weekends

Good
Reviewed by Kim de la Montanya on Nov 01 2013

Dark Places will take readers to their very own dark place, but it’s a compelling and suspenseful emotional journey.

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Cleveland.com

Excellent
on May 10 2009

The slick plotting in "Dark Places" will gratify the lover of a good thriller -- but so, too, will Flynn's prose, which is ferocious and unrelenting and pure pleasure from word one.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Good
Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

...it is a masterful novel, gripping and memorable. It will stay with you long after the action-packed, and surprising, conclusion, but it is not for the fainthearted.

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Below average
Reviewed by Lesa on Aug 02 2013

It's hard for me to read a book with so many emotionally sick people. And, it's extremely graphic in the details of the horrendous murders. Gillian Flynn's writing is too violent, and her characters too unlikable for my taste.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jul 16 2012

She writes incredibly well and the storyline of Dark Places is absolutely gripping. Not only that, but it includes a psychological component that will get under your skin and will haunt you long after the last pages are turned.

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Quick Book Reviews

Good
Jul 09 2012

...this is a great mystery murder thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride.

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The Book Smugglers

Good
Reviewed by Kris on Jun 28 2012

...I found to be a suspenseful, horrific, and yes, quite gruesome tale — without leaving me scared out of my wits.

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She Treads Softly Blog

Good
Reviewed by Lori L on Apr 14 2011

Flynn is an excellent writer. Her novel is very well plotted and executed. Flynn is equally descriptive in setting the atmosphere, the place, and characters.

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Book Hooked Blog

Good
Reviewed by Julie G on Jan 30 2013

I liked the book. If you're a fan of Flynn's or of other dark authors/books I think you ought to read it and that you'll enjoy it.

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Women 24

Good
Reviewed by Tamarin

The reader is given all the information necessary to solve the crime, dropping it in subtly so that when the killer is revealed, you see it – but don’t see it coming!

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You've GOTTA Read This

Good
Reviewed by Sandy on Apr 04 2013

Flynn's brilliant phrasing doesn't disappoint. It is dark and oily, but strangely conversational as well, that makes it nearly impossible to put the book down.

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Pop Culture Nerd

Good
Reviewed by Pop Culture Nerd on May 05 2009

...her razor-sharp prose will cut through any preconceived notions you might have...It's as if the author reaches into your brain and adjusts it by giving it a slight twist...

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Reads 4 Pleasure

Good
on Jun 27 2012

What I've come to appreciate most about the author's writing is that her female characters do not always get the guy, they're not necessarily beauty queens, and they're just as screwed up as most people. In other words, they're human.

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My Friend Amy

Good
Reviewed by Amy on May 22 2013

...even though everything might not be exactly what it seems it doesn't mean there isn't some essential truth to it. Which raises all kinds of interesting thoughts about justice to me.

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Reviews of Books

Good
on Feb 07 2014

This sad, violent, sometimes disheartening tale is the opposite of a feel-good read (although not without its share of rich satisfaction and hard-won redemption). It is, however, tremendously compelling.

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Swamp of Boredom

Good
on Jan 22 2013

Some people might be offended by the way Flynn deftly skewers child psychologists...A counterbalance to that would have been nice, but Flynn isn’t about counterbalance. She is all about ripping off the scab to show the scars underneath, whether we want to see them or not.

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The Literary Life of the Well-Read Wife

Good
on Sep 11 2012

The end of Dark Places was shocking and left me wanting to read more Gillian Flynn. I will read anything Gillian Flynn writes. She is a master.

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My Cup and Chaucer Blog

Good
Reviewed by tonile.helena on Oct 27 2012

Dark Places is intense and macabre and entirely unsettling, but it’s well written and compelling. In short, if you can handle the...themes, I recommend this book.

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Charlotte's Web of Books

Excellent
on Aug 07 2009

I must give mad props to Ms Flynn. It is a rare treat to find an author that can have me coming to the wrong conclusion about a book.

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Book Brats

Good
Reviewed by Megan on May 05 2009

Although it’s a bit slow at times, DARK PLACES is a worthy addition to Gillian Flynn’s works. It’s dark, disturbing, and chaotic – and a definite must read.

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Material Witness Blog

Good
on Apr 30 2009

This is what Flynn is really really good at: putting the reader inside the story, having them live every twist in turn. I did it with Camille Preaker, and now with Libby and Patty Day.

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http://www.iheartreading.net

Good
on Jun 27 2013

The writing was beautiful, the descriptions spot-on, and the plot was intriguing. An excellent read, but a depressing one...

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Today I Read

Below average
Reviewed by Ann-Kat on Jun 09 2009

I loved the writing and the story, but unfortunately, the characters and the balance just left too much to be desired.

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Carrie's YA Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Carrie on Jun 06 2009

The way it's written definitely keeps those pages turning. As the tension builds you can't help but race through the chapters to finally solve the mystery.

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Dark Scribe Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Martel Sardina on May 25 2009

I want characters that are believable. I don’t have to like them as people. But I do have to believe in them, believe in the motivations for their actions. Flynn succeeds on both counts.

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Reader Rating for Dark Places
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11834 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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