Friday, November 22, 2013

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

TitleDark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 368 Kindle
Publication Date: May 5, 2009
PublisherBroadway Books
Source: library loan
Rating: 2 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

After finishing this one, I've now read all of Flynn's novels. Says quite a bit that I've read three by her since I so rarely read all of an author's works now. Too many debut authors I want to try. I didn't even read the summary of Dark Places but found what I was expecting. A dark, disturbing look into the lives of more screwed up people. 

The characters were even less likable than normal. I constantly wanted to throat punch Libby and was amazed that her character was 30 years old. She seemed to be a whiny 12 year old most of the time. Even though I didn't like the characters, I did like the changes in narrators and the way the story was told in flashbacks. It gave the story more depth.

Dark Places was just as gritty and dark as Flynn's other books but for some reason it made me feel like taking a hot, cleansing shower each time I read. Some of the meanness was just too much and seemed unnecessary. 

The wrap up was a bit over the top. It wasn't completely unbelievable but still. Overall, it was just not as rich as her others. 


  1. I can't handle Flynn. I just always feel like she's trying to cram in as much human scum as possible.

    1. Not a bad way to put it. I didn't dislike the others like this one but my goodness it was just too much.

  2. I've only read Sharp Objects and I actually really liked it, even if I got completely creeped, haha. I don't know if I want to continue on with her books though. Everyone says Gone Girl is pretty good!

    1. I loved Gone Girl though I hate to say that I "loved" something that was so screwed up ! :-) The writing and the plot of that was so good though. Sharp Objects was pretty good too but Dark Places was...yikes!


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