Friday, July 3, 2009

Review: Dark Places: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places
by Gillian Flynn
Published: 2009
Pages: 368

Reason for Reading: I loved Flynn's first novel,
Sharp Objects, and when I saw this one on a Friday Finds post I immediately requested it from the library.
Challenges this book fulfills: The Pub 2009
Borrowed from my local library

My Thoughts:

Goodreads: When Libby Day was seven years old, her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Thinking about that night sends Libby straight into what she calls her Darkplace

My Thoughts: When Libby enters these parts of her mind that she calls her dark places you're not sure if you can trust what she saw or heard. You find yourself feeling a little unnerved by this character.

From Goodreads: Michelle was strangled. Debby was chopped up with an axe. And Patty Day’s head was blown off with a shotgun.

My Thoughts: The murders are so brutal and chilling. It's hard at times to imagine the gruesome scene that this would have been to Libby and to the person who discovered these murders. Flynn does a great job of painting the picture of how horrific the final minutes of life were for Libby's family.

From Goodreads: As the prosecution’s star witness, Libby testified that she saw her brother Ben—then 15—commit the crime. Little Libby escaped into the freezing January snow, losing a few fingers and toes but saving her life. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and Libby is living off the dregs of a trust fund that was set up for her after the murders.

My Thoughts: As you read this story it flips between the Libby now to the Libby back in 1985 when the murders took place. At times, Libby's thoughts made the hair stand up on my arms. I didn't trust her and questioned how someone could live off of a trust fund that would have been a daily reminder that you received this check because someone hacked your family to death. Her only thoughts are how she's going to continue to make money from her "poor little lost girl" facade.

From Goodreads: When the Kill Club, a macabre social group obsessed with infamous crimes—and believers in Ben’s innocence—reaches out to her, Libby hatches a plan to profit from her tragic history: Contact everyone tied to the events of that January night and report back her findings for a fee. And maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

My Thoughts: The Kill Club---I know that there are people and groups out there like this in the world. But to feel like you're on the inside of one of these groups made my stomach turn. How can people collect mementos from a murder victim? Reminds me of women who would write love letters to Ted Bundy!! and then the crazy one that married him and had a child with him....not enough words to describe how out-of-touch with reality I feel they are.

From Goodreads: Interspersed with Libby’s investigation are the events of that day, told through the eyes of her doomed family members—including Ben. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself back in her Darkplace—and fighting for her life.

My Thoughts: The last 1/4 of the book was nerve wracking and the story came together beautifully. I always feel like I should've seen it coming (the truth) but as usual I was shocked and then amazed at how Flynn was able to make all of the pieces fall into place. This book is not for the faint of heart, there's some graphic language and scenes, but she stays true to the tone of the book. If you read and loved Sharp Objects then you're in for another satisfying read. If you enjoy books that have an undertone of dread, evil lurking behind the pages, and characters that you just can't quite figure out if they're the good guy or the bad guy, then I believe you will like this book.

Also reviewed at:
Bibliophile By the Sea


  1. Wowwwwwwwww.....that is intense!!!! :):):):):):)

  2. This book, too much for me, that is the question. I already have my doubts about Libby. I do wanna know what this whole books is about

  3. I have not read this author. The book sounds good... and a bit intense. It would take the right setting to read.... like a dark stormy day or night...

    Hmmm.... Minnesota in July? We will probably have that setting...

  4. I read and loved "Sharp Objects" too. That's why I have this book on the shelf. Great review! Can't wait to read the book.

  5. Great Review. I enjoyed Sharp Objects immensely, the tension wound up so tight I had to finish it in one go. Pretty good for a first book, with some original elements too. I'm definitely going to read Dark Places.Thanks for reviewing it.

  6. All I can say is, Wow! I'll have to look for that book.

  7. I haven't read this author before and I typically don't have a problem reading darker stories. I may see if I can find it at my library and take a look at it. The cover alone says a lot as well. Great review Staci!

  8. i thought this was pretty good too. I also liked her first book: Sharp Objects.

  9. I'm glad you liked it. It's intense but so worth it at the end.

  10. Wowser, this book sounds so good. I remember first noticing it for the cover and figuring that something dark and intense must take place within the pages. This is one for the wishlist for me. Great review Staci.

  11. I have bo thoughts. Other than this: Enjoy the 4th! Hope your weekend is great...

  12. I read Sharp Objects earlier this year and thought it was a wonderful thriller. I've been hearing such good stuff about this one and can't wait to get to it.

  13. I worry that this might be a bit too dark for me, but you got me curious about the truth that is revealed at the end!

  14. This does sound intense! I haven't yet read the author's other book, but I do want to. This one is going on my wish list. Thanks for the great review.


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