- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Crown (May 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307341569
- ISBN-13: 978-0307341563
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9,427 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dark Places: A Novel Hardcover – May 5, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Edgar-finalist Flynn's second crime thriller tops her impressive debut, Sharp Objects. When Libby Day's mother and two older sisters were slaughtered in the family's Kansas farmhouse, it was seven-year-old Libby's testimony that sent her 15-year-old brother, Ben, to prison for life. Desperate for cash 24 years later, Libby reluctantly agrees to meet members of the Kill Club, true crime enthusiasts who bicker over famous cases. She's shocked to learn most of them believe Ben is innocent and the real killer is still on the loose. Though initially interested only in making a quick buck hocking family memorabilia, Libby is soon drawn into the club's pseudo-investigation, and begins to question what exactly she saw—or didn't see—the night of the tragedy. 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. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
Libby Day, the protagonist of Flynn’s disturbing second novel, was, as a seven-year-old, the only survivor of her family’s brutal murder by her older brother, an event dubbed by the media the “Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Twenty-five years later, she has become a hardened, selfish young woman with no friends or family. Since the tragedy, her life has been paid for by donations of well-wishers, but, with that fund now empty, Libby must find a way to make money. Her search leads her to The Kill Club, a secret society of people obsessed with the details of notorious murders. As Libby tries to gather artifacts to sell to The Kill Club (whose members, it turns out, doubt the guilt of her brother), she is forced to reëxamine the events of the night of the murder. Flynn’s well-paced story deftly shows the fallibility of memory and the lies a child tells herself to get through a trauma.
Top customer reviews
As Johnny Depp said in the movie Secret Window, "The ending is the most important part."
And it's true, especially in a mystery.
And I have to say, this ending was so implausible as to induce eye-rolling.
The travesty of the ending was made all the more painful by the fact that the book was REALLY GOOD up to that point. The author had constructed a very solid rope from the circumstances of the plot, and all she had to do was allow the rope to tie itself into a tight knot all by itself, just take the pieces she'd already laid out and let them work toward their natural and inevitable conclusion. Unfortunately, the ending she chose involves a number of glaring Red Herrings, plus an extremely unlikely "two independent murders happening AT THE SAME TIME," with the second murderer being out of left field (while he was forshadowed, he certainly wasn't central to the plot in any way until the last few moments).
I'm going to try another book by this author because the writing itself was excellent and I enjoyed the way she constructed both the characters and the plot. And here's to hoping the next book I read from her has a better ending.
And what she finds is a group of individuals devoted to proving her brother was innocent--and willing to pay for mementos and information.
Libby was seven years old when the murders happened, and the only survivor. Her testimony put her brother behind bars, but now she is wondering if things happened the way she believed it did. She reexamines the "darkplaces" to figure things out. And starts meeting with people to find out more, too. She also dreams about the events, with different scenarios each time. And she recalls how life as the orphan has changed everything for her, too.
The setting is a Kansas farm in a small town filled with gossipy, mean-spirited individuals seemingly bent on shunning the Day family long before the tragedy struck.
In alternating narratives, Dark Places: A Novel takes us back to 1985, to learn bits and pieces of that fateful day from the mother, Patty Day, and from Ben, the alleged perpetrator. As more is revealed, we begin to have our own doubts...and as we follow Libby's first-person narration in the present, watching her accumulate data, the questions begin to grow until we wonder if there will ever be any definitive answers.
All of the characters are flawed individuals, but beneath the surface of each, there is a hint of how they could be redeemed. If only...
What mysterious person did Patty Day meet that night? Why is Ben so secretive about the events, and why is he denying having a girlfriend named Diondra? What, if anything, did his friend Trey have to do with the tragic events?
Like a tornado sweeping across the flatlands, the events come full circle until finally the reader knows it all. And there were definitely some surprises. Another unputdownable read from Gillian Flynn. Five stars.