Gets a grip and doesn't let go!
Split across two decades as the sole surviving daughter of a home invasion/massacre sets out to uncover the truth of what really happened on the fateful night when her family farm was the scene of a terrifying bloodbath. The book contrasts her discoveries in the present day with accounts of the events leading up to the killings ... Split across two decades as the sole surviving daughter of a home invasion/massacre sets out to uncover the truth of what really happened on the fateful night when her family farm was the scene of a terrifying bloodbath. The book contrasts her discoveries in the present day with accounts of the events leading up to the killings from the perspectives of her mother and brother. As each piece of the puzzle slots into place, the reader is forced to question every revelation and determine how this impacts upon the truths that are being slowly revealed. Masterfully written with pitch-perfect dialogue, an intriguing and engrossing structure and shocks and twists aplenty, this is a great mystery/crime novel.
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.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named one of the Best Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly
A Weekend TODAY "Top Summer Read"
The New Yorker's Reviewers' Favorite from 2009
A 2009 Favorite Fiction Pick by The Chicago Tribune
"[A] nerve-fraying thriller."
-The New York Times
"Flynn's well-paced story deftly shows the fallibility of memory and the lies a child tells herself to get through a trauma."
-The New Yorker
"Gillian Flynn coolly demolished the notion that little girls are made of sugar and spice in Sharp Objects, her sensuous and chilling first thriller. In DARK PLACES, her equally sensuous and chilling follow-up, Flynn...has conjured up a whole new crew of feral and troubled young females....[A] propulsive and twisty mystery."
"Flynn follows her deliciously creepy Sharp Objects with another dark tale . . . The story, alternating between the 1985 murders and the present, has a tense momentum that works beautifully. And when the truth emerges, it's so macabre not even twisted little Libby Day could see it coming."
-People (4 stars)
"Crackles with peevish energy and corrosive wit."
-Dallas Morning News
"A riveting tale of true horror by a writer who has all the gifts to pull it off."
"In her first psychological thriller, Sharp Objects, Flynn created a world unsparingly grim and nasty (the heroine carves words into her own flesh) written with irresistibly mordant humor. The sleuth in her equally disturbing and original second novel is Libby Day....It's Flynn's gift that she can make a caustic, self-loathing, unpleasant protagonist someone you come to root for."
-New York Magazine
"[A] gripping thriller."
"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre."
"Gillian Flynn's writing is compulsively good. I would rather read her than just about any other crime writer."
"Dark Places grips you from the first page and doesn't let go."
"With her blistering debut Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn hit the ground running. Dark Places demonstrates that was no fluke."
"Dark Places' Libby Day may seem unpleasant company at first-she's humoring those with morbid curiosities about her family's murders in order to get money out of them-but her steely nature and sharp tongue are compelling. 'I have a meanness inside me,'she says, 'real as an organ.'Yes she does, and by the end of this pitch-black novel, after we've loosened our grip on its cover and started breathing deeply again, we're glad Flynn decided to share it."
-Jessa Crispin, NPR.org
"Flynn returns to the front ranks of emerging thriller writers with her aptly titled new novel . . . Those who prefer their literary bones with a little bloody meat will be riveted."
"Gillian Flynn may turn out to be a more gothic John Irving for the 21st century, a writer who uses both a surgeon's scalpel and a set of rusty harrow discs to rip the pretty face off middle America."
-San Jose Mercury News
"The world of this novel is all underside, all hard flinch, and Flynn's razor-sharp prose intensifies this effect as she knuckles in on every sentence. . . . 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."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Gillian Flynn's second novel, DARK PLACES, proves that her first - Sharp Objects - was no fluke. . . . tough, surprising crime fiction that dips its toes in the deeper waters of literary fiction."
"Flynn fully inhabits Libby-a damaged woman whose world has resided entirely in her own head for the majority of her life and who is prone to dark metaphors: 'Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs.' Half the fun of DARK PLACES