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Dark Placesby Gillian Flynn
Libby Day's mother and two sisters were savagely murdered when Libby was only seven years old. Her testimony in the ensuing trial helped send her brother to prison for the crimes. But is he really guilty? Flynn's accessible and compelling writing style make this a must for any carry-on or beach bag!
"[Dark Places] offers an authentic portrayal of the itchy angst and burning blunder of adolescence and, in its devotion to a world populated by mostly failed people who somehow managed to do one thing right — or one right thing — it remains committed to a complexly human, yet hopeful, vision. Readers will surely hope for more work from Flynn..." Spencer Drew, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[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
"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
"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." The Oregonian
"Gillian Flynn's writing is compulsively good. I would rather read her than just about any other crime writer." Kate Atkinson
"[A] gripping thriller." Cosmopolitan
About the Author
Gillian Flynn's debut novel, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britains Dagger Awards. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, and a rather giant cat named Roy.
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