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Dark Placesby Gillian Flynn
"[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
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.
Michelle was strangled. Debby was chopped up with an axe. And Patty Day's head was blown off with a shotgun.
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.
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.
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.
"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.)
"Another Winner!" Harlan Coben
"Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre." Stephen King
"A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine." Booklist
"Love her or loathe her, Libby Day won't be forgotten without a fight." New York Times
"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." Chicago Sun-Times
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 whove 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, shell reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe shell admit her testimony wasnt so solid after all.
As Libbys 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 Libbys 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.
About the Author
Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, and a rather giant cat named Roy.
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