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i was not a lovable child, and i d grown into a deeply unlovable adult draw a picture of my soul, and it d be a scribble with fangs.gillian flynn sure does love writing about horrible people doing horrible things.and i sure do love reading about them especially because she isn t one of those writers coasting on shock value and can you belieeeeeve a delicate flower of a woman is writing this but she can really tell a story and i, for one, was completely surprised and pleased by the ending of this one.libby s mother and two older sisters were murdered when she was seven years old, apparently in some sort of satanic bloodbath masterminded by her older brother ben she escaped and was instrumental in getting him put behind bars, in one of those lean on the kid and make them say what needs to be said to convict someone situations twenty five years later, she is a mess a flat broke kleptomaniac, pissed off at the world, and terrible at any social expectations, until she is approached by a group whose specialty is studying violent crimes, trading memorabilia, constructing alternate scenarios of horrorshows criminal tourists and libby pumps them for cash while promising to look into the crime she lived through, and reconnect with her brother and father in order to solve a crime she believes has already been solved.but it is far from over, man there are all kinds of things she is going to learn about that night, and about her family, and about her own self.and it s going to get creepy.it is great, great, great it is not perfect i personally had some difficulties with character motivation and behavior, but it doesn t matter because it all works within flynn s dirty little world, and she manages to convince you that these characters are going to do what they are going to do within their need spheres, and just because it doesn t make sense to youuuuu, just be thankful for that, yeah it is really chilling stuff oh, god remember the frenzy of satanic finger pointing of the 80 s there were cults everywhere, right all the animal sacrifices and the heavy metal music and the teenage killers under the spell of the dark one and even though none of it ever panned out into anything, that frenzy, that imagined threat was so convincing to so many pearl clutching mothers it would be adorable now, except for reading this book, and remembering that actual people were accused and convicted because of half whispered urban legends oops.it s a great bloody crime story its pacing is sublime she always knows just how far to take the reader before switching up the focus to cause the maximum amount of anticipatory distress, she knows how to cover her tracks and how to deliver the most effective kaboom of an ending and you might not like any of these characters, but you will still sympathize with them, despite your better instincts.i seem to have run out of gillian flynn books., please.come to my blog Gillian Flynn s first novel, Sharp Objects, was interestingly disturbing in fact, it walked a razor thin line between Huh, you certainly don t read that every day and Gillian Flynn has some serrrriiiious issues and I m a little bit afraid of her I wasn t sure whether I respected her extremely dark side or her dark side is so dark it makes her books kind of uncomfortable to read Strangely enough once you know the story outline Dark Places actually has a conventional plot than Sharp Objects, and having just discussed Jodi Picoult at some length with Marie, I was totally in a place to read a book with alternating points of view which would normally exasperate me, I think Some reviewers have pointed out there is absolutely no one to like in the book, but I agree with the reviewers who point out the fact that Libby is not at all likable is actually compelling, because the stunted in every possible way , damaged in every possible way adult she is is a response to the life she has lived So I think it s a good thing that every character in the book is frustrating or enraging or downright disgusting That s truthful, really, I think.All that being said, I can t say I enjoyed the book I certainly didn t put the book down I read it in one day But the device used to galvanize Libby into action in the beginning of the book is very, very weak and that put me off Also, despite unconventional characters and a really, really, really, really REALLLLLLLY serious devotion to bloody crime scenes, in the end the book just devolves into a who really done it mystery that felt kind of, well, dull SOMEBODY done it, and we d either find out eventually or Flynn would confound us with ha ha, you ll never really know what happened either way I wasn t really all that excited to find out who really done it just because the whole red herring she did it no, HE did it no, another person entirely did it trope is boring and even disappointing, coming from Flynn I m not even sure which of Flynn s two books I like better I am interested in reading her next book Still, there is something off putting at the same time about her interests Passions She is really serious about really studying really disturbed people doing really disturbing things and at some points in both books it feels not over the top, but almost well, creepy She s like that strange neighborhood kid who lives in that weird house and who is a little too fascinated by chopping earthworms in half or seeing what happens when you burn ants, or something I read just one of Lionel Shriver s books and it was so upsetting to me I absolutely refuse to ever read any of her books again, because she seemed to take a sly enjoyment in really pushing her characters into and awful places, mentally and physically I don t quite feel that way about Flynn yet, but there s just something about her books that s toohot breathed for me. 4.5 Stars Gillian Flynn scares me.But it s a good scare A keep you up all night anxiously reading because closing the book is not an option kinda scare If you thought Gone Girl was twisted, make room forDark Placesbecause this suspenseful thriller takes freaky to a whole nuther level.I went in thinking I was fully prepared.I wasn t This book is so astoundingly demented, it truly makes me wonder exactly how Miss Flynn thinks up such bold scenarios The plot is so out there , yet way too close creating a palpable level of discomfort for the reader but I, for one, could not look away This author knows how to stretch the creep factor to its limits, just short of over the top, delivering a crazy, yet still fathomable plot She masters the art of description until the details begin materializing, and suddenly you re visualizing them whether you re trying to or not Libby Day What a truly unique, unforgettable character So mentally and emotionally deranged, you cant help but want to reach out to her with a six foot pole, of course Because she feels so damnreal. Her thoughts, her actions so cynical and bitter But who wouldn t be after experiencing the torment she hasI assumed everything bad in the world could happen, because everything bad in the world already did happenLibby s family was brutally murdered in their home, but little seven year old Libby somehow survived the gruesome massacre Largely due to Libby s testimony, her wallflower brother becomes tried and convicted for these satanic murders.Now Libby is a grown woman who is beginning to question the details of that fateful night long ago A night she has buried deep inside, desperate to forget But there are things that refuse to be forgotten And so begins the suspenseful journey, as the plot glides through past and present, alternating between a first and third person perspective Libby serving as the story s narrator And her unhappy, defeated voice is one I will not forget With this particular story, I think the writing won me over even so than the plot Although I was completely sucked into the mystery, marathon guessing like it was my job, the ending somehow left me ever so slightly disappointed It s difficult to place my finger on why I wanted BIG, but maybe this was a little too big I m still unsure In any case, this author has a genius grasp on storytelling, and I will gladly read anything she writes But for now, I m off to read something happy ish Book Stats Genre Category Mystery Thriller Graphic Nature Racy and bold Romance Twisted Characters Unlovable but unforgettable Plot A twisty and suspenseful murder mystery Writing Flawless, poetic, bold, and edgy POV Switches between 3rd and 1st person heroine Cliffhanger None Standalone As seen on The ReadventurerSeriously, what goes on in Gillian Flynn s head She writes the freakiest stuff Sharp Objects was nasty enough, and Dark Places is just as vile Luckily for her, I along with millions of people like vile now and then.Libby Day is a sole survivor of a horrendous massacre Her mother and two sisters were brutally killed one winter night and, mostly thanks to Libby s testimony, the murders were attributed to Libby s older brother Ben, an alleged active Satan worshiper Now, almost 25 years later, 32 year old Libby is out of money that had been donated to her by well wishers over the years and must look for a new source of income She settles on helping the Kill Club a group of obsessed women who believe in Ben s innocence to re investigate the murders, for money of course As Libby starts talking to various people involved in the original investigation at the Kill Club s request, her strong belief in Ben s guilt starts waveringI am fairly certain now that Gillian Flynn s schtick is writing about VERY BAD women We are presented with an array of them in Dark Places they lie to get attention, they abuse, they blackmail, they mooch, they kill, they are weak and pathetic It is, no doubt, a novel approach to women empowerment If women are equal to men, they can be equally despicable, right The men are no better they are good for nothing losers mostly What I am getting at is that you can hardly find any likable characters in this book, which for many readers is a must not me though.The story itself is gruesome Prepare yourself for brutal killings, molestation, bullying, Satan worshiping, drugs and underage sex Some parts are so tough to read, I had to put the book aside for awhile.But underneath the filth, there is a great mystery well paced, suspenseful, full of red herrings, it keeps you guessing until the very last moment who the perpetrator is Just like Sharp Objects, this book is absolutely not for everybody But I thoroughly enjoyed this freaky thriller and will wait with anticipation for the release of Gillian Flynn s next macabre mystery. I have now officially read all of Gillian Flynn s books, and I really enjoyed this one The story and the characters were so twisted, and the last hour or so of the audiobook was insaaaane. Normally I wouldn t give a genre book like this a 5 star review, because I m picky and controlling about handing out major praise How could a crime mystery be as good as, say, Thomas Hardy or Alice Munro Apples and oranges.But I just finished this about five minutes ago, and it made me gasp It s so good a well paced page turner, beautifully wrought I literally couldn t put it down for longer than a couple hours at a time once I picked it up with the exception of sleep.According to her Acknowledgements, Flynn did significant research to write this, and it shows it s assured, detailed, and often heart wrenching There are no loose ends, and when they tie up, they tie up so naturally, unfolding at such a realistic pace, that you feel like this could really have happened Nothing except maybe for the Kill Club, the ball that gets the narrator Libby s investigation rolling is farfetched.For what this is a genre novel echoing In Cold Blood, crossed with southern gothic it s superior But even outside the mystery crime genre, this book is a better, skillful, funnier, emotional and fascinating read than most of the literary fiction I ve read lately Libby Day is a fantastic heroine anti heroine real, three dimensional, funny, dark, bent and broken, but not beyond repair I so enjoyed taking this ride with her and am sorry the book had to end This is very high praise coming from me, because I read constantly and I hardly ever have this feeling about anything I can t wait to read Sharp Objects, though I m dreading it at the same time, because I really can t afford to let another book usurp all my time for three straight days. As someone who grew up in rural Kansas and has lived in the suburbs of Kansas City for the last fourteen years, I made my peace long ago with the fact that I don t reside in one of the hip places on the map The only Kansas based things that have worked their way into popular culture are In Cold Blood and that goddamn Wizard of Oz As a Kansan, I listen to everyone I ve met from somewhere else do the I guess you re not in Kansas any Ha ha thing and can barely resist the urge to punch them in the throat But it seems like every book, film or tv show is set in either New York or L.A with a few other places like Miami, Chicago or Boston thrown in now and then I think half the reason I m such a huge fan of John Sandford is that most of his books are set in Minneapolis, and he s shown that there actually is life in the Midwest I know that the folks who run the various entertainment industries like to talk about getting us off our tractors long enough to sample their wares, but it seems like the only attempts to include us in the stories either mock us as morons or sentimentalize small town life to vomit inducing degrees.Gillian Flynn is originally from Kansas City, and her first book was very well received so I was excited to hear that Dark Places was set in both rural Kansas and K.C Of course, it involved the slaughter of a family on the prairie, going back to the In Cold Blood thing, but I ll take what I can get I was excited to get one of the rare chances to read a story set in the place I live.Unfortunately, Flynn didn t do her old hometown any favors because it seems like she singled out every depressing aspect like the run down old stockyards and warehouse district that s got some of the worst urban decay in the area Or I 70 between K.C and St Louis that is filled with tacky billboards and low rent strip clubs One restaurant that she uses as a location recently burned to the ground, and its owner is charged with arson I know she was telling a story about the aftermath of a brutal crime and how it screwed up the sole survivor, but damn Would it have killed her to have a character pop down to Power Light for a drink The K.C tourism board would have thanked her for it.Enough of my bitching About the book Back in 1985 on a rundown Kansas farm, a mother and two daughters are brutally killed Young Libby Day manages to survive by fleeing the house, and it s her testimony that convicts her fifteen year old brother Ben of the crime Supposedly, Ben was a Satan worshipping freak who went shotgun and axe happy one winter night.In the present, thirty one year old Libby is a freaking mess She doesn t make it out of bed some days, she s a kleptomaniac, she has no friends, and she usually can t even manage to take care of simple things like remembering to buy cat food, wash her sheets or fill her ice cube trays.Libby has been living off the trust fund that started when donations poured in after the murders, but the money is about to run out Desperate, Libby agrees to a paid appearance for the Kill Club, a group of amateur investigators who think that her brother is innocent Libby doesn t even want to think about her brother, but offers of cash get her motivated to start visiting people connected to the murders Suddenly, Libby isn t so sure that Ben was the killer after all.The story is told in two parallel ways We get Libby s first person account of her activities in the present, while a third person narrative of the last day of her family gives us the background of what happened in 1985.This is a character based mystery, and Flynn does a great job with both the struggling Libby in the present and the family in 1985 The stark reality of a poor farm family in the mid 80s along with Libby s pathetic life as an adult makes for a pretty depressing story, but Flynn really sucks the reader into the plight of everyone involved I was somewhat let down by the ending, but I can t say much about that without spoilers While this book probably won t convince anyone to move to Kansas, it s a good read for those who don t mind a raw story about just how much life can sometimes suck, even if you don t get chopped to bits with an axe. *Ebook ↟ Dark Places ⇻ From The New York Times Bestselling Author OfGone GirlLibby Day Was Seven When Her Mother And Two Sisters Were Murdered In The Satan Sacrifice Of Kinnakee, Kansas She Survived And Famously Testified That Her Fifteen Year Old Brother, Ben, Was The Killer Twenty Five Years Later, The Kill Club A Secret Secret Society Obsessed With Notorious Crimes Locates Libby And Pumps Her For Details They Hope To Discover Proof That May Free Ben Libby Hopes To Turn A Profit Off Her Tragic History She Ll Reconnect With The Players From That Night And Report Her Findings To The Club For A Fee As Libby S Search Takes Her From Shabby Missouri Strip Clubs To Abandoned Oklahoma Tourist Towns, The Unimaginable Truth Emerges, And Libby Finds Herself Right Back Where She Started On The Run From A Killer Gripping and entertained DAYS GO BY You gotta believe in something, right Everyone has their thing. This is my second novel by Gillian Flynn, and now I am realizing that I have been reading them backwards, I mean in the opposite publishing order, but this has been due mainly the order of film adaptations However, I won t wait until having any film adaptation of Sharp Objects, to read that one I do hope to read it in the following months.My reading experience with Gone Girl wasn t any good as I would expect, BUT I have to admit that it has a really unique narration style making it worhty to be in anyone s TBR book list And odd enough I enjoyed A LOT the film adaptation of that one, while I watched after reading the book and taking in account that it s basically the same story, but I enjoyed it better in the movie format.I wasn t sure how much I d enjoy this book, Dark Places, but happily I can say that the reading experience with this novel was truly wonderful Maybe it lacks of intense action at the climax I won t spoil it, don t worry , but definitely I enjoy a lot the whole reading experience of the book I am truly glad of deciding to read it I still have to watch the movie at the moment that I am writing this review but I hope to be able to watch it soon HAVE A NICE DAY And every single person in this case lies, is lying, did lie. Dark Places is the tragic and grim story of the Day Family, told in the voices of Libby Day main character , Patty Day her mother and Ben Day his brother Libby s family had just the opposite a nice day, like 25 years agoher mother and her two other sisters were murdered and Ben, his brother was charged with the killings, getting a conviction where Libby s testimony was a key factor for it.Now, Libby is an adult woman, and very soon she will be totally penniless She got many donations around the country United States , mainly at the momento of the tragedy, and she has been able to dispose of the money too good She never studied, never worked, never did anything.Libby is exposed to a singular kind of fans about unsolved murders or cases where the convictions have something wrong A Killing Club, reuniting former cops, former detectives and even regular people interested about police cases She is shocked to know that there are too many people believing that his brother is innocent, and her own doubts about what really happened that terrible night, 25 years ago, are starting to increase big.Between her personal reasons of wanting to know what really happened that dark night and her current struggling economic status, Libby thinks that she can kill two birds with one stone, since this Killing Club is willing to pay her enough money to go and interview the people involved in the case and since she is Libby Day, there is a high potential that that people would open in an easier way to her than strangers.Readers will get to know, slowly but methodically, exactly what happened that terrible day, having chapters with the voice of Libby right now, but also the voices of Patty and Ben, but those two set back in the past, on that fateful day Present and past will be intermixed offering the pieces of the puzzle that the readers want to put together, BUT it won t be easy since human beings are natural liars and the Day Family isn t better if not worse MAKE MY DAY That s what they were a home past the expiration date. It s obvious that the case of the Day Family s murders wasn t handle as it should, but it s amazing how easy an alibi can be stated Unless there is some evidence putting you in the crime scene, it seems that basically you only need to convince somebody else to say that you were with him her at the moment of the crime, and bam You re off the hook Nobody is perfect, but certainly the Day Family never tried any hard to be one You will have an unique access to the minds and feeling of three of the main members of the family, but also, thanks to them, you will get to know the rest of members of this broken kindred.You won t have heroes here Only survivors And certainly when money is scarse, the Day Family doesn t hesitate to make crazy hard calls.Blood is thicker than water, so families bonds are strong to smash, but also, families aren t a static things but in constant evolution, and due that bloods can become even thicker, specially if something isn t quite right to say the least in your head SEIZE THE DAY Everyone who keeps a secret itches to tell it. A mystery is something great, it s something wonderful, since a mystery always is screaming to be solved A mystery exists to be solvedbut a secret A secret is something intimidating, it s something maddening, since a secret always is silently screaming to remain unspoken, hidden Knowing about the existence of a secret is a contradiction itself.Therefore, people do their best to keep the secrets, but it s something too heavy, so, to lighten some of the burden, people become crafty to expose the secret at plain sight, but in a clever way Even dark places aren t enough to keep a secret.Meet the Day Familyat your own risk my first experience with gillian flynn was a minor disaster i had no idea how dark and disturbing her stories would be, so i was nowhere close to being in the right mental state for that kind of thing now knowing the twisted things she is capable of writing, i found this book to be quite thrilling ive also found GF has quite a slow paced style of writing but, with this particular story, i thought it worked really well it helps develop the characters, establish a timeline of day of the crime, and provide little clues and hints along the way the ending isnt quite as shocking as i may have liked with the slow pace and good details, its easy to see where things are headed but i thought it was an ending suitable for the story overall, im so relieved i didnt dislike this as much as sharp objects and now im even excited to pick up gone girl 3.5 stars