Reviews for Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

novelbloglover's review against another edition

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5.0

Book Review

Title: Dark Places

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Psychological/Thriller/Family

Rating: *****

Review: When she was a child, Libby escaped a massacre in her own home, in which both of her sisters and her mother were killed. Her brother was convicted of the murders as Libby testified against him and sentenced to life in prison. Libby has no contact with her brother, is quite challenged and lives off of money people gave to help her when the case was popular.

She is informed that money is almost over and begins to think what to do to get it back. She meets a man called Lyle, who runs a Kill Club – a club for people who are obsessed with murders, killers and such. She begins doing things for them for money. They are convinced her brother Ben was wrongly convicted, and pay her to research the crime – talk to her brother, visit him in jail, talk to her estranged dad et cetera.


Many strange things surface – Ben was supposedly a Devil worshipper, her father was violent and wanted money, but we also find out her mother was going to lose the farm they all lived on because she owed money. The story is told from a few points of view including the past. Libby tracks down an old girlfriend of Ben’s, Diondra, who was pregnant at the time of the murders and disappeared.

She finds her and is shocked to meet Crystal, her niece, alive and well. Diondra and Crystal attack and try to kill her, but Libby escapes once again. Diondra is found and arrested, while her daughter remains in hiding.

It turns out Diondra and Ben wanted to escape, but one of Libby’s sisters caught them and threatened to tell everyone about the pregnancy. Diondra attacked her, enraged, and strangled her. As this was happening, a men entered their home. Nobody knew that their mother had met up with a man earlier, who promised her a better future for her children. He would kill her, and the kids would get her life insurance, pay off the debts and be happy – but she would have to die. She agreed to this, thinking it was for the best. As the men came into the house, Libby’s mother prepared to die, but the other sister waddled in, surprising the killer. He ended up killing both the mother and the child as she was a witness. He is convicted as he has committed many similar crimes, and does not confess to any of them, except to the murder of Libby’s sister, which has been haunting him for years.

As the novel ends, Ben is released from prison and vows to start with small changes, reuniting with Libby and maybe even finding Crystal, who is still on the run. I loved the gory scenes as gore sometimes does not translate well to text, but in this case it was amazing. I loved Libby, I think she was very strong despite her difficulties.

flutey78's review against another edition

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4.0

I'm glad by the end Libby got it together because I didn't really care for her in the beginning. This book was very dark and twisted. It was interesting and mesmerizing at the same time.

majkf's review against another edition

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4.0

I can't help but be totally mesmerized by Gillian Flynn's protagonists. I remember loving Sharp Objects for the cold authenticity of the main character and I'm reminded of the same thing in this book. Libby is not necessarily likable or easy to understand, but I see so much of myself in her. I haven't read very many fictional stories dealing w/ mental illness (specifically PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation) as accurately as this. And she didn't even really have to mention it outright. Flynn is a master of disturbingly poignant description. The characters are all believably nuanced, though sometimes it does teeter on the edge of being cheesy. Her mystery always keeps me hungry for resolution until the very end. This resolution felt just very slightly rushed and a little too convenient, but it's hard to not feel that way after the fact. I'm quickly becoming obsessed with Flynn's writing, it being a place wherein my own personal damages are often mirrored in a way that feels completely understanding.

malachaifelix's review

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dark mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

adrianna80's review against another edition

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4.0

4.5 Flynn writes the most effed up books, but in such a can't stop reading way. I mean she's a freaking gruesome serial killer, a child gets hacked with an axe, but I could not stop reading

courtsieanna's review against another edition

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1.0

This was the least favorite of all of Gillian Flynn's books that I read (well I listened to this one, so maybe that has something to do with it). I don't usually "read" audio books, unless it is a celebrity's book and they are reading it, and this one was obviously not. I found the narration painful to sit through and I almost gave up more than once. It was nice though to see it through and be there for Libby's (the main character) closure, after a childhood tragedy.

readerintheruemorgue's review against another edition

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4.0

Flynn writes in a very brutally honest and absolutely horrific kind of way. The mystery that she has created within this book was very well crafted, although the story was very slow moving. Flynn tends to dwell on facts and attributes that tend not to matter in the heat of the scene.

Overall, very well written but lacking in some areas.

bethgupta's review against another edition

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3.0



Three and a half

elhenderson's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5
I wanted this to be fantastic but I just didn't love it.
Honestly I picked the ending bits and pieces so the ending was not a surprise and I found it was a cop out. I also didn't really see this as a psychological thriller, more just a murder mystery.
There were also just so many extra plot lines that I didn't think added much to the story. Like whilst reading they were interesting but they didn't really add anything to the conclusion.
Overall, fun but disappointing.

amydm's review against another edition

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4.0

I didn't care for this much because I hated all the characters, but it was well written and constructed, which is why it gets 4 stars.