Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

About the Author

Gillian Flynn is an American writer. She has published three novels, Sharp Objects, Dark Places and Gone Girl, the last of which she adapted for the screen in the 2014 film of the same name directed by David Fincher. She was formerly a television critic for Entertainment Weekly. 


To give a premise – Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in a ‘Satan Sacrifice’ on their farm in Kansas. Libby survived and famously testified that her fifteen year old brother, Ben was the killer. Twenty five years later, Libby Day has run out of money. The Kill Club – a secret society that is obsessed with notorious crimes locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof to free Ben. On the other hand, Libby hopes to turn a profit from her tragic history so they strike a deal – she will 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, some things long buried emerge and she finds herself going back to memories long repressed and forgotten. 

This author scares me. After reading Gone Girl, I remember being freaked out about a psychologically dysfunctional woman capable of such madness but when I read Dark Places, its just worse. Gillian Flynn just wants you to cringe – none of the characters are likeable. At some point I wanted them all dead cause they were all so pathetic. There are some moments that I had to keep this book aside because there were some brutal and disgusting scenes. Be prepared for bloody killings, bullying, Satan worshipping, drugs and underage sex. There is palpable discomfort while reading this book but if you like vile, then this will keep you up. 

I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed Gone Girl. The writing was great but at some point in the book, you’re wondering what the hell is wrong with Gillian Flynn more than the characters. How can she be this twisted? How can she push her characters to do all this? Doesn’t she love them? So yes, that bit distracted me. This book was read in one sitting but it doesn’t necessarily mean I liked it. The poverty shown by Libby’s family living at the farm and what the mother goes through is uncomfortable, the book lags in some places when it gets too descriptive about the satan worshipping rituals and at some point, you just want to know who was responsible because every character looks just as likely to have carried out the act. 

CONTENT WARNING – Recommended for readers aged 20+. Includes gory bloody murders, underage sex, drugs, bullying, Satan/cult worship.