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Extended Audio Sample Dark Places (Movie Tie-In Edition): A Novel, by Gillian Flynn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (39,768 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gillian Flynn Narrator: Robertson Dean, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Rebecca Lowman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Perhaps you’ve recently discovered Gillian Flynn through her critically acclaimed third audiobook Gone Girl, which entered the New York Times Bestseller list on June 24, 2012 at #2 and remains there as of January 2013.

If you loved Gone Girl and are waiting for Flynn’s next suspense thriller to be published, you might want to check out her previous two novels available for download at The Audio Book Store. One of these is Dark Places.

Dark Places tells the story of Libby Day, whose mother and two sisters were slaughtered in their home when Libby was seven years old. Libby was the only family member to escape; her brother Ben, who was not home at the time, was convicted of the murders and has spent the past 25 years in prison.

Libby’s memories—and testimony—are called into question when she is contacted by a bizarre group called The Kill Club, whose members are obsessed with notorious crimes and spend countless hours reviewing and analyzing such crimes. Members of the Kill Club believe Ben has been wrongly convicted, and enlist Libby’s help to go back and speak with persons associated with the homicides in an attempt to discover the "real" killer and free Ben Day.

Like Gone Girl, Dark Places is a gripping thriller with some odd characters whose actions are consistently unpredictable, culminating in an ending that’s also totally unpredictable.

Before writing her first novel, Flynn worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years as both a movie and TV critic. Dark Places is her second novel and in addition to being a New York Times bestseller was also Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009 and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. Her work has been published in twenty-eight countries.

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 have 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Gillian Flynn may turn out to be a more gothic John Irving for the 21st century, a writer who uses both a surgeon's scalpel and a set of rusty harrow discs to rip the pretty face off middle America. San Jose Mercury News

    “The world of this novel is all underside, all hard flinch, and Flynn’s razor-sharp prose intensifies this effect as she knuckles in on every sentence. . . . The slick plotting in DARK PLACES will gratify the lover of a good thriller–but so, too, will Flynn’s prose, which is ferocious and unrelenting and pure pleasure from word one.
  • 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

    "Flynn fully inhabits Libby—a damaged woman whose world has resided entirely in her own head for the majority of her life and who is prone to dark metaphors: 'Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.' Half the fun of DARK PLACES is Libby’s swampy psychology, which Flynn leads us through without the benefit of hip waders.
  • A genuinely shocking denouement Romantic Times
  • Sardonic, riveting . . . Like Kate Atkinson, Flynn has figured out how to fuse the believable characters, silken prose and complex moral vision of literary fiction to the structure of a crime story. . . . You can sense trouble coming like a storm moving over the prairie, but can't quite detect its shape. Laura Miller, Salon.com
  • These characters are fully realized—so true they could step off the page….hints of what truly happened to the Day family feel painfully, teasingly paced as they forge an irresistible trail to the truth….Could. Not. Stop. Reading. Bookreporter.com
  • Libby’s voice is a pitch-perfect blend of surliness and emotionally charged imagery. . . . The Kansas in these pages is a bleak, deterministic place where bad blood and lies generate horrifically unintended consequences. Though there’s little redemption here, Flynn manages to unearth the humanity buried beneath the squalor. Bloomberg.com
  • Set in the bleak Midwest of America, this evocation of small-town life and dysfunctional people is every bit as horribly fascinating as Capote’s journalistic retelling of a real family massacre, In Cold Blood, which it eerily resembles. This is only Flynn’ s second crime novel–her debut was the award-winning Sharp Objects–and demonstrates even more forcibly her precocious writing ability and talent for the macabre. Daily Mail (UK)
  • “Flynn’s second novel is a wonderful evocation of drab small-town life. The time-split narrative works superbly and the atmosphere is eerily macabre—Dark Places is even better than the author’s award-winning Sharp Objects. The Guardian (UK)
  • Named one of the Best Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly

    A Weekend TODAY “Top Summer Read
    The New Yorker's Reviewers' Favorite from 2009
  • Another winner! Harlan Coben
  • “Gillian Flynn’s writing is compulsively good. I would rather read her than just about any other crime writer. Kate Atkinson
  • “Dark Places grips you from the first page and doesn't let go. Karin Slaughter
  • With her blistering debut Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn hit the ground running. Dark Places demonstrates that was no fluke. Val McDermid
  • “Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre.”

    Stephen King

  • Gillian Flynn coolly demolished the notion that little girls are made of sugar and spice in Sharp Objects, her sensuous and chilling first thriller. In DARK PLACES, her equally sensuous and chilling follow-up, Flynn…has conjured up a whole new crew of feral and troubled young females….[A] propulsive and twisty mystery. Entertainment Weekly
  • “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 (4 stars)
  • Crackles with peevish energy and corrosive wit. Dallas Morning News
  • A riveting tale of true horror by a writer who has all the gifts to pull it off. Chicago Tribune
  • Libby’s voice is a pitch-perfect blend of surliness and emotionally charged imagery. . . . The Kansas in these pages is a bleak, deterministic place where bad blood and lies generate horrifically unintended consequences. Though there’s little redemption here, Flynn manages to unearth the humanity buried beneath the squalor. Bloomberg.com
  • Set in the bleak Midwest of America, this evocation of small-town life and dysfunctional people is every bit as horribly fascinating as Capote’s journalistic retelling of a real family massacre, In Cold Blood, which it eerily resembles. This is only Flynn’ s second crime novel–her debut was the award-winning Sharp Objects–and demonstrates even more forcibly her precocious writing ability and talent for the macabre. Daily Mail (UK)
  • Once in a while a book comes along that puts a new spin on an old idea. More than 40 years ago, Truman Capote took readers inside the Clutter farmhouse in Holcomb, KS, to show them what it was like to walk in a killer's shoes. Flynn takes modern readers back to Kansas to explore the fictional 1985 Day family massacre from the perspective of a survivor as well as the suspects. . . . tight plotting and engaging characters. Library Journal

  • Flynn’s second crime thriller tops her impressive debut, Sharp Objects…When the truth emerges, it’s so twisted that even the most astute readers won’t have predicted it. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • The sole survivor of a family massacre is pushed into revisiting a past she’d much rather leave alone, in Flynn’s scorching follow-up to Sharp Objects . . . Flynn intercuts Libby’s venomous detective work with flashbacks to the fatal day 24 years ago so expertly that as they both hurtle toward unspeakable revelations, you won’t know which one you’re more impatient to finish. . . . every sentence crackles with enough baleful energy to fuel a whole town through the coldest Kansas winter. Kirkus Reviews
  • Once in a while a book comes along that puts a new spin on an old idea. More than 40 years ago, Truman Capote took readers inside the Clutter farmhouse in Holcomb, KS, to show them what it was like to walk in a killer's shoes. Flynn takes modern readers back to Kansas to explore the fictional 1985 Day family massacre from the perspective of a survivor as well as the suspects. . . . tight plotting and engaging characters. Library Journal
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

  • “DARK PLACES' Libby Day may seem unpleasant company at first–she's humoring those with morbid curiosities about her family's murders in order to get money out of them–but her steely nature and sharp tongue are compelling. 'I have a meanness inside me,'she says, 'real as an organ.'Yes she does, and by the end of this pitch-black novel, after we've loosened our grip on its cover and started breathing deeply again, we're glad Flynn decided to share it. Jessa Crispin, NPR.org
  • 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. Portland Oregonian
  • A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine. Booklist, starred review
  • In her first psychological thriller, Sharp Objects, Flynn created a world unsparingly grim and nasty (the heroine carves words into her own flesh) written with irresistibly mordant humor. The sleuth in her equally disturbing and original second novel is Libby Day....It's Flynn's gift that she can make a caustic, self-loathing, unpleasant protagonist someone you come to root for. New York Magazine
  • “[A] gripping thriller. Cosmopolitan
  • "Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre. Stephen King
  • Another winner! Harlan Coben
  • “Gillian Flynn’s writing is compulsively good. I would rather read her than just about any other crime writer. Kate Atkinson
  • Named one of the Best Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly

    A Weekend TODAY “Top Summer Read
    The New Yorker's Reviewers' Favorite from 2009
  • A 2009 Favorite Fiction Pick by The Chicago Tribune
  • [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
  • Dark Places' Libby Day may seem unpleasant company at first–she's humoring those with morbid curiosities about her family's murders in order to get money out of them–but her steely nature and sharp tongue are compelling. 'I have a meanness inside me,'she says, 'real as an organ.'Yes she does, and by the end of this pitch-black novel, after we've loosened our grip on its cover and started breathing deeply again, we're glad Flynn decided to share it. Jessa Crispin, NPR.org
  • A genuinely shocking denouement. Romantic Times
  • Sardonic, riveting . . . Like Kate Atkinson, Flynn has figured out how to fuse the believable characters, silken prose and complex moral vision of literary fiction to the structure of a crime story. . . . You can sense trouble coming like a storm moving over the prairie, but can't quite detect its shape. Laura Miller, Salon.com
  • "Dark Places grips you from the first page and doesn't let go. Karin Slaughter
  • With her blistering debut Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn hit the ground running. Dark Places demonstrates that was no fluke. Val McDermid
  • Dark Places grips you from the first page and doesn't let go.”

    Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Criminal

  • “Gillian Flynn’s writing is compulsively good. I would rather read her than just about any other crime writer.”

    Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Started Early, Took My Dog

  • “Another winner!”

    Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Stay Close

  • “[A] nerve-fraying thriller.”

    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.” 

    New Yorker

  • “A riveting tale of true horror by a writer who has all the gifts to pull it off.” 

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Sardonic, riveting…Flynn has figured out how to fuse the believable characters, silken prose, and complex moral vision of literary fiction to the structure of a crime story.” 

    Salon

  • “In her first psychological thriller, Sharp Objects, Flynn created a world unsparingly grim and nasty…written with irresistibly mordant humor. The sleuth in her equally disturbing and original second novel is Libby Day…It’s Flynn’s gift that she can make a caustic, self-loathing, unpleasant protagonist someone you come to root for.”

    New Yorker

  • “In Dark Places, [Flynn’s] equally sensuous and chilling follow-up, Flynn…has conjured up a whole new crew of feral and troubled young females…[A] propulsive and twisty mystery.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “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

  • “By the end of this pitch-black novel, after we’ve loosened our grip on its cover and started breathing deeply again, we’re glad Flynn decided to share it.” 

    NPR

  • “Flynn’s second novel is a wonderful evocation of drab small-town life. The time-split narrative works superbly and the atmosphere is eerily macabre—Dark Places is even better than the author’s award-winning Sharp Objects.”

    The Guardian (UK)

  • “This is only Flynn’ s second crime novel—her debut was the award-winning Sharp Objects–and demonstrates even more forcibly her precocious writing ability and talent for the macabre.” 

    Daily Mail (UK)

  • “[A] gripping thriller.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Crackles with peevish energy and corrosive wit.” 

    Dallas Morning News

  • “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.” 

    Oregonian

  • “The slick plotting in Dark Places will gratify the lover of a good thriller—but so, too, will Flynn’s prose, which is ferocious and unrelenting and pure pleasure from word one.” 

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Gillian Flynn may turn out to be a more gothic John Irving for the twenty-first century, a writer who uses both a surgeons scalpel and a set of rusty harrow discs to rip the pretty face off middle America.” 

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “Half the fun of Dark Places is Libby’s swampy psychology, which Flynn leads us through without the benefit of hip waders.”

    Time Out Chicago

  • “Deliciously creepy…Flynn follows 250-some pages of masterful plotting and character development with a speedway pileup of pulse-pounding revelations.”

    Chicago Reader

  • “Clever, engrossing and disturbing…[Dark Places] should cement [Flynn’s] place in the great authors of crime fiction.” 

    Crimespree

  • “Flynn’s second crime thriller tops her impressive debut, Sharp Objects…When the truth emerges, it’s so twisted that even the most astute readers won’t have predicted it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Tight plotting and engaging characters.” 

    Library Journal

  • “A gritty, riveting thriller with a one-of-a-kind, tart-tongued heroine.” 

    Booklist

  • “Every sentence crackles with enough baleful energy to fuel a whole town through the coldest Kansas winter.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A genuinely shocking denouement.” 

    RT Book Reviews

  • “These characters are fully realized—so true they could step off the page…Could. Not. Stop. Reading.”

    Bookreporter.com

  • “Libby’s voice is a pitch-perfect blend of surliness and emotionally charged imagery…The Kansas in these pages is a bleak, deterministic place where bad blood and lies generate horrifically unintended consequences. Though there’s little redemption here, Flynn manages to unearth the humanity buried beneath the squalor.”

    Bloomberg.com

  • “With her blistering debut Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn hit the ground running. Dark Places demonstrates that was no fluke.”

    Val McDermid, author of The Vanishing Point

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2009 Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • A 2009 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year
  • Selected for the May 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2009 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Finalist
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jillian Neyhart | 2/18/2014

    " Creepy, dark and thrilling...wish I could have given it 4 and 1/2 stars. This author is great at bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together in a twisted way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Allyson Lyon | 2/15/2014

    " Another great Gillian Flynn book. I racked my brain trying to decide how this story would end and I was wrong wrong wrong. I love a book that can keep me guessing. The main character is so unloveable one minute you want to side with her, but then she acts like such a bitch that your sympathy fades until... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Grace | 2/7/2014

    " The is my second Gillian Flynn novel and again I wonder how she can be so dark but yet make you want more. Libby Day survives a night of horror where her mother and 2 sisters are brutally murdered. As a child she testifies that she saw her brother, Ben, do the horrible deeds. Years later she is still not functioning well and is approached by a group of people who are called The Kill Club who seem like quite a group of misfits who follow murders. They approach her because they do not believe her brother did the murders. As a way to make herself some money she agrees to face her brother in prison and go back and talk about that night. With Gillian Flynn, you never known where the tale will take you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Milithza | 2/4/2014

    " This author keeps you on the edge of your seat!! "

  • > Show All
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