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Dark places
2009
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Libby Day (Female), Mother and two older sisters were killed; her testimony at the age of 7 sent her 15-year- old brother to prison for life; hasn't had to work a day in her life; her trust fund money is running out; confronted by a secret society determined to prove her brother's innocence; begins to question exactly what she saw 25 years ago
Genre
Fiction
Suspense
Thriller
Book tie-in
Topics
Family tragedy
Child witnesses
Brothers and sisters
Mass murder
Secret societies
Search for truth
Wrongful conviction
Lies
Dysfunctional families
Setting
Kansas - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
1985 -- 20th century
2009 -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Once in a while a book comes along that puts a new spin on an old idea. More than 40 years ago, Truman Capote (with In Cold Blood) took readers inside the Clutter farmhouse in Holcomb, KS, to show them what it was like to walk in a killer's shoes. Flynn (Sharp Objects) 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. In order to identify the true killer, an adult Libby Day must come to terms with the traumatic events of her childhood, when her mother and two sisters were slaughtered. Although Flynn sometimes struggles with the large cast of characters she has amassed, each with his or her own set of volatile foibles, and complicates matters by dealing with them in both the present and the past, the tight plotting and engaging characters carry the reader over the few rough patches that appear. For all public libraries.-Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

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. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.<br> <br> <br> 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've long forgotten her.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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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