Study Guide

Dark Places Chapter 1

By Gillian Flynn

Chapter 1

Libby Day—Now

  • Our narrator, Libby Day, is a bad person. Or at least she says she is. "Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs," (1.2) like a vampire with dentures after dissolving to dust. Or something.
  • Libby is lying around in bed, being depressed as usual and realizing she's about to be broke. She had a bunch of money donated to her by strangers because her whole family was massacred when she was a young girl.
  • Now, when she meets her financial advisor, Libby finds out that there is only $982.12 left. What's a murder survivor to do for cash these days?
  • Miraculously, Libby gets a special letter in the mail. It's not from the ghost of Ed McMahon; it's from a man named Lyle Wirth.
  • What's he "wirth"? Oh, about $500—if she'll give an "appearance" (1.60). But doing what?
  • Libby calls Lyle. He tells her he's in a "special club" (1.74) that would love to meet her. He wants to tell her more over a drink, so she meets him at the local Grille.
  • Lyle, who "look[s] like a serial killer. Which probably meant he wasn't one," (1.84) tells her that he's in a Kill Club, like the one Candace Cameron was in in that Hallmark Channel movie.
  • The people in Lyle's Kill Club are fascinated with real-life cases: "Laci Peterson. Jeffrey MacDonald, Lizzie Borden" (1.99)—and Libby Day. Her whole family was killed, and her brother is in jail for the murder.
  • Libby talks Lyle up to $700, but he tells her she might be able to sell some stuff for more cash.