by Gillian Flynn
Published June 5, 2012 by Crown
Copy provided by publisher for honest review
Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
How well do you really know your spouse? In Gillian Flynn’s hypnotically gripping third novel, the floundering relationship between husband Nick and wife Amy is explored in alternating points of view starting with Nick when Amy goes missing on their five year wedding anniversary. While he quickly becomes the main suspect with his oddly disaffected behavior and less than helpful approach to the search for Amy, you get to know her through entries in a journal from the time Nick and Amy first met up until the time she went missing. Amy’s chapters follow their relationship from their time in New York until Nick is laid off from his writing job, quickly followed by her layoff. When Nick’s mother gets cancer and he decides that they should move to small town Missouri to help his sister take care of her, their already strained relationship starts to become even worse. How much can one marriage take before it breaks?
The first third of the novel really addresses the present day culture of the Nancy Grace witch hunt, where the media skewers the husband in the public eye before he can be charged with any crime or even before a body has been found. With such high profile cases as Drew Peterson’s and the Lisa Stebic dissappearance in the Chicago suburban area where I reside, this book hits much closer to home because I’ve seen all of this on the news on a nightly basis, witnessing the frenzy in the media and public over the search for missing women who are still gone to this day. The character of Nick doesn’t invite the scrutiny on himself while he maintains his innocence, but he doesn’t discourage it when he lies to the cops, goes off to investigate on his own, and even tries to exact a little vigilante justice if necessary. His chapters cover coming home to a house in disarray and a missing wife, to the resulting police investigation leading to his being named the chief suspect by the media and the following media frenzy.
Gone Girl is split into three parts, and the twist right when the first part is over is so unexpected, so devilishly evil that I can’t write too much about it or risk spoiling the book. I will say that Gillian Flynn has written one of the best books with excellent use of unreliable narrators that I’ve ever read. The two different points of view in this book are completely distinct, which is refreshing and so enjoyable to read.
I give this excellent book a five out of five. It’s fast paced and keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out what really happened to Amy. And once you do find out, you want to know why it turned out that way, and maybe even makes you want to shank the evil villian for being so manipulative and ruthless. The one thing that stuck out for me with this book is that in the end, no matter how well you think you know someone, you’ve barely skimmed the surface.
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