Making its way straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list after its release in June 2012 in the USA, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has also proved to one of the most popular summer reads in the UK.
This is the American author’s third novel. Her first, Sharp Objects, won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller and her second, Dark Places, amongst other accolades was the Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009 and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. Not surprisingly the movie rights to both have already been sold.
Following on in the contemporary thriller genre, Gone Girl does not disappoint. It is an ‘unputdownable’ gripping psychological mystery that takes a sideways view at marriage. Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors?
Gone Girl turns out to be Amy Dunne, better known as Amazing Amy from the character in the books written by her psychologist parents which have earned them a nice sum in royalties and Amy a substantial trust-fund.
Husband Nick has lost his job and moved back from New York with Amy to his home town in the state of Missouri, ostensibly to look after his cancer suffering mother and dementia ridden father. Coming home from the bar that he owns with his twin sister one afternoon, the day of their 5th wedding anniversary, he finds the front door open, evidence of a struggle in the living room and no trace of Amy – gone girl!
The story unfolds in alternating perspectives: entries from Amy’s diary, from the day she met Nick to the day she vanishes and Nick’s account of the weeks after her disappearance. What follows is plenty of intrigue that will keep you guessing until the end. Although I, along with many others, was disappointed with the finale, this may have been because it didn’t conform to what we expected. Clever writing by Gillian Flynn with two-dimensional characterisations and plenty of twists ensures a gripping read.
Gone Girl draws you in gently, changes the rules and plays with your mind, finishing with an unexpected shock. Do you know what is going on in your relationship?