Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
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?
Review: I went into this book knowing very little about it, and I’m glad I did. It wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome to read if I’d been spoiled. The plot has so many twists that it’s impossible to predict them all. I’ll try to keep my review completely spoiler-free.
Gone Girl has a simple premise: Amy goes missing, and her husband Nick is the prime suspect. That’s where the simplicity ends. The plot, characters, and story structure are very intricate.
My favorite part of the book is the characters. They are all extremely well-developed. Nick and Amy are devious, manipulative, and unlikable. I had to keep reading because they become more shockingly nasty with every page. The story is told from alternating first-person points-of-view, so the reader gets to see the plot from both Amy and Nick’s perspectives. I love this because the characters have different interpretations of the same events. There’s no way to know for sure which character is telling the truth about what really happened to Amy.
Another great element of the story is the role that the media plays. The media creates their own versions of Nick and Amy: Nick is a heartless murderer; Amy is an innocent victim. The media’s versions of the characters aren’t quite accurate. It made me think about real life and how the people involved in murder cases are presented by the media.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, so it’s hard to come up with criticisms. I did find it difficult to get into the story. The beginning has a lot of character development and not much else. It took about 200 pages for the story to really grab my attention. After that, I couldn’t put it down.
If you like mysteries or books with fascinatingly horrible characters, I’d recommend Gone Girl.