eBook, 412 pages.
Release date: May 24th 2012.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
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?
Tense, thrilling and also seriously, seriously twisted, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is not for the faint of heart, but it is unputdownable. A total must read!
That said, it took me a little while to get around to reading this one. The reasons for this were two-fold; Once upon a time (in the days I call pre-YA) I used to read nothing but psychological thrillers and mysteries (Lisa Unger, Laura Lippman), so much so that I wasn’t sure if any book of this type could really shock or surprise me anymore (well, I’ve learned the answer to that now!), and I was also wary of the hype surrounding Gone Girl. I’m talking major hype. Hey, I’ve been burned by that sort of hype before. But this time, I needn’t have worried. Within pages, I knew I was in safe hands with Gillian Flynn. And a few chapters in, I was in love with her prose and completely absorbed in the events that were unfolding before my eyes.
We meet Nick and Amy Dunne on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary as Amy prepares a special breakfast and put the final touches to her annual treasure hunt, which every year leads Nick to a very special gift. Nick, who takes a rather more relaxed approach to marriage and anniversaries than his organized wife, has yet to do his last minute shopping. So far, so, well, normal, really. But a few hours later Amy is missing, the house is in disarray, there are blood stains on the floor, and Nick is acting all kinds of shady. And so the fun begins. Nick is our narrator through it all, but even though Amy is out of the picture, we get to know her through her diary entries, which details her relationship with Nick from its romantic beginnings in New York City, to the more mundane lifestyle they share now in Nick’s hometown of North Carthage, Missouri, where Amy is bored, Nick is distant and something has got to give…
Gone Girl is best read if you don’t know all too much about the plot, so I’m going to stop right there on that point. You need to experience all those sweet little shocks, twists and surprises for yourself. I will say that the ‘Cool Girl’ chapter in this book is hands down one of the best things I’ve ever read, and also that the ending, although I had to read over it a couple times to experience its full chilling effect, truly sent a shiver right down my spine. Flynn’s characterization is spot on and her voice is pitch perfect throughout with snarky asides and witty insights galore. Is Gone Girl totally unpredictable? No, it’s not. Not totally. Will it leave you chilled to the bone? Absolutely. It will also leave you with a whole lot of food for thought.
If there ever was a book that called for a big screen adaptation, then it’s this one, and as such the rights have been snapped up. Reese Witherspoon is producing, and at the time of writing this review she’s also rumored to star. If he were still alive, Alfred Hitchcock would be all over Gone Girl, that’s for sure, and Charlize Theron would be ‘the blonde.’ I think she’d be perfect in the Amy role.
If you haven’t yet read Gone Girl, then you are really missing out. As for me, I’m about to delve into my next Gillian Flynn book Sharp Objects. I just hope this one is as good as Gone Girl!