Day 121: Gone Girl

Cover for Gone GirlBest Book of the Week!

A lot of people are reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and no wonder! Usually, I would wait awhile to present another Flynn book after just having reviewed one last week, but I couldn’t wait to do this one! If you like dark, twisted plots, and great psychological thrillers with a smidgen of evil humor, this is the book for you.

Nick and Amy Dunne are having some marriage problems. When they met, they were both cool young Manhattanites. He was a magazine journalist and she a quiz writer and the model for a series of Amazing Amy children’s books written by her psychologist parents. Five years later, they have both lost their jobs and moved to a dying small town in Missouri to help his mother take care of his ailing father. With the rest of Amy’s money, Nick has bought a bar to keep himself and his twin sister Go busy. Their relationship has been deteriorating ever since.

On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears, leaving evidence of violence. Of course, Nick is the police’s prime suspect, and it doesn’t help that he hasn’t been altogether truthful with them. The public, galvanized by the Amazing Amy connection, almost immediately turns against him. The investigation turns up money problems and worse. Secrets are flushed out.

Most of the first part of the novel is narrated alternately by Nick and by diary entries written by Amy. Amy seems disingenuous and appealing, almost giddy, reminding me sometimes of Bridget Jones. Nick commits many lies of omission. Here’s a hint. Both Nick and Amy are liars.

Just when we think we know what’s next, the plot twists. The book is completely engrossing and very darkly funny, suspenseful and chilling. Think psychopath, but guessing who that person may be is just one of the book’s pleasures. In the reviews, I’ve seen several comparisons to Patricia Highsmith, and I think that’s about right.