Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is a well written edgy novel by bestselling author Gillian Flynn. Flynn is known for writing books with dark and edgy characters. Gone Girl carries on that tradition. The background seems simple enough at first. Nick and Amy Dunne are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Amy is from the northeast, the daughter of two famous psychologists and authors. Her parents created the popular Amazing Amy series of books. Nick is the son of a working class divorced couple from North Carthage, MIssouri. He moved to New York to work as a writer for a magazine. Both lost their jobs in the publishing industry and eventually moved to North Carthage to care for Nick’s sick mother.

Then the unthinkable happens. Amy disappears. The door of the house is open and there is blood on the floor. The place has been turned upside down. What has happened to Amy? Is Nick responsible? As the story unfolds people begin to take sides and as secrets come out no one seems to know how to distinguish truth from fiction.

The story is told in first person by Nick and through Amy’s diary. This makes for interesting pacing. Everything in the story is narrated as something that has already happened. At the same time it becomes clear that our narrators are not altogether honest with themselves, or with us. Gone Girl is one of those books that is difficult to review because there are so many plot twists and turns and a good review should never spoil the story.

Gillian Flynn has crafted a taut, edgy, thriller that will keep even seasoned readers guessing what is going to happen next. I am usually one step ahead in most mystery novels, I was in the dark through much of this book. That is not normal, but was quite enjoyable. I won’t say that the characters are likable, they are not. They are not meant to be likable. Flynn examines the dark side of life and shows that what you see on the surface may not be what you find when you dig a little deeper. This is a riveting story and is highly recommended.