Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

By Ekta R. Garg

June 12, 2013

Rated: Borrow it

A husband comes under the magnifying glass of suspicion when his wife goes missing, despite his repeated assertions that he had nothing to do with her disappearance.  The fact their relationship had begun to go sour before she disappears doesn’t help his case, and when the police find a diary with alarming entries they all but charge the husband with a crime.  But the husband harbors his own thoughts about his wife; now he just has to convince the law enforcement officers that he knows what happened without making it look like he really did resort to an ultimatum with the woman he once deeply loved.  Gillian Flynn shocks readers, then strings them along and shocks them some more in her newest book, Gone Girl.

I’d heard and read enough about this book that its premise drew me to the library in search of it, and certain portions of the hype are true: this book will definitely challenge any ideas you might have about the conventional thriller.  Told in first person from both the points of view of Nick, the husband, and Amy, the missing wife, author Flynn does an excellent job of leading her readers down a particular plot path.  Just when you think you know what lies at the end of the journey, she adds a hairpin turn to the story—and suddenly you’ll realize that Flynn has left you without a compass and with no clue on how to get back.

As a writer and a reader both, I found the first section of the book absolutely gripping.  Nick tries to convince the police and readers of his innocence, but even though we’re hearing his side of the story we can’t help but get the feeling that he’s not on the up-and-up.  Despite his repeated attempts at proving himself, something just doesn’t sound quite right.  And when he admits to the reader that he lied and concealed information at certain points, it doesn’t help his case.  Flynn tightens the screws of tension until it feels like they’re about to crack the surface of the plot; she manages to evoke an actual physical response, the tension becomes that palpable.

Then comes that hairpin turn.  And suddenly we’re careening on the edge of the road with the story up to that point on one side and a cliff on the other.  The real road markers begin appearing, and we’re not sure if we really want to go where they lead.  But we don’t have a choice.  If we want to figure out exactly where we started, we have to know where it all ends.

I have to say, though, that Flynn really has a flare for the darker psychosis of humanity.  I finished her book more than a week ago, and whenever I think about it the end still makes me shudder a little.  Without including any spoilers, I shudder at the lengths spouses can go to hurt one another and keep one another for themselves.

“Marriage can be a real killer,” the book jacket states, and Flynn proves it—just not in the way anyone might expect.  Anyone who enjoys a real thriller and wants to know just how far people can go will probably enjoy this book.  Just be prepared to shudder a time or two along the way.

***

What the ratings mean:

Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection.  It’s definitely worth it!

Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.

Bypass it–Free time is precious.  Don’t spend it on this book!

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