Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Nick and Amy Dunne seem like the perfect couple. Living a dream life in New York, the pair of writers appear to have it all. She, a stunning blonde, star of her parent's children book series, and writer of magazine quizzes, is the perfect mix of brains and beauty. He, good looking, smart journalist, with the perfect wife to match, is the stereotypical all American boy. Together, they live their perfect life in their perfect home. But all that changes when both are laid off from their journalism jobs. With no viable job prospect in the city, Nick decides that they should move to his childhood hometown in  Missouri, where both of his health stricken parents and twin sister Margo live. Amy reluctantly agrees.

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick is at the bar that he owns with Margo. He is contemplating the inevitable anniversary scavenger hunt, a quirky and romantic tradition that has Nick retrace the steps of the couple's relationship, when he receives a courtesy phone call from his neighbor alerting him that his front door is ajar. Concerned, he comes home to discover that some furniture has been knocked over, and that Amy is nowhere to be found. Immediately, the police are notified, and an investigation ensues.

Through Amy's diary entries, we learn that their picture perfect marriage was anything but. These entries alternate with accounts of the ongoing investigation from Nick's perspective. As the authorities and 24/7 news networks delve deeper into the case, Nick's story begins to break down, making him the prime suspect in Amy's disappearance. With Nick continuing to profess his innocence, the entire community begins to question how well they know the people who surround them each day.

This is a first rate thriller from top to bottom. Each character is crafted with the kind of gray morality that both mimics real life and provides plenty of natural misdirection throughout the story. Flynn reveals  the flaws in everyday people, and places them into situations that bring horror into their mundane lives. Many reviewers have found the ending to be disappointing. I also was a bit taken aback by the way the narrative wraps up, but after contemplating it for a while, the ending seems to be inevitable. In the end, Flynn does not give us the tidy package that we have come to expect from similar novels. Instead, she maintains the dark and twisted nature that reality too often provides. This novel definitely deserves all the hype and acclaim it has received, and I highly recommend it.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.


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