Who are you?
What have we done to each other?
These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was scared of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are persistent calls on his mobile phone.
So what did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
I first heard about Gone Girl when I saw the trailer for the movie that came out last year. I really wanted to see it, but didn’t manage to get a chance and so I decided to put the book on my Christmas list so I could read it while I waited for the DVD to be released. I am so glad I did read the book – it was a brilliant, gripping mystery that kept me hooked until the end.
This review is going to be difficult to do without any spoilers, but I’ll try my best! The narrative alternates between the husband, Nick, and excerpts from his missing wife, Amy’s, diary. The story is introduced with a description of how the two met and an explanation of the circumstances which led to their relocation from New York City to North Carthage, Missouri.
Nick’s narration is in the present day, beginning on the morning his wife goes missing. He comes home that afternoon to find the front door wide open, signs of a struggle in the living room, and his wife gone. The police later find evidence of blood in the kitchen, suggesting that his wife was taken in some kind of violent struggle. However, as the investigation continues, certain evidence doesn’t quite add up; for example, it becomes clear that the ‘struggle’ in the living room was staged. All the clues begin to point towards Nick, especially when it is revealed that Amy confessed to a neighbourhood friend that their marriage was rocky and she was scared of Nick.
Amy’s diary extracts begin from when they first met in 2005. The first few entries depict a couple who are perfectly matched living an enviable life with jobs they enjoy, and certainly no worries about money due to Amy’s large trust fund. However, they both lose their jobs and from then on, the entries decline in their positivity. Nick’s hostility towards Amy mounts and she becomes increasingly worried about what her husband might do to her.
In the first section of the book ‘Boy Loses Girl’, I found myself becoming more and more sympathetic towards Amy while my antipathy towards Nick grew exponentially. Trying not to give too much away, in the second part of the book, my opinion was completely changed and I empathised with Nick despite the ever-increasing evidence against him.
The first part of the book was good, but it wasn’t until I reached the second and third parts that I was completely gripped. I would definitely recommend it if you like thrillers and/or mysteries. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out so I can see how it has been translated into a screen version. I’ll also be asking for Gillian Flynn’s other books for my birthday in February, as I really enjoyed her writing style.
A quote on the back cover from a Mail on Sunday review reads: ‘Gone Girl is a book you’ll be begging other people to read, just so you can discuss it with them’. This is definitely true, I’m currently trying to get one of my friends to borrow it so I can talk about it with her! I would love to do a more detailed review, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.