‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn

A new book review – and what a book this is. I don’t usually read thrillers but I had heard very good things about this one so I decided to give it a go. As it turns out, the rumours proved to be based entirely on truth.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My copy of Gone Girl, complete with the annoying sticker I couldn’t get off…

Gone Girl relates the gripping tale of husband and wife Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott Dunne who, to put it mildly, do not have the perfect marriage. It begins on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy disappears from their home in Missouri. Signs of a struggle in the house lead the police to assume foul play. Prime suspect? Amy’s husband, Nick.

And that is just the very, very tip of this intriguing story.

Much of the novel is written from Nick’s point of view but what is so disturbing about this is that, while we are viewing the situation from his perspective, we don’t really know what he is thinking. We are inside his head and yet we are not privy to all that he knows. The big question on the reader’s mind is, of course, did he do it or not?? But the book  is shaped in a way that makes it extremely difficult to say for sure. The skill involved in delivering the story in such a fashion cannot be underestimated – hats off to Gillian Flynn for keeping the reader constantly guessing.

The narrative is suspenseful right from the start and it never lets up, so you read with a permanent coil of tension in your gut. Flynn makes an art of dripfeeding information, leaking one revelation at a time, compelling the reader to  continually exclaim “What!” or “No way!” or (probably only in my case) “Holy shmoley!” Each new plot twist causes you to drastically change your opinion on what is really happening, while still teetering on the edge of doubt. The author’s manipulation of the facts eventually makes you suspicious of everything, a rather harrowing mindset in which to be but perfectly suitable for this thriller.

Psychologically speaking, Gone Girl provides a fascinating insight into the thought processes which can lead to a broken-down marriage, demonstrating how a reluctance to communicate, a misinterpretation of actions or even a lack of plain honesty can have dire consequences. It reads like a cautionary tale for couples: beware, you may not know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

The movie is coming out this October but try to get to the book first, if you haven’t already done so – I promise it will not disappoint.

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