Book Review: Gone Girl

Title/Author:  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Genre:  Adult Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction

Published:  May 24th, 2012 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Hardcover, 416 pages

How I Got This Book:  I waited and waited through over 200 holds at my library =)

Why I Picked It Up?:  Well, as I devoured her first two novels, I decided I MUST read her newest one!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “Marriage can be a real killer. 

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

My Review of this Work: 

Gillian Flynn is a master of creating devious, suspenseful tales of psychological crime novels, and her most recent novel, Gone Girl, is no exception.  And to think that I almost didn’t finish this book!  The reason?  This novel, for the first 150 pages, is really slow-developing and seems to be a lot more mainstream of a novel than her first two works.  These two things combined really turned me off actually finishing this novel, as I was looking for that gruesomely invigorating plot drive.  But my co-workers told me that it would be worth it to continue, and so I did.  And that was such a great decision!

Gone Girl focuses on Nick and Amy Dunne, a married couple who in recent years has relocated to the midwest to care for Nick’s ailing parents.  This relocation really paid a toll on their marriage.  On the morning of their 5 year anniversary, Nick comes home to his house in disarray and Amy gone.  In a single moment, Nick’s life transforms from that of a man from a stressful marriage to a man who is the number one suspect in his wife’s disappearance and suspected murder.  This story primarily focuses on the progress of the investigation into Amy’s disappearance, with interludes of diary entries written by Amy over the years.

Unlike her first two novels, who focused on young adult females who never got over the torments from their pasts, Gone Girl is about two adults, thus making her writing style more mature.  Because this novel focuses on two adults from normal loving family backgrounds, we are getting this story told from the present-day perspective of an unhappy mid-life man and the journal of a woman who has fallen in love with her husband and will do anything to keep him.  By focusing the story on two such characters, the writing style and voice of the novel is different from Sharp Objects and Dark Places.  In this case, different is not a bad thing; different just lends to a different kind of unique story being told.

With novels such as Flynn’s works, I really do not like to say much about the development of the story itself because of the intrigue and mystery that develops throughout the text.  But the one thing that I really think readers of this book should understand going in to reading this novel is that there is a specific reason for each and every little detail.  Because this story builds upon detail, I found the first 150 pages or so to be really slow moving, especially after reading her other works not to long ago.  While Sharp Objects and Dark Places were very upfront with their psychological dysfunction and twisty-ness, Gone Girl begins in similar styles to a typical contemporary emotional fiction novel.  The story development really seems to be more mainstream than what you would expect from Flynn, but at some point in the story each and every arbitrary detail blend together into this psychological madness that you don’t see coming!

I feel like this novel has everything you would be looking for in a psychological mystery novel.  Intrigue, mystery, wonderment, and a lot of twisty twists.  Once again Gillian Flynn has written a story that challenges your perception of reality and keeps you guessing until the very end.  A crime mystery, an investigation into the secrets of a marriage, and an intriguing psychological story, Gone Girl is definitely worth the reading investment.  It is quite astonishing how Gillian Flynn can mess with your emotions along with her character’s emotions.  She truly is a magical writer.

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Middle Shelf Book!

Unlike her previous two novels, Gone Girl is a rather slow-developing story from the get-go.  Yet the slow development pays off when you stick with it, setting up a suspicious and suspensful plot that will continue to surprise you!  A very different approach to Flynn’s psychological crime novel niche (a little more mainstream) but this story still surprised me and I ended up really appreciating what she decided to do with this twisted story.

Love and MarioKart Wii,
Jennifer

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