Book Reviews

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

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I read this book after being recommended by a friend. After hearing so many good things about it over the years I couldn’t wait to start it.

***

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. 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? 

***

Having heard so much about it I went into the book with very high hopes and at the beginning it did not disappoint. At this point I will just mention I haven’t seen the film either so I went into the book completely blind. The beginning it was full of suspense and intrigue and it gripped me. Amy’s diary entries were blunt and terrifying all at the same time but with Nick’s unease beginning to show it made me begin to question what exactly was going on.

The twist halfway through when we the truth about the diary and Amy didn’t shock me. Due to the nature of the book I knew something like this would happen. At the time of release, I can see why this shock was so big, it wasn’t a “norm” in thriller fiction.

Now it is everywhere which is why it didn’t have as much of an effect on me as it should have also, the book I read just before this one had the exact same twist so I was already in the mindset for this and that’s a shame. I really wish I had read this book when it first came out so I could have appreciated the reveal.

Instead of talking too much about the reveal I’ll talk about the characters, none of them are likeable but they aren’t meant to be. We’re lulled into false sense of security with Amy and her true character which is disturbing and evil. Nick is only likeable as he is the lesser of two evils but even he is no angel. Cheating on Amy and then plotting to kill her once she returns shows how far he teeters over the edge to becoming like her.

I did enjoy the treasure hunt that Amy had laid out for Nick. The clues within the clues were really smart and I loved how it was so personalised to Nick only he could decipher them. Amy is smart, Nick is constantly saying how smart she is throughout, but it is during the second half of the novel when she arrives back we see exactly how smart she is. Not only has she convinced everyone that is she okay, she has got away with murder. I admire her brains and her will, it’s a shame her character is so dark and manipulative.

I wasn’t keen on the ending either. It is clear why Nick stays with her but to just settle back down seems odd. He may not have much say in the matter due to Amy’s blackmail but I would have thought he would have put up more of a fight. What the ending does so though, is how destructive their relationship is and how they feel they deserve one another on some level.

Overall the novel is really good, it’s just a shame that market has been saturated with books so similar to this else I think I would have enjoyed it more. As I’ve said I didn’t really enjoy the ending but it shows how destructive and poisonous some relationships can become. I loved the clues and how clever Amy’s plan was but wasn’t surprised by the reveal. Believe it or not I would recommend people to read this book. The cold, calculating Amy makes this book what it is and Flynn has written the ultimate everyday villain.

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