Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a book separated into three parts. Each part slowly reveals more details about a domestic crime that leaves a small town caught in the middle of a high profile case revolving around the disappearance of a woman, Amy Elliott, who may or may not have been murdered by her down on his luck husband, Nick Dunne. The book centers around the married couple who have been suffering problems ever since they both lost their jobs as writers, and left the bustling city of New York to move back to Missouri in order for Nick to be closer to his parents, who are both suffering from various illnesses.
The first part of the story places the readers inside the unreliable mind of Nick who admits he has lied to the police numerous times since the start of the investigation began on his missing wife, and is clearly hiding something, and also allows readers glimpses inside of his wife’s diary, further solidifying that Nick is not the person he says he is. He comes off as a sleaze, but is he rotten enough to kill his wife? As the book continues on it answers some of these questions while raising others, and eventually reveals details that Amy was not the saint she was shown to be either. Was Amy murdered, and if she was did Nick do it? If she was murdered, did she deserve to be?
This book is centered on characters and settings that reflect an era of job loss and home foreclosures. Gloria Flynn channels the suffering that many home owners have felt in recent years due to a changing economy and raises questions that have to do with the American society as a whole, as well as individuals within this society. Each of the characters in this book have their flaws, and most of them are very unlikeable as a whole, but Flynn has a way of getting the reader to sympathize and root for characters that were not likeable in the least. Nick comes off as arrogant and guilty, but by the second part of the book she has managed to create a situation where Nick is not redeemed, but he may seem to be the lesser of two evils. She makes the reader think, and she brings up interesting perspectives about the institution of marriage, the economy, and even if there is such a thing as true love. The plot draws the reader in, but the novel is not all cheese, and brings up topics that can be digested long after the twists and turns are revealed.
Gone Girl starts off seeming like a run of the mill crime novel, but evolves into a race against the clock plot that leaves the reader turning the page constantly to find out what will happen next. The book channels Stephen King at points, perhaps because it is a book about writers, and also brings to mind suspense novels from the author Dennis LeHane. It can be frustrating at times because of how unlikeable most of the characters are, but Flynn still manages to make the characters relatable so that the reader identifies somewhat with them. I give this book four out of five nails in the coffin!
Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the book if you want to see if it grabs your interest: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/14/152289627/exclusive-first-read-gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn