‘Gone Girl’ – Gillian Flynn
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 afraid 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 the persistent calls on his mobile phone.
So what did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
From the beginning when Amy’s disappearance is established, I immediately found myself pointing the finger of blame at Nick. There were so many things that I disliked about his character and the way he handled his wife being missing, that I felt sure he was a cold-blooded killer. Without giving too much away, Flynn takes you on a roller-coaster ride and, as the tag line says, there are most certainly two sides to every story.
The book switches from present day, narrated by Nick as Amy’s disappearance and the subsequent police investigations develop; to Amy’s diary in the years leading up to events. The relationship between Nick and Amy comes across as just about ok, and literally, you can feel that something is just not right. However, Flynn carefully crafts the narrative and gradually leads you down a winding, thrilling path that slowly reveals more and more about the two characters.
And this is something that I particularly enjoyed about ‘Gone Girl’. Like a roller-coaster, the plot was unpredictable and it left you feeling breathless throughout. I could not foresee where the story was going to progress and Flynn cleverly plays on readers perceptions of characters to make the next plot twist even more unexpected. At first I struggled to enjoy the different narrative styles between Nick and Amy’s diary entries, but grew to realise that this was another way of showing what the character’s were really like.
The book is split into three parts and just when you think you have nailed it and can anticipate what is coming, Flynn throws in another surprise. I really enjoyed the secrecy and psychological games that were played because it made me question my initial perception of Nick. The dual-narrative adds to the tension in the story as Amy’s journal entries encourage you to understand the motives behind her apparently violent disappearance.
This is the first book I have read by Gillian Flynn and I was not disappointed. This was a thrilling read with plenty of twists and turns along the way; so many, that it is one I could easily revisit, just to find more clues that I may have missed this first time around. I can’t wait to read others by Flynn and really hope they deliver the same level of enjoyment as ‘Gone Girl’ has for me. I beg of you, don’t pass up the opportunity to read this one.