Gone GirlAt first I thought it was very good (but not as good as everyone’s been saying), then I thought I knew what was going to happen (and I kind of got it right), then I read the second half in a single sitting with a permanently disturbed look on my face, thinking ‘this is nuts’ over and over.

I don’t really know what to say. I feel like I can’t say a single thing about how I felt about the characters without giving everything away. I can’t really say much about the plot either. So how do I write a review? I guess I’ll just keep it short.

On their fifth wedding anniversary Nick’s wife, Amy, goes missing. There are signs of a struggle. When something happens to the wife the husband is always the prime suspect. And this case is no exception. Nick and Amy have been having problems, especially since leaving Manhattan for Missouri to be closer to Nick’s sick parents. Not only does Nick not have an alibi but he isn’t behaving like a grief-stricken husband should. And then there are the strange phone calls he’s been getting.

Gillian Flynn has written Gone Girl in the form of diary entries, switching between Amy’s diary and Nick’s. Amy and Nick’s version of events are conflicting so there’s no telling truth from lie. No one is above suspicion. They’re classic unreliable narrators (Nick more obviously so, he admits he’s lying but doesn’t say what about). Who do you believe? Does it simply come down to who’s more likeable?

Gone Girl is just one of those books that are worth reading, even if you’re not that into thrillers. Just to be able to discuss it with your friends. The second half, in particular, is what the term page-turner was invented for. Flynn clearly has fun with her tale while also posing a lot of provocative questions about relationships, men versus women, and opposites attracting. Flynn’s conception of the ‘Cool Girl’ is enough on its own to start a heated debate. Gone Girl is essentially about the break-down of a marriage. So many of the issues that plague Nick and Amy are things lots of couples go through. Except this is far from the story of a regular couple.

With Gone Girl Flynn brilliantly tackles the world of dangerous psychological games. I only had one little problem. For me, the ending strained believability. I mentioned that I sort of guessed what was going to happen but not to worry, the strength of Gone Girl’s thrill doesn’t all come from the mystery aspect. Flynn has also expertly mined the thrill of catastrophe, the thrill of being unable to tear your eyes away.