Updated on August 5, 2015
39. ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn
Usually the word ‘thriller’ is enough to put me off a book. I know, that’s very judgemental, but I’ve said before that I’m a book snob and I can’t help but associate the word ‘thriller’ with Dan Brown. Who I read once. And who is awful. Given my prejudice, I was pleasantly surprised by this excellent thriller. My friend got a free copy from work and waxed lyrical about it, so I bumped it to the top of my reading pile and I’m glad I did!
The book is about Nick and Amy, a seemingly happy married couple who leave New York for his small home town to take care of his ageing father. One day Amy goes missing – furniture in the living room is overturned and there are traces of her blood on the floor – and the police descend upon their idyllic home. Suspicion turns on Nick and, when Amy’s incriminating diary appears, he has to fight to prove that he is innocent. Or is he?
What’s unusual about this book is that I didn’t really like any of the characters. As we find out more about Nick he becomes less appealing – no matter how much the reader might be rooting for him, he becomes less and less easy to like. Various side characters, too, get a little more flawed the closer we get to them, as you might expect.
But it’s Amy – AMY – who really takes the cake here. I didn’t really like her in the first half of the book (she comes across as fawning and a bit pathetic), but there’s a complete flip partway through the story which turns everything on its head, including her. You no longer trust anything you’ve been reading and her character becomes a whole lot more interesting. I hated her, but I really enjoyed hating her.
Don’t get me wrong, disliking all the characters is a pretty good thing. I was gripped by everything that happened because I was rooting for everyone to win and everyone to fail. It gave every little twist an extra kick and made the whole book hugely unpredictable. As for the ending, it was just dissatisfying enough that I couldn’t put this book away comfortably on the shelf and forget about it. Nothing wraps up neatly. Like crumbs in the bed, this captivating story will keep itching at you for a long time after you’ve finished reading.
“I am a little too much, and he is a little too little. I am thornbrush, bristling from the overattention of my parents, and he is a man of a million little fatherly stab wounds, and my thorns fit perfectly into them.”
If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?