It’s Nick and Amy’s fifth anniversary. Three years ago, they made the move from their hip New York City condo to an ostentatious yet generic house in the small town of Carthage, Missouri. It was a family necessity. At least that’s what Nick keeps reminding Amy. The adjustment hasn’t been an easy one. But now it’s time to celebrate five years of marriage.
Amy always concocts a treasure hunt for her husband, with clues hidden in special places that he must figure out from her cryptic clues. Sometimes they can be more challenging than others, and sometimes they can be more damning too.
"The book is, quite simply, ingenious. Gillian Flynn couldn’t possibly surprise her readers any more than she has in this amazing thriller. If there ever was a must-read, especially for mystery lovers, GONE GIRL is that. And so much more."
That morning, Nick gets a call at The Bar, an enterprise he and his twin sister, Margo, have finally taken from a dream to a reality. On the other end of the line, his neighbor informs him that the front door to their house is wide open, and the cat is outside, which never happens. Nick’s mood isn’t great anyway, and now this. Margo watches him leave with mixed emotions.
At home, Nick eases inside, where he discovers signs of a struggle and, ominously, no sign of his wife. What has happened here? The police begin to investigate and, as most people would expect, soon turn their sights on Nick. Amy’s little treasure hunt is turning into Nick’s worst nightmare.
As a former journalist, Nick should have known how his story would look to the public, yet he has a too-calm aspect and comes across as all wrong. Proclaiming his innocence does little to sway anyone, of course, and evidence starts to pile up. Even Margo expresses doubt. Things don’t look good for him.
In the meantime, readers are treated to Amy’s yet-to-be-discovered diary. The entries go back seven years, to the time when she and Nick were dating. She shares how they met, how they played the mating game and how they ultimately got married. Now, in alternating chapters, Nick narrates his tale, then Amy’s diary tells hers, at least for Part One, when it changes around a bit.
It is easy to like Nick --- that is, until he throws a curve ball into his story. Then, just as you wonder what he meant by that comment and feel the hairs on the nape of your neck start to bristle, he reassures you that he really is a good guy. And Amy? Well, no one is perfect, but in this case, she is Amazing. Her parents are the authors of the famous line of children’s books, Amazing Amy. Beautiful, talented, famous, rich and brilliant. Amy Elliott Dunne is all of the above, especially brilliant. So what has happened to her?
Whatever you do, don’t be lulled into thinking you know what happened until the very last paragraph. By the time you figure it out, you will be gasping, shaking your head, and slapping your temple. You will have been batted around like a ping pong ball in a tight match, and you will feel like you have made just as many turnarounds. The book is, quite simply, ingenious. Gillian Flynn couldn’t possibly surprise her readers any more than she has in this amazing thriller. If there ever was a must-read, especially for mystery lovers, GONE GIRL is that. And so much more.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on July 5, 2012