Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)
On the day of her fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Elliott Dunne, of an eponymously named series of children’s books, disappears from the house she shares with her husband, Nick. Around noon he comes home to see the door left wide open and signs of a struggle.
The story is told in alternating voices – Nick’s version of the events after the disappearance of his wife. Providing the counterpoint is Amy’s diary entries from the beginning of their courtship up until the time she goes missing. Through these two perspectives we get a picture of a couple who were once very happy and the power dynamic that has developed over the years as their story together gets more complicated.
They had lived in Manhattan until both Amy and Nick were laid off from their jobs. Amy grudgingly agrees to move back to Nick’s hometown to help in the care of his dying mother and his father who is experiencing the onset of dementia. Further entangling their lives, Nick borrows most of what is left of Amy’s trust fund, which had already been depleted by Amy’s parents spending beyond their means.
Gillian Flynn has crafted a galloping-paced thriller that achieves its momentum in the revelations that the investigation brings, and the character studies of the two voices telling the story. In the second part, there is a change of perspective that creates even more compelling page turning. As the ending drew near, it became clear that short of a swamp monster appearing in the final act, the resolution I’d hoped for was not a possibility. Still, I can’t fault the author, she knows her perfectly flawed characters inside and out.
Submitted by Ann O. Tation