Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Book Blurb:
Marriage can be a real killer. 

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

My review:
Here in Australia, the ABC (television channel) has a monthly show called The First Tuesday Book Club. It's a pleasing program with a host, two regulars and two guests who are typically authors. A specific book is read and discussed by all, and each person also discusses a book they have recently read. Well on Tuesday, 7th of August one of the books featured on this program was Gone Girl.  

I was intrigued by the discussion and decided to read it because, first of all it is one of my favorite genres - mystery, and second and foremost because the presenter made mention of how much she enjoyed it because of all the twists and turns it takes. And boy was she right!

The book is told from two perspectives - Nick's and Amy's. We are lead along a merry path keeping us guessing but leading us along a path where we think we are going. And yet, 33% into the book comes the first twist. A test of our faith. Leading us to speculate on other conclusions. It has completely changed OUR perspective. Until we get a little over halfway through the book when we get hit with the biggest plot twist of all - and a shocking one at that. 

I was only slightly disappointed with the ending of this fabulous book, but the content of the rest of the book more than made up for that slight disappointment. It will leave you wondering if you really know anyone. 

Read this book. You must! Then come back and discuss it with me, because I'd love to hear someone else's feedback.

About the author:
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

To learn more about Gillian Flynn check out her website.  

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