Monday, October 29, 2012

Staff Pick: Gone Girl

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn’s third novel, the chilling and compellingly readable Gone Girl, is told from two perspectives, husband and wife Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot Dunne. We are first introduced to Nick Dunne, a man whose wife has just gone missing on a hot July day, a day which also happens to be their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick returns from the bar he owns to find the house in disarray and no Amy. Eerily enough, there is the first clue to her annual anniversary treasure hunt. He calls the police and begins the bizarre chain of events that will change his life and the lives of those around him.

 In the next chapter we meet Amy, the happy, full-of-love Amy, the Amy from five years ago. We see Amy and Nick meet and fall in love, kissing for the first time in a cloud of powdered sugar outside of a bakery. As the viewpoint flips back and forth between Nick and Amy and between timelines, a marriage is born and a marriage begins to disintegrate.

Flynn throws in twists and manipulations, zigs and zags. Masks are torn off and true colors emerge. Loyalties falter, and the reader will find their sympathies turning. Did Nick do it? The police seem to think so. If not Nick, who wanted Amy dead? The clues to her treasure hunt are wrapped in mystery. Nick tries to unravel the clues as his own life quickly unravels, with the people around him beginning to suspect him of the unthinkable.  

Flynn’s descriptive prose paints flawed, believable characters in unbelievable situations, and her tight pacing will keep one flipping the pages to the final brutal conclusion.  Gone Girl is an intense psychological thriller that is hard to put down.

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