Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne. They don’t have a perfect marriage, or life, and move to Nick’s hometown after they both lose their jobs in New York and Nick’s mum becomes ill. On their fifth wedding anniversary Nick comes home to the scene of a struggle. And no Amy. The story alternates between Amy and Nick’s narration as you try to figure out what happened and who to believe.
I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, but I found it decidedly mixed.
The book is split into two sections, roughly halves. I found the first section readable enough (and I do love an unreliable narrator or two), but the twists were really obvious as most of the hints were rather heavy handed (every time I read one of those my brain would go “ding ding ding” then re-read the sentence in a cheesy game-show host style – my brain likes to mock me with the 80s). I didn’t really understand the hype at this point as it was just a very average crime story.
However, the second section, in which all the cards were on the table so all the blah hints/twists went away, was much more gripping and interesting. It was more character driven and about them trying to untangle themselves somehow (it’s hard to write about without giving key things away!). I found Amy’s background, and the subsequent effect on her personality, really interesting and liked the inclusion of the ‘media circus’ and media influence that accompanies high profile cases so much these days.
But then, the end. I just didn’t believe the decision Nick made and that his fear would dissipate to that extent. It was relatively creepy-ish, but I think it could have been so much more when the beginning of the end had such potential. I hate it when it’s just the last two or three pages that totally lose it.
Overall, I think I would recommend it as a good, easy thriller read, mainly because of the second section which really is a page-turner. It’s just a shame its flaws prevent it from being the great book it has the potential to be.