Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is not the type of book that inspires a long profound essay. It is a new type of murder mystery… a crime drama where it is difficult to distinguish who exactly is the good guy. Maybe this is because Gillian Flynn likes to exploit the worst traits of his characters. But I do admit, his descriptions are beautifully woven into a suspenseful story, driven purposefully by a plot of cat-and-mouse. And yes, it has all the makings of a good movie- as much eerie psycho-drama as the movie Fatal Attraction– and more.
It is the story of Amy Elliot and Nick Dunne… young professional New Yorkers who meet, fall in love, and marry. And as with most newlywed couples, once the honeymoon is over, reality sets in and life isn’t always bright and rosy.
With Nick narrating, the opening scene is the day of Amy and Nick’s 5th wedding anniversary. He is dreading the annual treasure hunt Amy insists be part of the tradition. A ritual that usually ends with Nick frustrated and humiliated because he doesn’t understand the clues, leaving Amy feeling misunderstood, unappreciated and disappointed. Little does Nick know that this year’s treasure hunt will ultimately become part of the search for her missing body. When he arrives home from work, Nick finds the living room in shambles, Amy’s blood on the kitchen floor, and a silver box containing the first clue to the treasure hunt.
In contrast to Nick’s detailed description of the crime investigation, alternating chapters are random pages from Amy’s diary dating back to the onset of her relationship with Nick.
The plot is clever and imaginative, the portrayal of the media spot-on, and the reactions of the general public realistic. The characters however, are slightly hackneyed: the cops just a little too dumb, the parents grotesquely Kafkaesque perfect, the girlfriend just a little too shallow, Nick overly complying and submissive, and Amy excessively manipulative. It reminded me of the classic noir novels written by Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain. It certainly makes for a captivating read.
Rated 4 Stars.
All contents © 2015 Lois Weisberg. All rights reserved.