Catch me at home on a weekday, and there is a good chance you’ll find me watching Investigation Discovery. The channel that shows 48 Hours, Dateline, Nightmare Next Door, On the Case, and other true crime series. Needless to say, I enjoy watching stories of wives who snapped, men who disappeared, and all other kinds of crime stories. There are tons of different shows on that channel that highlight murder, disappearances, and stalking. So, of course I decided to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It involves all of the aforementioned crime, and more.
The story revolves around a couple, Nick Dunne & Amy Elliot Dunne. It is their fifth anniversary, and Amy has gone missing. Of course, fiction follows fact and the police immediately suspect Nick. A friend of Amy’s reveals to the police (and the world) that Amy was afraid of him, and had many secrets. Nick denies having any involvement with her disappearance, although much of the evidence points right to him. But his behavior is strange for someone whose wife disappeared in what appeared to be a struggle. So, what really happened to Amy
? You’ll have to read to figure that one out.
I read this book relatively quickly, because it’s one of those “I need to know the ending” kind of suspense novels. It was definitely not what I expected, and the ending really threw me off. Having watched my fair share of crime shows, a lot of the descriptions seemed accurate. So, she definitely did her research on wife disappearances. The first half of the novel was completely feasible: husband finds out wife is missing, police suspect husband, secrets are revealed, etc. And it seems that a lot of the inspiration comes from actual cases of wives disappearing. But, in the second half of the book, the story takes an odd turn. It was unexpected, but still worked. But the ending was unsatisfying.
The first part of the novel is all about the investigation into Amy’s disappearance, slowly unraveling Nick’s dirty secrets, reminiscing about the troubled history of Nick and Amy’s marriage as told in Amy’s hidden diary. Then a twist in the second part changes everything. The characters you thought you knew begin to morph, and then the real story unfolds. I do recommend this book for those of you who love crime/mystery novels. And if you enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s previous books (Dark Places, Sharp Objects), you won’t be disappointed in this one. Yeah, the end feels a little bit strange, but it’s worth the ride (and the price).