Nick Dunne was a young magazine journalist in New York City when he met his wife Amy. Amy was also a writer. She wrote psychological quizzes for magazines. You know, the kind you find in Cosmo asking you how you would respond in a hypothetical situation and your answer is a reflection of your personality. Amy is also the daughter of a hugely famous writing husband and wife team who made their fortune and fame writing a children's series called, "Amazing Amy."
Amy came from a privileged background and Nick was a handsome, charming, ambitious young man from the Midwest. But neither Nick's charm, nor Amy's privilege could save them when the publishing industry started to fail and they both lost their jobs. Then when Nick's mother was diagnosed with cancer, he and Amy moved back to his small hometown in Missouri.
On the day of Nick and Amy's fifth wedding anniversary, Nick came home to find the door open, the cat on the front porch and his wife gone. The iron was left on and there appeared to be a struggle in the living room. When the police begin investigating, the skeletons start tumbling out of the closet.
Before you open up GONE GIRL, check your expectations, pre-concieved notions and theories at the door. Gillian Flynn will challenge everything you think you believe as you read this addictive psychological thriller. GONE GIRL alternates between Nick's recounting of the criminal investigation as it happened and Amy's diary entries preceding her disappearance. I began to recognize a story line as "ripped from headlines" and just as I became confident, cocky about figuring the book out early, Flynn "ripped" the rug out from under me.
In addition to placing perfectly timed twists in the plot, Flynn builds up the reader's passion for characters - passions both good and bad. Then she challenges what the reader thinks he/she knows. Appearances can most definitely be deceiving and piece by piece Flynn tears away at the security of certainty. After the first major plot twist, I found myself bracing the rest of the novel, waiting for just about anything to happen.
GONE GIRL runs over 400 pages, but readers will find the end far sooner than they expect; fear not, though, the story will linger in readers' minds for days afterward. It's haunting, it's dark and it's deliciously wonderful.
I have no doubt that Gillian Flynn will go down as one of the great crime writers of this generation. She is a natural story-teller and knows precisely how to hook her readers. She sets the bar far beyond what most will ever reach. It's story-tellers like her that cause readers to be disappointed in decent books. Once you've experience exceptional, it's hard to settle for less.
GONE GIRL is certain to be among my favorite reads of 2012.
GONE GIRL is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780307588364) from Crown Publishers. It is also available from Random House Audio as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9780307990402) narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heybourne. Random House Audio had this excerpt available so I thought I'd include it for my fellow audiobook fans:
My review is part of the TLC Book Tour for GONE GIRL and I'm very excited to have the opportunity to give a copy of this great book away. So if you would like to put yourself in the running, just answer my psych quiz in the comments section (be sure I can email you if you win). Here it is:
You are going to your favorite bookstore today, do you:
a.) go with no idea what you're going to buy but you'll ask the employees for a good recommendation
b.) go knowing the owner has already set aside a new recommendation for you because he/she ALWAYS has one at the ready for you - afterall, you're on a first name basis with him/her
c.) head directly for the bestseller shelf and grab the NYT #1 book for this week
d.) take your wish list that's a mile long and spend three hours trying to figure out which new books you'll take home
Winners must have a mailing address in the US or Canada and it cannot be a P.O. Box. Sorry folks. I'll take responses until Sunday at midnight (Eastern) and I'll draw a winner on Monday. If you'd like to see what other bloggers on the tour thought about GONE GIRL, check out the TLC website for the complete list of participating bloggers.