Gone Girl is one of those books that was a massive bestseller and actually had a decent movie adaptation – to say I was excited to read this book would be an understatement. Gone Girl was unlike anything I have ever read before – a tightly wound thriller with tension for days and legitimately surprising twists and turns.
Gone Girl is about the relationship between Nick and Amy, whose marriage has been far from perfect for several years. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. All that is left behind is a violent crime scene and a clue to the start of Nick and Amy’s traditional anniversary treasure hunt. Nick is understandably upset with the speed of the investigation and starts to search for his wife by himself (and starts the treasure hunt). As time goes by, the police discover that the crime scene is fake and nothing is quite what it seems.
There are two paces to this book: the slower first half and the blindingly fast second half. At first it took a little bit to get into the slower pacing , but when I did I found it to be really tense and suspenseful. It felt like it matched the pace of a typical police investigation: not all flash and high tech labs and car chases like most crime TV shows/ movies. It was immersive and atmospheric and really helped to set up the story for the breakneck speed of the second half.
The best part of this book is how well planned it is. The author allows you to think that you have figured out the mystery – only to yank the rug out from under you. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that uses unreliable narrators as well as Gone Girl does. Even when you think you have all the clues or have outsmarted the book – another twist or airtight plan comes to fruition. Another fascinating part of reading this story was that I found myself rooting for both Nick and Amy at different points. To be clear – neither of them are good people – but it takes a strong writer to get someone to take the side of a cheating husband or a psychopathic wife.
Would I recommend Gone Girl? Absolutely! If you’re one of the few people that hasn’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and read it before seeing the movie. It’s a near perfect example of what a domestic thriller book can be, and my favorite read of 2019 so far. 4/5.