Gone Girl is the story of a couple – of Amy and Nick Dunne. They meet at a party, fall in love and get married. Fast forward five years and Amy Dunne is busy preparing crepes for their anniversary. She has also prepared a treasure hunt for the occasion, like she does every year. But this time around, something is about to change.
When Nick returns from the bar, which he co-owns with his sister, the door is open, the iron is still running and the house is a mess. Moreover, Amy is missing. There is no sign of her. Soon, the police are swarming the place, looking for clues and Nick is answering questions about his wife.
As the police try to unravel the mystery, the threads of their marriage come loose, and Nick is the prime suspect in the disappearance. Amy is rich, Nick isn’t. Neither does he have a strong alibi. Amy’s diary found by the police also shows the strain their marriage was under. The pumped up insurance policy for Amy doesn’t help either.
Soon, the police and the media are gunning for Nick, more so as Amy is not just a regular girl. She is the ‘Amy’ of ‘Amazing Amy’, a children’s book series that Amy’s parent’s modelled on her. The attention only intensifies as new details emerge and Nick fails to play the part of the grief-stricken husband.
But as Nick unravels the clues of the treasure hunt set by his wife, he is struck by something different altogether. He has just begun to realise the hole he is in and it is going to take all his cunning to get him out of it…
The book is pacy, it keeps you hooked and surprisingly the twist comes right in the middle and not at the end. Flynn makes you switch your opinion of the characters more than once in the novel. The plot, the structure of the book, the characters, they all tick in the right places. The end however was bizarre for me and left me discomfited to say the least. But my friends felt it went with the tone of the book. But no matter the end, it is definitely worth a read even if you are not really a thriller person.
Ps: One author, I forget who, compared Flynn with Patricia Highsmith. Since, I read Highsmith’s novel just before Gone Girl, the comparison didn’t go down well with me. While Flynn scores on the overall plot and the suspense quotient, her narrative is nowhere as fluent as Highsmith.