This will probably be the shortest review ever since to say much about this book, since to say too much would risk spoiling it. One can say, however, the author grabs you right away with her writing style and hooks you with multiple plot twists to the very end. This is a real psychological thriller.
It also is an anatomical study of a distressed marriage – Nick and Amy Dunne have both lost their jobs and have moved from their tony life-style in Manhattan to Nick’s hometown in Missouri to look after his ailing parents. We are given an intimate look inside their 5-year marriage through a first-hand account from Nick and from diary entries by Amy dating back from the day they met. The story starts when Amy goes missing on their 5-year anniversary. The media and police immediately suspect Nick who, it is discovered, has incriminated himself by boosting Amy’s life insurance, draining the last of her trust fund money to prop up his business, and acting too nonchalant about the whole thing.
Gone Girl’s themes are dishonesty, the conniving media, and the havoc that is wreaked by a troubled economy. Flynn says that, in writing the book, she wanted to examine how people within a marriage lie to each other: “marriage is sort of like a long con, because you put on display your very best self during courtship, yet at the same time the person you marry is supposed to love you warts and all. But your spouse never sees those warts really until you get deeper into the marriage and let yourself unwind a bit.”
In any long-term intimate relationship, there is always the underlying question of how well do we and can we know the other person? How do you know what they are thinking, what is their motivation, and what is their next move? And a scarier question: how well do they know you?
The brilliance of this book lies ultimately in the writing and delivery. As more was revealed, I found myself quickly shifting loyalties and questioning who was the true protagonist – or does this story even have one?