Shelf Life – Sept. 27
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Sep 27, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Shelf Life – Sept. 27

Stratford Gazette

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, @SPL: FIC Flynn

Let me preface this review by stating that I know I’m late to this party. I do. But now that I’m here, I really do not want you to miss it. Have you read Gone Girl yet? No? Holy cats, people, you must get on it, and here’s why:

Nick and Amy Dunne have it all – living in a Manhattan brownstone, handsome Nick works as a writer for a highbrow magazine, and beautiful Amy is the benefactor of an empire of children’s books created by her parents in her image.

The Dunnes met in the cutest of cute meets, their dialogue is witty, their sex life is charged and adventurous. Having become accustomed to living in the charmed lap of luxury, they are doubly surprised when the financial meltdown claims Nick’s job and Amy’s trust fund. Listless, with no work to tie them to Manhattan, Nick proposes they move back to his native Missouri to look after his ailing parents.

Things take a very dark turn in Missouri; the marriage flounders, and Amy goes missing the morning of their fifth anniversary. The scene initially suggests a struggle with an intruder, but police soon determine the struggle scene is staged. Traces of blood – a lot of blood – are found in another location. Very soon, it is assumed that Amy is dead, and Nick is the prime suspect.

Flynn weaves a dark, deft tale of psychological terror, juxtaposing Amy’s diary entries leading to her disappearance with chapters detailing the minutiae of Nick’s life and mind under the microscope of police and media. Flynn has a gift for building characters’ psychological profiles so completely that readers feel they know exactly what comes next because they really know the people in the story.

But you don’t know the people in the story, not like you think you do; and when the whole novel turns a dime-tight twist halfway through, your sense of sick dread is amplified knowing things are much darker, weirder and more complex than you ever thought.

Gone Girl is a masterpiece among psychological thrillers that will keep you awake all night. Bring snacks. You aren’t going to want to get up for anything once you get reading.

– Shauna Thomas, librarian

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