When people ask me if I like horror movies, my answer is this: “Not really, but it’s the psychological thrillers that scare me more than anything.” To a certain extent, though, I’m attracted to them. A psychological thriller appeals to my love for character-driven stories, but I also find myself taking them a little too personally. If a movie really gives me the creeps, it might stay on my mind for days after viewing.
Then came Gone Girl, a psychological thriller that’s all the rage in the publishing world. Many of my coworkers at the bookstore read it and gave it rave reviews. When I was poking around last week for a new hardcover to borrow, everyone’s advice was “Just read Gone Girl.” I was skeptical, but I read the first few chapters on one of our e-readers. As soon as I drank the Kool-Aid, I wanted more.
It’s hard to talk about the plot because it would be very easy to spoil. On the surface, Nick and Amy Dunne seem like the perfect couple. When layoffs force them to move from New York City to Nick’s Missouri hometown, their relationship starts to show some cracks. Then, on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears.
I was hooked within the first few chapters by the vivid, funny characters. The story alternates between Nick in the present, who narrates Amy’s disappearance, and Amy’s diary entries from the past. Entertainment Weekly sums it up nicely in their review: “Flynn does something here that many ‘literary’ novelists have failed at: She writes from the perspectives of two different people who actually sound like two different people.” Gillian Flynn used to be a TV critic for their magazine, but don’t accuse them of being biased. I didn’t know about her affiliation until I was almost done reading, and I whole-heartedly agree.
Part mystery, part thriller, part relationship drama. You couldn’t ask for much more in an entertaining summer read.