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Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn

Crown Publishers
June 5, 2012/ ISBN ISBN 9780307588364

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has been a top ten New York Times Bestseller for almost a year. This novel explores many different themes as it takes readers on a roller coaster ride. The mystery is centered on a dysfunctional marriage that is full of lies, malice, betrayal, and sprinkled with a little love.

The story begins on the fifth wedding anniversary of the two main characters, Nick and Amy. It backtracks to their early relationship and their first blissful years of marriage. Amy is seen as funny, smart, beautiful, and rich, while Nick is smart, handsome, and dedicated, the perfect yuppie couple. However, as events in their life go terribly bad, the marriage begins to unravel and the two seem to become anti-soul mates. They both lose their jobs, Nick's parents are very sick, and without income coming in they are forced to move to Nick's small hometown of North Carthage, Missouri. This is told in the first half of the book at a somewhat slow pace.

The nail biter begins in the second, which is riveting and fast paced. Sometime during the day of their fifth wedding anniversary Amy disappears. Another theme explored by Ms. Flynn is how the husband is always the notable suspect in a disappearance, and as time elapses how the media and public rush to judgment, becoming judge and jury. Nick does not help his cause by being evasive, and telling a series of lies.

As with many books these days the story is told in alternating viewpoints. Nick narrates his feelings and events in real time while Amy narrates what happened in the past through her written diary. It is in the diary and notes left that Amy gives clues as to the troubles of the couple and how she disappeared. Yet, these clues are a dichotomy where the police read the actual words and Nick sees her hidden meanings. The reader learns more about the couples' personalities, sometimes liking them and sometimes hating them as this psychological thriller unfolds.

Gone Girl is a mystery that will keep the reader guessing throughout the entire book. Through hints from page one the author is able to weave a story with many twists and turns. This sometimes funny, sometimes dark novel of love and hate is an engrossing mystery.

Reviewed 2013