If you don’t follow the book scene, you may not have heard by now that the Book of the Summer crown has already been given out. And from what I’ve seen it’s pretty unanimous. This year is one of the first times I can give a full-fledged endorsement. The book everybody’s going to read on the beach this summer is………
I enjoyed Flynn’s previous novels. You know how on Grey’s Anatomy Meredith says she is “dark and twisty?” She isn’t, but Gillian Flynn’s novels sure are. (For the record, I capital-L Love dark-and-twisty.) They are books you careen through like an out of control car.
But this book is where Gillian Flynn is going to turn into a superstar. Her previous books were great reads, but Gone Girl is so tight and so well-plotted and so full of jaw-dropping twists that I don’t know how anyone can manage to spread it out over more than a day or two without dying of suspense.
The ripped-from-the-headlines story is about Nick and Amy Dunne. They moved from New York City to Missouri to care for Nick’s ailing mother, who is now dead. City girl Amy hates their new location and Nick has given up his writing dreams to run a bar. It’s a tense time.
Then on their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears without a trace and Nick is the prime suspect.
Not the most original setup, but the reason Gone Girl works so well is that Nick and Amy are very layered characters and get revealed to you a little bit at a time. Nick narrates portions of the book and you learn quickly that he’s not always the most reliable source. Amy gets her own narration through diary entries of the previous years spent with Nick.
As the pages pass and police gather evidence, you start to realize that the stories Amy and Nick are telling don’t match up. So whose story is true? Is either story true? And what really happened to Amy?
Flynn raises the ante over and over again, continually topping herself when you don’t think it’s possible for her to do it. Everyone I’ve talked to who has read this book thinks everyone is going to be nuts about it. The buzz is building, folks, and you’d best get on the train. This is THE BOOK of the summer and I promise you’re going to love it.
Seriously, I’m a thriller reader. I love thrillers and mysteries. I am disappointed far more often than I’m pleased. And I’m rarely dazzled. This book bowled me over. I don’t have any qualms saying it’s one of the best suspense novels I’ve ever read.
Thanks to Edelweiss and Crown Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of Gone Girl to review.