I don’t know how the really good crime writers do it – and by “it” I mean craft tense, twisty plotted stories in which characters behave badly, a crime is committed and the reader has no idea how it’ll all turn out.
Gillian Flynn is such a master, but in a whole new way. Her latest bestseller is so riveting, so leave-me-alone-I-have-to-finish-this-book that I had to pause every few pages to catch my breath. She’s got the technique of the oldest practitioners but a style that’s very contemporary, pop culture-y. I’m wild with envy.
Her novel is essentially a two-character piece with supporting players. Amy and Nick Dunne are married – happily at first (or so it seems). And then they lose their jobs, have money troubles and family troubles and move from their idyllic life in Manhattan (or so it seems) to Nick’s home town in Missouri so he can open a bar with his twin sister and he and Amy can rejuvenate their marriage (or so it seems).
Then, on their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing (or so it seems).
That’s all I’ll say about the plot, because it’s full of surprises that I certainly don’t want to spoil. I kept thinking of the novel “A Simple Plan” when I read “Gone Girl,” maybe because the two are creepily, deceptively simple stories but so very dark. Or maybe because we all have dark places lurking inside us. After I finished the last page of “Gone Girl,” I walked up to Michael while he was eating breakfast and said, “Is it possible you’re a psychopath?” He gave me a look and went back to his Rice Chex.