A friend of mine told me it was a great read, filled with lots of twists. I did indeed find plot turns at unexpected places, and the book itself had that elusive Compelling Factor that made me want to keep reading.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. For one thing, I couldn't emotionally connect with any of the characters except Boney, the police detective, and she was a background figure who appeared in only a few scenes. (I think I would have enjoyed the book much more if it had been told from her perspective, but perhaps it would have been a stretch.)
Maybe I'm too much of a traditionalist : I expected more of a cozier read, and Flynn instead offers a harrowing tale of marriage turned inside out. That's not a bad thing at all, and it betrays my own shortcoming, not Flynn's.
When Amy disappears, her husband, Nick, begins a search for her. The disappearance itself is strange, and it grows stranger as the book goes on. It is their wedding anniversary, and Amy always leaves him a scavenger hunt for his gift. In the book, the scavenger hunt is intertwined with the disappearance.
Amy herself is a wonderful creation. She was nothing like what I expected - she's no victim having the vapours, that much is for certain. And that is a wonderful, rare thing. What she is - what the reader thinks she is - gets turned on its head as the story progresses.
The ending is pure genius, but as I said, I never connected with any of the characters. I never read a chapter saying, "Oh no, oh no!" the way I would if I really loved the hero or the heroine. That's a biproduct of the twisty, turning plot, and I can understand that and the genius behind it, but the lack of connection was my visceral reaction.
|Missouri, captured perfectly in the novel|
As I said, it was compelling. I never wanted to stop reading it, which is a mark of an assured, professional writer. Flynn's prose is deft enough to bring you into several different worlds, from Manhattan to Missouri. I would recommend downloading the sample on Kindle to see if you like it first.
To be honest, I enjoyed Sax and the Suburb and Terps by Elaine Gannon much more (the second, alas, is out of print.) Sax is a jazzy murder mystery, and Terps is a tender, honest story of a marriage, and I was able to connect with the characters in those books right away. But I do appreciate Gone Girl as a completely different, new sort of detective story.