You probably know by now that I love a good thriller, so I bought Gillian Flynn’s much-buzzed Gone Girl with high expectations.
It’s received high praise, been lauded as a frightening portrait of psychopathy that’s brilliantly-written with twists and turns to rival Alfred Hitchcock. Glowing reviews snagged my attention and I bought it despite Sarah’s warnings that it may not be my sort of thriller.
A seemingly perfect, beautiful wife who is well-known as the template for a series of children’s books titled “Amazing Amy” and a husband, Nick, who’s become disillusioned with his life and his wife give some backbone to the claim that this suspense thriller will chill and thrill its readers. Amy and Nick Dunn finds them living where neither wants to be with no income other than Amy’s money from her parents who are as wacky and unlikeable as all the other characters in Gone Girl. In a rented McMansion along the Mississippi River they bemoan their fall from a life of luxury in New York, loss of jobs and their loss of passion for one another. Into this mix comes Amy’s disappearance on what should have been a celebration of their anniversary.
This bland, yet strangly intriguing, plot concept could be viable, but it fell apart for me thanks to Gone Girl’s wholly despicable characters.
Amy aka Amazing Amy made her parents a great deal of money. They patterned her actions, her relationships with her friends, even her appearance into a series of books that found their way into grade school classrooms, libraries, bestseller lists and finally into the hands of nearly every child in the U.S. But shocking as it becomes for the country, Amy the icon disappeared leaving her husband as the prime suspect for her disappearance. Suspicion of murder becomes stronger with each weird clue that surfaces.
The first section of Gone Girl centers around the investigation into Amy’s disapearance. We discover that Amy is a mean-spirited, manipulative creature whose sole purpose is to make others miserable, to condemn everyone she comes in contact with and to sharpen her killer instincts with each ugly action she takes. Amy has plans and wickedly ugly and cynical thoughts to condemn anyone unfortunate enough to fall under her spell.
Getting into the mind of a person with no redeeming qualities does not make for an enjoyable read.