Of late, Twitter has become something of a nuisance. I have lost count of the number of times I have settled down to begin a book only to find myself, an hour later, still reading through my news feed hungry for the immediacy of information. I often ponder how many more books I would get through were it not for my mild addiction to social media; though working in PR, I can of course lay some of the blame of my twitter reliance at the foot of my job.
Thankfully, while Twitter does serve as an often unwelcome distraction, it also alerts me to the books everyone seems to be both reading and waxing lyrical about; thus the most recent example is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. While I was planning to read another of the BBC’s Big Read before the end of the month, I wanted to find out why everyone was talking about Gone Girl and thus began it myself.
Before I began Gone Girl, I had read the opening chapter of a couple of other books, neither of which had caught my imagination. So it was something of a relief to find myself instantly gripped by Flynn’s third novel.
Set in Missouri, the novel begins when Nick’s beautiful wife Amy disappears unexpectedly on their fifth wedding anniversary. A struggle has taken place and the finger is quickly pointed at Nick, whose account of events isn’t bought by the police. As he continues to protest his innocence, Nick makes a series of blunders that further incriminates his part in his wife’s disappearance, alienating himself from both the general public and his in-laws.
Woven into the narrative is a series of diary entries from Amy prior to her disappearance and as the tale progresses it becomes clear to the reader that all is not as it seems. The combination of Nick’s present-day reaction to the news of his wife’s disappearance with fragments from her diary, from their first meeting to present keeps the reader guessing as to both the motives and mindsets of the main protagonists.
With a clever twist and a somewhat sinister ending, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a fast-paced page tuner that is gripping to the very end.