Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title:  Gone Girl
Author:  Gillian Flynn
Series:  None
Publisher:  Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date:  May 24, 2012
Pages:  419
Format/Source:  eBook/Purchased

Age Group/Genre:  Adult/Mystery

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. (Cover photo and synopsis from Goodreads)

A Well-Written Mystery…

Gone Girl was the November selection for my book club, but I had seen a few reviews of the book beforehand, so I was intrigued from the beginning. It sounded like an interesting book, especially because of the mystery.  And Gillian Flynn definitely delivered on that point.  Readers will spend a lot of time changing their minds, believing at one moment that Nick killed his wife, and then the next moment swearing that there was no possible way that he could have done it.  

Readers will also go back and forth as to whether they like the characters of Nick and Amy, and may feel very strongly about other characters as well.  I think Flynn’s character development is fantastic.  She used so many little details to really make the characters, especially Amy and Nick, come alive. And at one point, Flynn had me feeling sorry for a character who really didn’t deserve it, and that, I think, takes some skill.  And the ending of Gone Girl will have both fans and critics, but it will still shock a majority of readers.

A Bit More Suspense, Maybe?

I really love suspenseful novels, and mystery and suspense really go hand in hand.  Yes, there was some suspense in this novel, and there was plenty of mystery, but there were only a few parts of the story where I really felt like I was on the edge of my seat.  Only a few scenes had me writing “Ooooh, creepy!” in my notebook.  A truly suspenseful novel would have had me biting my nails, writing furiously in my notebook about all the tension.  But perhaps Flynn wasn’t trying to write a suspenseful mystery?  Maybe I just went into the book thinking that it was going to be very suspenseful, almost like a horror story, but was disappointed when it wasn’t.  Either way, I think I would have preferred more suspense.  I did, however, enjoy the twists and turns along the way.

Great Quotes…

I think Flynn wrote the story beautifully as well.  There were several quotes that I just had to write down while reading–here are a few of my favorites:

“6-0-0 the clock said–in my face, first thing I saw.  6-0-0.  It felt different.  I rarely woke at such a rounded time.  I was a man of jagged risings:  8:43, 11:51, 9:26.  My life was alarmless.”

“And it’s so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine.  That fast.  You think:  Oh, here is the rest of my life.  It’s finally arrived.”

“I was the embodiment of every writer’s worst fear: a cliché.”

“And I thought:  Love makes you want to be a better man–right, right.  But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

“Our relationship immediately attained a sepia tone:  the past.”
I also really loved the part when Nick is talking about how our young generations have already seen everything on television, and how it’s a strange time in which to live. (I wanted to quote it, but it would be too long of a quote to paste here.)

My rating for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:

4 stars.  I think it was a really interesting book and I loved the mystery aspect to it.  I’ll definitely be checking out more of Gillian Flynn’s books in the future.

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House, Inc.
Disclaimer:  I purchased this book myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I have the other two novels by Flynn and can't wait to read them! I listed to Gone Girl on audio, and it did keep me on the edge of my seat- mostly because I was wondering how badly things would turn out with every new, incredibly dumb thing Nick did! ;)

  2. Jessie Marie

    December 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I think this book was more of a study in abnormal psychology than a mystery/suspense/thriller, but I think the MST aspect was sort of an added bonus. There is no doubt that these two were f***ed up in the head. I just loved Flynn's portrayal of them and the little details, like you said.

  3. fakesteph

    December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    There are definitely some interesting elements and I probably would have liked it better had I had people to discuss it with after I read it, but I didn't really enjoy it. I hated the end. I recognize that it is a very well written and well plotted book and that Flynn is absolutely a skilled and manipulative (in a good way) writer. But this book is pretty much the opposite of WHY I read.

  4. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    December 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I can't wait to read this one. It's one of my must reads for 2013. I didn't read your review (cause I haven't read the book) but I'm glad to see you liked it!

  5. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    December 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I've been hearing a lot about this one and am really interested in the story. I love a good mystery but I've also heard from a few people that it is easy to guess where the story is going when you really think about it and that part scares me a little… lol. Glad that you enjoyed it for the most part! I think I will pick it up some time soon!

  6. Bittner

    December 29, 2012 at 2:48 am

    I thought the novel was very suspenseful but that could have been added to by the fact that I was listening to it so the pace was different.

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