Gone Girl – The scariest book I read this year

I read a lot of crime and thriller fiction, but no book this year has scared me as much as Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I start it thinking it was another story about a husband killing his wife, and then protesting his innocence. But no, it’s much more than that. It seems to be about an ordinary, educated, middle-class couple. Their lives start unravelling when they lose their jobs in New York, after the recent financial crash. That in itself would cause stress in any marriage, but given the added personality disorders of the two main characters, it goes to a whole new level. I think what scared me most is the seeming ordinariness of their lives, and how (with the exception of some implausible plot turns) this could happen to anyone. It will make you look at your partner in a whole new way! I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so here is a summary from Goodreads:

Gone Girl coverOn 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?

From: Goodreads summary

So many bloggers have reviewed this book already, so I won’t do it again. One of the positive reviews I came across was from Savidge Reads which you can link to here.

So what did I think about it?

The book got a lot of hype in the media. Was it that good? For me it was not the best book I’ve ever read – to me the writing was okay, not exceptional –  but I certainly won’t forget the plot in a hurry!

If you’ve read it, what did you think of it? What was your scariest book of the year?

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Categories: Books/Book Reviews


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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10 Comments on “Gone Girl – The scariest book I read this year”

  1. Sue McB
    December 3, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    I shall have to track it down and read it – it sounds like the sort of thriller I would love.

    • December 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      I’m not usually a fan of “psychological thrillers”, but I’m glad that I read it.

  2. December 3, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    I’ve been trying to decide whether to read this book — I think you may have convinced me.

    • December 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Some people feel that the book didn’t live up to all the publicity hype. I hadn’t read much about the book before I started it, so maybe had no expectations.

      It definitely made an impression on me, but I’m not in a hurry to read more of the same author. Unlike other books where I’ll read the same author back-to-back.

  3. December 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    There has been so much hype about this book, but I haven’t read it yet. Even the people who love it seem incredibly disturbed. I’m not sure if I’m going to read it because I don’t want to be haunted by the subject. (Then again I usually have trouble watching CSI and those types of programs!)

    • December 4, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      I’m relieved to hear that I’m not the only one who found it disturbing. I think if you’re in any doubt, give it a miss. At this stage I’m not planning to read any more of Gillian Flynn’s novels – need to recover from Gone Girl first!

  4. December 4, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    Oh, I’ve been wanting to read this, Lisa. But, I’m not that into being terrified. May have to reconsider.

    • December 4, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      As I said to Jackie, if you’re in any doubt, don’t read it. I’ve got much better book recommendations if you’re looking for something to read.

  5. Madoqua
    December 4, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I must admit, thrillers are not my thing, but your post was a very interesting read despite this 🙂
    On another note, if you are after that cheesecake recipe (the ‘Ultimate’ cheesecake!) I have posted it!

    • December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Thanks for reading anyway! 🙂 I have got several other book posts planned. Next week: The best books I’ve read this year – which may be more to your liking.

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