Holy cow. This book was a total mindf*ck and I would have willingly sat through another 400 pages just to see where these crazy characters would go next.
Amy Dunne goes missing on her 5th wedding anniversary, leaving behind a special anniversary treasure hunt for her husband, Nick. Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect in Amy’s disappearance, but Amy’s body never turns up. What starts out as a stereotypical case of a husband killing his wife slowly morphs into the tale of a really disturbing relationship.
This book will drag your sympathies all over the place… it is told in alternating chapters between Nick’s narrative of the days following Amy’s disappearance and Amy’s diary entries. I didn’t really like either Nick or Amy, but found myself feeling sorry for or siding with each of them throughout the story. Nick comes off as pretty self-absorbed. Amy’s diary will make you feel pretty sorry for her, but I also came away with the feeling she was a bit manipulative. As the characters become better revealed throughout the book, it is astonishing how these characteristics (self-centeredness and manipulativeness) spiraled out of control… reaching extremes I wasn’t predicting.
This book was strangely addictive… there were some suspenseful moments, but mostly I just couldn’t get these characters out of my head. I am still sitting here wondering what their ultimate fates are and how much of the truth either character told me. The ending doesn’t really resolve the situation, but I’m not unsatisfied with it. The open-endedness of it just leaves the horror of the situation lingering which is ultimately more frightening, I think. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a thriller where I was forced to think this much, where I was surprised by every twist and turn or where I actually enjoyed the twisted characters as much as I did here. This book has gotten a lot of attention because it is (IMHO) that good. If you want to spend the day with an absorbing, twisted, mind-boggling-in-the-most-fun-way book, I highly recommend you grab Gone Girl. Then come talk with me about how messed up Nick and Amy are.