This read for me has been a long time coming. Gone Girl was highly acclaimed when it came out, but it jumped up my “must read” list after hearing it so highly praised on my favorite podcast, Literary Disco.
How can I put this? This. Book. Is. Jacked. Uuuuuup. I love a mystery and a thriller, but it has been a while since a book has really gotten under my skin. I read it in two sittings because it is one of those gripping stories you just can’t put down. When I did put it down to get a snack and my phone rang, I about jumped out of my skin.
This book isn’t simply the story of a missing woman: it is a descent into calculating madness, a fractured marriage, and the darkness of humanity. Beyond that, it also shines a harsh light on the media’s role in missing persons cases, and our complicit participation as both the audience, and the story creators. With the 24 hour news cycle, the need to sensationalize and sustain that sort of frenzy leaves a lot of unanswered questions in its wake. The constant churning, and our desire for more more more creates the problem, and for those in the fray, it’s an avalanche of half truths.
The structure of the novel is fascinating, as the husband and wife tell their own stories, at different points in time. It creates an amazing level of suspense as you watch two people in their own words, become stretched past the breaking point: the ultimate “he said, she said.” It is really as good as everyone says it is, though I’m still unsure of the third act. But I can’t stop thinking about it, or suggesting it to other people, so that to me is the mark of a good read.