Author: Gillian Flynn, 2012.
Genre: Psychological Thriller. Mystery. Relationship Drama.
Other Details: Paperback. 496 pages
Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war... - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
This is a novel where it is advisable to avoid a detailed synopsis as a great deal of the tension is produced by the questions raised by the interplay between the points of view of Nick and Amy. Flynn's style is impressive as she interweaves narratives and time lines navigating the reader through the novel's many twists and turns. Aside from the thriller elements the novel also examines the dynamics of a marriage that from the outside looks perfect. As the UK cover blurb says "there are two sides to every story" and here the reader is given the opportunity to experience both.
I did find that it started off a little slow but then quickly gained pace and once it did I just had to finish it as quickly as I could in order to discover how things resolved. The Guardian's reviewer described Flynn as playing with her readers "with the finesse and delicacy of an expert angler" and I found this quite an apt description.
It was a fun thriller with some very chilling aspects. I certainly was impressed by it and felt it deserved the hype it was gaining. Unlike many in the thriller genre, this novel does invite re-reading in order to appreciate the foreshadowing of later events as well as the psychological elements.