I have a confession to make (yes it’s that time again)…I am crazily addicted to crime fiction. Perhaps not as crazy as some of the characters in my books, but I am pretty damn obsessed.
Once I discover an author I like I tend to go into a reading frenzy, devouring everything they have ever written. Cornwell, Grisham, Kellerman (both Mr and Mrs), Reiches, Slaughter – I have read them all and, before you ask, yes there really is a crime writer named Karin Slaughter.
So when I picked up the book of the moment, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and inexplicably found myself a quarter of the way through before taking a breath I knew I was in big trouble. Four days later and within an hour of finishing I was at my bookshop buying her other books – Sharp Objects and Dark Places (I told you I had issues).
Before I had even turned the first page of Gone Girl I heard all sorts of things about the characters, but thankfully no plot spoilers. As someone who hates people who throw about spoilers without any regard for their fellow readers with a burning, all consuming passion, I wanted to warn you know that I will be giving away some key facts in the book so if you haven’t read it yet please click away from this post now….
…I am serious
…spoilers are on the way
…this is your last chance to click away from the post
….hopefully to one of my others
…you know you want to.
Okay, so now it’s just us I wanted to share my thoughts on Gone Girl and I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below. To start with I need to declare up front that I really enjoyed this book. Flynn is a captivating writer who knows how to hook her audience and keep their attention locked in. I found myself promising “just one more page” several times a night as I mentally balanced a need for sleep against my need to find out what was going to happen. I absolutely adore books that make me feel that way, even if it does cause a temporary bought of insomnia.
However, I do have some rather strong feelings about the central characters. Wait, scratch that. I have some rather strong feelings about all of the characters (and if you disobeyed my previous warnings and are still reading you are about to hit one hell of a spoiler).
Holy mother of god they are all such freaking horrendous human beings. I mean I kept wanting to root for the good guy, except none of them are really that ‘good’. Nick is a self-obsessed, whinging man-child and Amy is, well you know, a murderous “psycho bitch”. I liked Nick’s sister Go at the start but her spunk quickly faded away and she was rather uninspiring by the end (which I admit might have something to do with the whole ‘her brother is a man-child and her sister-in-law is a murderer’ thing but still). Amy’s parents were self righteous idiots. Andie was clueless. The only cop who actually seemed to have a clue was Boney but even she disappointed. The characters were so frustrating that it got to the point where I was actually glad when Amy killed Desi. How messed up is that!
But you know what, despite this unlovable bunch it is still a fantastic, captivating tale. The transition between narrators is used to fantastic effect, and the twists are unexpected, although I always suspected Amy had something to do with her disappearance; and while Amy is an evil maniac, she is also a fantastically complex character that you just can’t ignore.
The ending though was torture for someone like me with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. I felt somewhat robbed that she never got what was coming to her. Now, I know that in real life good doesn’t always triumph; I know the bad guys sometimes win. But my moral outrage was furiously twisted in those final pages desperately hoping somehow the truth would come out and justice, in almost any form, would be served.
Despite this I still loved the book and would recommend it to anyone who loves an exciting read. I am keen to check out the movie too and see how it compares to the book. But what did you think? Do you share my feelings about the characters? What did you think of the ending?