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Summer’s smartest thriller

Marriage gone wrong, wife gone

By Kurt Rabin

The Free Lance-Star

STEPHEN  King called “Sharp Objects” (2006), the début novel from Gillian Flynn, former TV critic for Entertainment Weekly, an “admirably nasty piece of work.” Wait till he gets a load of the 41-year-old’s latest. It’s an even nastier piece of work.

“Gone Girl,” Flynn’s third novel, is bound to be the charm, her big breakthrough book. It’s also the smartest thriller of the summer. I dare you to sample its first few lines without phoning a friend to repeat them verbatim.

“Gone Girl” is the story of a marriage gone terribly wrong. On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, goes missing from their rented Missouri McMansion on the Mississippi. Nick may not be the world’s best husband, but he doesn’t fit the profile of  a killer. Amy’s diary alludes to marital strife, but is she telling the whole story?

“Gone Girl” had lots of pre-publication attention on both Amazon and Goodreads, where reviewers were nearly unanimous in heaping praise on it. Even readers who felt manipulated by its alternating unreliable narrators admitted they couldn’t put it down.

How good is “Gone Girl”? It prompted me to read Flynn’s earlier work. I even surfed the Web to read her TV reviews. There are worse ways to spend a summer.

Kurt Rabin is a copy editor  for The Free Lance–Star

GONE GIRL

By Gillian Flynn

(Crown, $25, 432 pp.)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/07/30/summers-smartest-thriller/

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