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Novel set in Missouri, USA (What Amazing Amy and Nick did next….)

8th June 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, novel set in Missouri.


Sarah Jessica Parker reads Gone Girl
(Photo via Blinkbox Books)

The Observer refers to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn as TheThriller of the year 2013. It is very possibly that. This is the story of a couple, Nick and Amy and how and why Amy disappears. As the story unfolds there are truths within falsehoods, lies within game playing… they have a couple dynamic where the individuals are enmeshed with each other and dysfunctional to such a level that the reader can draw parallels with the film Mr and Mrs Smith, power and control, intrigue and folly, and no real let up in the intrigue.

From the bright lights of New York City, where the couple resides at the beginning, through the trauma of job loss and parental infirmity to Carthage, Missouri, where the two settle to start a new life – surrounded by Nick’s remaining family. Amy is wealthy because of the Amazing Amy books that her lovely and caring parents have written over the years, using their daughter as the template for their stories (in many ways reminiscent of Brenda in Six Feet Under). Fact and fiction – who is Amy really? As the story unfolds, and the mystery of her disappearance becomes more complex, the psychological aspect ratchets up to dizzying and convoluted heights.

Plausible as a story? Yes, just about – it delves into the psyches of the characters and becomes more and more convoluted, losing its momentum a little at about 3/4 of the way through. although picks up again towards the end.

And as for location? Carthage, Missouri comes to eye popping life in all its bleakness. Unemployment, homelessness and abandoned buildings, particularly a derelict shopping centre, act as a sobering background to the plot of the story, and the waters of the Mississippi River are ever present as the story rolls along. It is America at its drabbest, well drawn, but essentially depressing.

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