Wow. There really are no heroes in this book. Amy, the "gone girl" of the title, comes across as this sweet New York girl who gave up her fun New York life to move with her husband to Missouri and help take care of his dying mother. But underneath, she's not sweet at all. It's difficult to say more without giving away the plot, but suffice to say that when Nick's father calls her the b-word, he's not far off the mark.
Nick's no catch either. He's angry about losing his cushy New York job, he's depressed about his mother and his new business and worried about money, so he does a stupid thing and has an affair.
When Amy disappears, we don't know if she ran away, or if someone killed her. (Nick? His sister? His new girlfriend? A stalker from Amy's past?) The book's chapters alternate between Nick's and Amy's points of view, with Amy's lagging a bit behind, and then the author hits us with a bombshell. And, a few chapters later, another. The hits, as they say, just keep on coming. It's then that we find out just how horribly crazy Amy is, because it turns out that she knows about his affair, and she wants him to PAY. Ladies and gentlemen, if your spouse starts reading true crime books, or watching a lot of CSI, be afraid. Be very afraid.
I can see why a lot of my friends didn't like this one. There's a lot of crazy, a lot of trashy stuff going on. And people being just downright awful to each other. There's a lot of sex, most of it between people who truly hate each other. And like I said, there are no nice people in this story. When the book ends, you feel like you need to take a shower. (And the book doesn't end well, by the way. )
So why the three stars? Because, for all the faults in the people in the story, the book is well-written. The fact that the reader feels such strong hatred for the characters is a testament to Flynn's writing skills. And the bombshells and plot twists and wheels-within-wheels are well-crafted. If I had liked the ending more, I probably would have given this four stars.