By Gillian Flynn

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Let me start out by saying that this book was SO good.  I’d already read Gone Girl going in, so I had high expectations, and this book delivered.  It is rare that an author can write multiple thrillers that catch your attention, but I think she managed to do that well.  There are some occasional repetitive themes between the two, but not overmuch so that you can predict the ending.  However, I did read Dark Places immediately after, and those have a lot in common so I would recommend spreading them out a little bit and/or turning off the part of your brain that connects the dots between the two, at least until the end.

The story is about a woman name Camille Preaker, who happens to be a writer for a not-super-popular-but-still-decent newspaper.  She has a troubled past, and this comes back to haunt her throughout the novel.  Unfortunately for her, her boss wants her to go back to the town where she grew up in order to cover the mystery of missing/murdered children from the town.  Despite her protests, she is sent there, where she shows up at her mother’s house unannounced to cover the case.

From there, there are many twists and turns full of romance, completely twisted family relationships, murder, and (it is a Gillian Flynn novel after all) deception.  It is such a fast paced novel, but it is written really well and you find yourself relating to Camille and feeling bad for her, even though it is very likely that your situation is nothing like hers.  You root for her, and you want her to conquer all of her demons, making this a powerful, can’t put down read.

What I love about Flynn is that she doesn’t create traditional protagonist heroes who save the day with their cunning and superiority to the villains.  Camille is a real human being who had flaws (probably more of those than positives) and this makes her journey believable.  And, I can almost promise you that you will not predict the ending, and you will suspect many different people the entire time.  She does a great job of creating not-obvious red herrings that lead you to suspect them.

I should probably introduce the rest of Camille’s family, so that you can understand why she didn’t want to go home.  First, there is her mother, Adora.  Adora seems to HATE Camille, despite her outpouring of emotion towards everything else, especially…. Amma!  Amma is Camille’s half sister, the child of Adora’s second marriage.  Amma is just 13, but she acts much older, and is a dramatic, party hard, devil child that wins her parents affections easily.  And let’s just say that her and Camille don’t really get along.  Amma’s father (Adora’s husband) is also in the novel, but I don’t even know his name, if that gives you an idea of the roll he plays.

This book was amazing, and I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys relationship thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train (by Paula Hopkins, read review here) because it is a similar fast paced style that still leaves plenty of time for emotional breakdowns and sudden twists that will leave you reeling.

I would not recommend this book to children, as there are VERY mature themes throughout including (MINOR SPOILERS BUT MOSTLY THIS IS A DISCLAIMER): murder, cutting/self-harm, and sex  (END SPOILERS).  These are a pretty big part of the book so if you are uncomfortable, I suggest you look elsewhere.  That being said, it was soooo good and it wasn’t like the only reason it’s good is because it’s twisted.

What is your opinion on Gillian Flynn?  Which of her books is your personal favorite?

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