"You could imagine the skull quite
easily" is just the kind of sentiment you wish serial killers would keep
to themselves. It's also one of the first things Nick Dunne—the
handsome, smarmy, admittedly dishonest narrator of the opening chapter of
Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl—tells us about "the finely
shaped head" of his wife, Amy. Make that his missing
wife, Amy, who just happens to disappear from their Missouri home on the
morning of their fifth anniversary, fueling a small-town melodrama—complete
with middling cops, fame-hungry neighbors, and cable-TV news crews—in her wake.
As the story unfolds in precise and riveting prose, alternating between Nick's
voice and Amy's diaries chronicling their relationship, it quickly becomes
clear that theirs was not the happiest marriage, and that Nick, "a big fan
of the lie of omission," is hiding information not only from the police,
but also from readers. Still, even while you know you're being manipulated,
searching for the missing pieces is half the thrill of this wickedly absorbing tale.