Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Blurb (from Goodreads):

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?



This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I bought (although I do have two copies – one print, one e-book). I bought it before the film and hype, but have only just got around to reading it. I will say now that while it was a good read, the ending left me going “huh?”
The book is split into three parts – the build-up, the truth, the ending. I got what had actually happened to Amy right from the word go, saw it coming mile off. I did think it was clever though, and a lot of thought has gone into the plot. There are quite a few twists and turns thrown in, keeping the reader hooked. However, I didn’t feel like I could completely connect with any of the characters. I didn’t like either Amy or Nick, but as it turns out that was possibly what the author wanted – it certainly helps to accept the ending if you are unsympathetic towards them.

And then there is the ending. I didn’t see it coming at all, although I probably should have. It was a bit blah, and I had to re-read the last chapter to make sure I hadn’t missed something. However it makes sense to the storyline.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery but isn’t fussed by HEAs. I wouldn’t call this book a thriller or a chiller, but it certainly hits the psychological description. It’s almost a tragic, f’ed-up romance, but without the love.

Four stars, because it’s well-written and kept me hooked but left me feeling a bit confused.

Genres, Pen Names & Christmas Planning

I’ve quizzed the subject of genres and pen names before, but here I go again.

Seven Dirty Words is pretty much finished now (watch this space!!), and while I am still toying with the idea of writing a sequel or two, my brain is absolutely buzzing with plots.  So here’s the question: Can you write to too many genres?  I think my heart still lies with crime and thrillers, although writing smut is fun and I do have a fascination with the paranormal and fantasy worlds.  But should I venture out of my comfort zone (currently adult / contemporary / erotic romance) and attempt at becoming the next female James Patterson, or perhaps try to rival Kelley Armstrong?  Or should I stay where I am and continue with my envy of E.L. James and her billions?  Decisions, decisions…

Of course, then there is the question of names.  Should I just use my name against any book I write, or like so many other authors, should I choose a pseudonym for different genres?  This is a debate I have with myself on a frequent basis.  As in almost daily.

I have started writing a fantasy / paranormal, which I suppose does have an element of chilling thriller in there.  Or it certainly does in my head.  But writer’s block has struck the Howard household.  I am blaming this on having the last 5 weeks off due to surgery and bed-rest.  Do I struggle on or do I start afresh?  My brain really doesn’t know where to start or end right now.  (Or should that be ‘write’ now??)

Planning for Christmas really isn’t helping matters.  With two young children, trips to see Santa, making and putting up decorations, and secret shopping is taking up plenty of my time.  I know many writers who take a break during the holidays but, as I’ve proven over the past month, taking a break for me means not being able to start again.  I feel a bit like a stalled engine in the freezing cold…  (ooh good analogy.  Nobody steal that.)

Oh well, I guess things will pick up in the New Year and eventually I will make a decision…

Merry Crimbo and Happy New Year to everyone!