Ambition and betrayal

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, RRP £12.99, 416 pages

After his private life hits the headlines, Nick Dunne becomes both vilified and adored by America. Amy, his stunning, smart wife, has vanished from their house on the day of their wedding anniversary. She appears to have been abducted while wrapping up a present for him. It’s any caring husband’s nightmare – or is it? The police are suspicious after examining Nick’s hard drive, and Amy’s friends say she lived in fear of him. The noose tightens and the media trial begins.

But nothing is as it seems. With this blisteringly cruel tale unfolding from multiple viewpoints, we’re faced with two unreliable (and possibly unhinged) narrators. Nick struggles to present his good side but, as he plunges from golden boy to social pariah, he realises the worst thing you can do is try to beat the media at their own game.

In Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn reinvents marriage as a fable of cynical symbiosis. The result is a deeply American tale of ambition and betrayal. Read it and stay single.

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