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Love it or hate it, you almost certainly read it–and talked about it. Gone Girl set the stage for a spate of novels with a “big twist” at the end–some better executed than others, and this one still holds the title as having one of the best twists in recent memory. It admittedly requires some suspension of belief and tolerance for a bit of ridiculousness, but it’s mostly smart, cleverly executed, and pure entertainment if you’re willing to go along for the ride.
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?