Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

First Published: 2012

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Blurb:

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 from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. 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?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? (From Goodreads, 19th November 2013)

Review:

I was disappointed with ‘Gone Girl’ after everyone saying it was a fantastic mystery thriller, and it being voted for so many awards in 2012.

Nick’s wife has gone missing, and soon Nick becomes the main suspect. Nick initially seen as an amazing husband but soon this persona begins to unravel. But did Nick kill his wife?

The premise was one that enticed me, and from what everyone was saying I thought ‘yes, this is going to be a book that I will love’.

However, the first half of the novel bored me, but was saved with the twist in events during the second half. I am glad I kept going with ‘Gone Girl’ and would advise others who feel the same as me, just keep going! The second half is fantastic and a real page turner. There are a lot of shocks, and a lot of suspects. A psychological mind warp that makes you really wonder about the nature of people.

‘Gone Girl’ is a well planned and laid out thriller which does keep you guessing and shocking you throughout. But I cannot give ‘Gone Girl’ a high rating due to the slow first half, which nearly caused me to give up.

3 out of 5

Never Coming Back By Tim Weaver

Title: Never Coming Back

Author: Tim Weaver

Publisher: Penguin Books

Published: 29th August 2013

Blurb:

A SECRET THAT WILL CHANGE LIVES FOREVER

It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner’s cooking, the TV’s on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.

When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It’s clear someone doesn’t want the family found.

But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find Emily’s missing family, he might just have made himself the next target … (From Goodreads, 20th August 2013)

Review:

When I read the blurb of this novel I was very excited. I thought this is the sort of novel that I will enjoy. However, when I started I was slightly confused, the crime scene presented within the first few chapters did not match the blurb I had read which lead me to be slightly confused. But soon things begin to come together and the mystery of the family that went missing comes into focus.

The first half of the book confused me slightly due to the shifting of narrators, but once you get used to this you begin to enjoy the different points of view and stories taking place. However, in the second half of the book the narrator is David Raker alone, which lead me to being slightly confused about the actual reasoning for the switching narration in the first half.

Despite these issues I had at the beginning I loved this book! I loved the mystery, and it wasn’t a ‘who’s done it’ style of novel which can become slightly ‘samey’ once you have read a few. No, ‘Never Coming Back’ is a novel which builds up the layers as you go through the book. We learn more about the lives of all the characters and the entanglements they have to one another. Why has Emily’s family gone missing? Why is there a trail of bodies that do not connect? What do all these people know that has resulted in their deaths?

I loved this mystery, though I was slightly disappointed in the reasoning behind all the murders and why Emily’s family were taken. But I must admit that this is the first murder mystery I have read that came to this conclusion, which for me made it unique. But I must confess I haven’t read that many books of this genre despite my enjoyment of them.

I have never read any of Tim Weavers novels and thus this was my first David Raker novel. But through glimpses of what had happened, or what I assumed happened in Tim Weavers previous David Raker novel ‘Vanished’ it has made me add Tim Weavers previous novels to my wish list. This is a author that I have already recommended to my friends and family.

Despite the slightly negative comments I had at the beginning I still loved this novel and found that once I got a few chapters in I did not want to put the novel down! The small chapters made it even harder to put the novel down, and I found myself finishing the novel at 2am after getting engrossed when I picked it up from the half way point.

4 out of 5

Shutter Island By Dennis Lehane

  I did things the wrong way round – I saw the film, then read the book. Actually I watched the film about five times before I read the book. The film was almost identical – a very rare thing which we are all aware of. This makes my reading tainted. I hear the voices of Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo as I was reading it and did not have to make up these images or voices myself.

However, onto the actual book. Teddy Daniels (Dicaprio) and Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) are arriving at Shutter Island – an island of the coast of Massachusetts which holds the most severe cases of Forensic Psychiatric Patients (criminally insane). Set in the 1950’s  you get a feel of the turn of the tide in psychiatric care, the introduction of anti-psychotics and newer therapies but still the evidence of the horrors of past ‘care’ and the prevalent psycho-surgery of the time.

A patient has escaped. There is a storm which wrecks the island. Teddy and Chuck are trapped. More and more suspicion,  more and more mystery, more and more enticing. The book grips you and reels you in. A psychological thriller with twists and turns that I did not see.

Okay so you can tell – I liked the film and the book. But the book didn’t have as much of a kick as it would have if I had read it first. I am not wanting to have any spoilers here but I came to a different conclusion at the end than what my partner did. I have never investigated this but either way we both enjoyed it.

SO here is what I would say – Loved it! Would read again! But having seen the film the book doesn’t have the ‘spark’ that it would have done if read first.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers this is for you. If you have seen the film you won’t get much from the book. So read the book first before you watch the film!

5 out of 5