Read: December 18th, 2013-December 23rd, 2013
Release Date: May 24, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (Division of Random House Publishing)
“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”
Driving down a winding road is one thing, but driving down a winding road, on the side of a cliff, in the dark, with absolutely no idea where you’re going is a different story. This book falls under the second scenario. You may think you have it all figured out, but you don’t. Even when things are revealed, you still don’t know the whole story until the very end. Don’t for one second believe that this story has a happy ending. In fact, the ending was the worst part of the book. There were chapters where I was cursing things that rhyme with truck and runt, but the ending was the cause of my real hatred. With all of that aside, the book was suspenseful. I wanted to know what happened. I needed to know how everything played out. You’ll receive all of that and so, so much more.
Nick Dunne: Quintessential husband of the year except for a few dirty details: his alcohol habit, his temper, his tall silent type disposition, his lack of romance, and his all-around careless approach to life. Mix all of these things together, and when Nick finds his home ransacked and his wife missing he feels—nothing. On the outside. Inside he is somewhat worried about Amy, recalling the fight that they had had the night before; how he could barely stomach being around her and yet he still loved her. Their move from the big apple hadn’t gone as well as he would have liked, leaving Amy miserable in his hometown of North Carthage, Missouri. He escaped their now boring lives by going to work at the bar his twin sister Margo, “Go”, bought with him when he moved back home a few months before. And, when Amy goes missing it’s his alibi—until it isn’t.
Amy Elliot Dunne: Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Being the inspiration for a highly acclaimed child’s series is a lot of pressure on a girl. Amy Dunne was a spoiled little rich girl who usually got everything she wanted. With a trust fund deep enough to last a lifetime, Amy has little to worry about. Nick was her perfect man when they began their courtship. He made her laugh and didn’t treat her with kid gloves the way her parents still did. After all, they were banking on their ‘Amazing Amy’ series modeled after their perfect daughter. Her journal entries paint a life of love and happiness until Nick’s mother becomes ill, forcing them to uproot and move to a town where nobody knows Amy and everyone remembers Nick.
As the police descend upon the case, Nick is their prime suspect. He is cooperative and gives the police full disclosure of his home, his business, and his daily activities. The house suggests a struggle, upturned furniture, the front door wide open, all leading to a pool of blood in the kitchen. With his life becoming front page news, Nick isn’t doing himself any favors by remaining cold and secluded. As the investigation continues, Nick begins to weave a web of lies, deception, and some inappropriate flirting with a search volunteer. The pressure builds as the walls begin to close in on him. He is bitter, angry, and ambiguous—but did he really have the cojones to kill Amy?
Trudging into the line of fire, Nick pleads innocence to anyone who will listen. But the public can’t seem to trust him, wondering if he didn’t do it—who did and where is Amy? Who would have taken her and why? And what is the secret hidden in the back of their closet? All will be revealed as the anniversary scavenger hunt commences, but there are more than love letters and gifts hidden inside those little treasures—they’re clues.
Told from the perspective of Nick, and journal entries from Amy from five years prior leading up to the present, the book blows open the doors on the typical husband/wife relationship. Leading with lies and deceit from the very beginning, the story is—for lack of a better word: wild. The amount of crazy captured in this book is astounding and nothing is ever as it seems. I went back and forth between how I felt about both characters. I liked Nick in the beginning, but then I started to not trust him. Amy was a whiny child in her journal entries so I wasn’t her biggest fan from the get go—but I still wanted to know what happened to her. In the end, I hated both of them for completely different reasons. I hated Amy for what she had done, and I hated Nick for what he hadn’t done. You may be angry when you finish, but curiosity killed the cat, and you’ll just have to live with yourself for reading to the very end to unravel the mystery