Readers of our December issue know that we’ve dubbed Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl the breakout book of 2012. A word-of-mouth sensation, this novel is guaranteed to keep you on your toes—and have you talking about it to your friends.
If Gone Girl whetted your appetite for unpredictable plotlines, dark and twisted characters or jaw-dropping finales, here are a few suggestions on what to read next.
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. One of the themes of Gone Girl was the fascination that missing women and girls hold in today’s society. Atkinson takes on a similar topic in her first Jackson Brodie mystery, which links the recent murder of a young woman to a child’s disappearance decades before.
Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder. If you thought the ending of Gone Girl was messed up—well, the last page of this story will have your head spinning. Really, all of Hayder’s dark, well-written tales should appeal to the Flynn aficionado.
Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross. A husband who fantasizes about his wife’s death sees his guilty nightmare come true. Those who enjoyed Flynn’s exposé of the ugly underbelly of marriage shouldn’t miss Ross’ debut, which features three couples bound by love, hate and, possibly, murder.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Today’s detective fiction is a descendant of Victorian “sensation” fiction—and The Woman in White, arguably the very first in that genre, is still one of the best. Like Flynn’s, Collins’ tale is told through the written statements of different protagonists, each with their own biases that the reader must consider. (Amy’s diary has nothing on Count Fosco’s!)
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. One of the pleasures of Gone Girl is its exploration of male-female dynamics and the power of creating a “story.” McEwan deals with some of the same issues in his latest novel, which also contains one of those brilliant (and exceedingly rare) surprise endings that casts everything that came before in a different light.
Perfume by Patrick Suskind. You’d have a hard time finding a more dark and twisted main character than Jean-
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. A male writer is taken to task by his female muse for his unfortunate penchant for killing off the women he writes about in Oyeyemi’s imaginative fourth novel, which shares Gone Girl‘s interest in violence against women and the dark side of marriage.
What books would you recommend for Gone Girl fans?
RELATED ON THE BOOK CASE: Previous posts on Gone Girl.