On Amy and Nick's fifth wedding anniversary, after a tense morning together, Amy goes missing. Nick is suspect number one since he has a several-hour gap in his alibi where he supposedly sat on the beach. Nick is convinced someone kidnapped her, and he points the police to several shady people in Amy's past. The story is told from two perspectives: Nick, in present day, and Amy through diary entries recalling the past five years of their relationship. Both narrators reveal aspects of themselves that aren't entirely trustworthy; both have lied, both have secrets, and it's clear that this marriage was far from happy.
What I loved about this book is the depth of character. The character's musings on life and marriage were so candid and real, it was almost too much to deal with at times. Especially regarding Amy's diary entries, you see a couple so intensely in love, who had so much fun, it's heartbreaking to see the shape their marriage is in during the present. The writing here is just stellar. I also liked how Gillian Flynn's experience writing for Entertainment Weekly magazine is so integrated in the story; Nick is a former magazine writer who lost his job as everything has turned to the web. The couple move back to Nick's hometown in the midwest, and Nick feels guilty for taking Amy out of her elite NYC upbringing, since he can't provide the life Amy wants. Amy seems like she's trying real hard, but internally, she's miserable, lonely and suspects Nick no longer loves her. It's clear both were crazy about each other in the beginning, and glimpses of that devotion show through, even though both Nick and Amy are flawed and distrustful of each other.
This is more of a psychological thriller, and a real page-turner. Every time I picked this up I stayed up far past my bedtime.