So, true story, I haven’t read a single review of this book yet. I’ve seen about a million of them in my Google Reader, but enough of them have started out with a “Seriously, don’t read this review until you’ve read the book” that I’ve just been skipping them all. I realize this is weird and kind of not the point of, like, blogging, but seriously. If you want to experience the full power of this book, pretend you were never here, go get the book, read it, and then come back. The internet will wait for you!
Oh, and let me also note for the record that I did not care for Sharp Objects, Flynn’s first novel, and so I didn’t read her second one, but I am really glad I gave her another chance with this one. If you were squicked out by the more graphic parts of Sharp Objects, rest assured that you will see almost none of that here.
Okay, so, now that you’ve read the book or have decided you don’t care about ancient Egyptian curses or whatever, let’s get down to it.
OMFG. This book.
So the basic premise is that there’s a dude called Nick married to a chick called Amy, and they’re not terribly happy, and one day Amy goes missing and it doesn’t look very good for her or for Nick, on account of, you know, it’s always the husbands who do these things. But you don’t have to take television crime procedurals’ word for it, because Nick happens to be the narrator of half the book and he certainly isn’t making himself look innocent.
The other half is narrated by Amy, or at least by Amy’s diary, starting from when she met Nick and moving toward the day of her disappearance. The two narratives trade back and forth in a delightful fashion, with each chapter’s ending tying in somehow to the next chapter’s beginning, and of course the two sides tend to disagree with each other. The only thing the reader can be sure of is that this is not a terribly good marriage and that Nick is totally hiding something.
And so I spent the whole first section of the book being like, Nick did it. He totally did it. Maybe he did it. Did he do it? Maybe he didn’t do it? No, he totally did it. Did he? He did.
And then out of nowhere comes a second section, and it was like, so here’s what REALLY happened, and I was like, … I may have shouted “No effing way!” at my husband, whom I was keeping apprised of the situation, and he may have been like, “Wait, what?” when I explained. It is an interesting development, is what I am saying.
And then the book becomes basically the greatest thing since Dial M for Murder, by which I mean it becomes Dial M for Murder, with the whole knowing what really happened and watching the investigation and wondering whether the culprit will get away with it or get caught and you don’t know quite who to root for because on the one hand, getting away with it, and on the other hand, how can you let someone get away with that?
And THEN there’s the third section, in which absolutely ridiculous and insane things happen and part of me is like, what, and the other part of me is like, well, could it really have ended any other way?
To sum up: this book is batshit crazy and I kind of love it.