It's funny, but what's got me hooked was how ridiculous it all seemed and is. Let me just lay out the setting first and foremost.
This story is about how this born country boy (Nick Dunne), whom successfully made it to upstate New York, had lost his wife (Amy Elliot-Dunne). His wife, who had it all lucky right from the start -- loving parents, filthy rich (because of this realistic book that her writer parents wrote on her and published plainly as 'Amazing Amy') and had easily landed a job of every writer's dream. They are, or were, both writers whom met at a writer's gathering and got together just because, at the peak point of their life. Their marriage hit off splendid, with fireworks and magic but as with the passing of time, so did their love. Part of it was because of the Internet which robbed the importance of writers and their jobs. Jobless, not yet broke because Amy was loaded in this trust fund that she had since young. But as they were bounded by employment (or any adult responsibilities) no longer, they shifted back to Nick's hometown of a little suburb Missouri as called for by the circumstances. They left behind the innocence of their love in New York and instead, brought with them a new element of hatred and disgust for the new environment and for each other. And then, on the very day of their fifth-year anniversary, this Amy decides to go missing, leaving behind a very confused Nick, eager-to-achieve police officers (who are trying to blame it all on Nick and get him to confess) and a strong public attention on her mystery (because that's the biggest thing happening in this small little town).
Being like any other normal human being, Nick decided to report it to the police to garner help in the search of his wife. Yet the funny thing was how Nick had this eerily aloof attitude towards Amy's disappearance and in fact, on Amy herself. This turned against himself and made him look the part of a culprit instead. The first whole section of the book went on about how much he avoided his wife as much as he could, how he had to prep himself before every confrontation with her and how he just hated her existence, her being his wife, her being in his life. Meanwhile, the author also throws in a diary style entry written by Amy who is ever so loving and trying in this relationship, hoping to salvage it and get her old Nick back. Being the reader of course, I had a very slanted and biased attitude against Nick, accompanied with pure disgust and hatred. Inner thoughts at the time sounded like 'WTF IS THIS GUY DOING. DID HE KILL AMY? CAN I FLIP TO THE LAST FEW PAGES OF THE BOOK JUST TO SEE IF AMY IS STILL ALIVE?' Yes. I was really angry and pissed because why did this Nick guy have to be such a dick? When his wife was so loving and accepting towards him? As if there's not enough hatred against him, the author drops a hiroshima-level bomb announcing that he has infidelity issues. For a really long time, that is. And there goes the inner thoughts again: 'this crazy and stupid man, I am glad your wife left you'.
Or so I thought, that this guy was the crazy one in the relationship. He was the one to blame, for his wife disappearance, no matter how strange and bizarre things were for his end. He for sure had many evidences that pointed towards him as the culprit, so many that they just fit together so well, so clear that it became weird and felt staged by someone, somehow. But well whatever, I hated this guy so I was glad he was going to get what he deserved, that's all.
Yet...... this book took a hella twist in just a mere few pages later (or tens of pages that went by again without me realising) and what came out of it were two very disturbing characters. The one on the masterclass level is none other than Amy Elliot-Dunne, who turned out to be a really psychotic woman. She played her meticulousness, slyness and false sense of righteousness to her advantage in staging her very own disappearance and framing the innocent Nick (yes he was guilty for his aloofness and infidelity but not for killing her). She watched as her master act unfolded according to her plan and watched how the world took down her husband like she intended to. She did many wrongs (that she did not think it was) in order to get back at her husband for his infidelity and yet after all these great act and efforts, she wanted to go back to her husband! Just because he appeared to be the good old Nick that she once loved dearly. And Nick, who realised just how psychotic she can be and is, have actually had the nerve to accept her, back in his life for good. Cue inner thoughts again that are exploding in countless 'WHAT' all over. Those akin to being trapped in a 1 m x 1 m room graffitied with different art styles, font styles, sizes and colours of a single word 'WHAT'. Those that could make your everyday commute pokerface scrunch up in a matter of seconds, like you've just smelled an unwashed sweat-soaked socks right in front of you; or a revolting pit after a long day's grind. And you have to accompany it with making that hand gesture - fingers spaced, both hands extended up to touch your temple using your finger tips, followed by pointing at nothing but air. It's so wrong on so many levels! Maybe it seemed a good idea to the author, to think that no matter how psychotic people become in a relationship and no matter what they did, two people could still come together once they arrived at a common understanding and share a same goal. They can look beyond the past, accept each other's flaws and move on to the next phase of their life together. I mean that outlook is cool and all but HOLY! This Amy woman is really disturbing a character that it sends chill down my spines while reading her thoughts. She's like that of a serial killer, those with a clear purpose in mind and with the intention to toy with the subject and kill by slow death. She can play you like a puppet on a string, make you dance and cry and laugh all at the same time.
Well, all I can say is that this turned out to be a really good read. By that I don't mean that it was one that was pleasant read overall, with words relating to 'moving, uplifting and happy'. I mean like it is a great thriller book like what it sets out to be, encased with so many disturbing elements and sickening thoughts. While I felt sick in the stomach and downright to my moral values, I also felt compelled to finish reading it because I needed to understand where this sickness all ends. That explains how quickly I flipped through the pages, not because of excitement but because of a need for a good explanation and closure. To which, the book obviously did not kindly provide and so this is my own closure to the book. To get this load off my chest somewhere and to stop thinking about this Amy, who does not exist in my life. And I hope, in anyone's life.