What mystery fan hasn’t read-or at the very least heard of-Gone Girl? Gone Girl is a phenomenal domestic mystery thriller published in 2012. After it’s release, it was made into a film by David Fincher, an adaptation that’s beloved by many. This Mystery Month, we’re taking a look at some other books to check out if you loved this twisty thriller.
The Gone Girl Phenomenon
This book, I would say, took a fresh take on a typical thriller plot-in this story the protagonist investigates what happened to a missing person, while at the same time being the prime suspect in the investigation. Nick and Amy are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary when she abruptly goes missing. With clues pointing towards a possible murder, her husband becomes a person of interest. Told in a dual perspective, Gone Girl has captivated readers with its vivid and thorough exploration of flawed characters, revenge, betrayal, and marriage.
If you’re looking for books like Gone Girl, we’ve put together a list of books you can check out! These books don’t necessarily have the same plot structure and twist of Gone Girl, but they have some notable similarities between the characters and themes of the stories. Don’t worry, there are still twists a plenty.
*Disclosure: We only recommend books which we love and would read ourselves. This post contains affiliate links, as we are part of the Amazon Services LCC Associate Program, which may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Released in 2015, The Girl on the Train has been compared to Gone Girl since it’s initial publication. Both feature unreliable narrators and flawed female protagonists, and both delve into similar themes. Having read both books, I can say that The Girl on the Train has a faster pace, whereas Gone Girl was more flawlessly written.
Rachel Waston’s daily routine includes taking the train into London and making up stories in her head about a couple, Megan and Scott Hipwell, that she sees as her train passes by their house every day. One morning, she witnesses something shocking. The next day, she wakes up without having a clear memory of what happened the night before, and soon learns that Megan is missing. But did she really see what happened, or is it all in her head?
4. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Pretty Girls is one of the most graphic books I’ve ever read (which contains trigger warnings). Claire Scott investigates the cases of missing girls, hoping to find the truth about her sister’s disappearance. The novel begins at an alley where Claire’s husband was brutally murdered right in front of her. From there, the story escalates to a gripping climax and the most horrible truth that a wife can discover.
3. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Between Us revolves around interconnected characters and multiple viewpoints-similar to Gone Girl. The novel explores the complexities of marriage in depth as well. Vanessa spends her time watching the woman that her husband left her for. The other woman Nellie, assumes that she knows all of the details of Vanessa and Richard’s marriage. She couldn’t be more wrong. Lies and secrets are about to be revealed.
2. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Anna Fox is an agoraphobic woman who spends her day spying on her neighbors. While snooping one day, she witnesses a horrifying crime from her apartment window. While trying to find a way to help solve this crime, the reader is also treated to flashbacks to give us further insight into what caused her agoraphobia in the first place. If the plot twist in Gone Girl is what you’re looking for, this is the story for you.
1. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Another unreliable narrator, this time one who wakes up every day with no memory of who she is. Christine suffers from anterograde amnesia, and must piece together glimpses of her prior life with Ben, her alleged husband. Through journal entries she tracks her discoveries about herself and the life people are telling her is her own. But she’s about to discover just how much more there is to her life than she’s been told.
Honorable Mentions: Sharp Objects, and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
If you loved Gone Girl, you have to pick up Gillian Flynn’s other books! Her writing style developed so much from her debut novel, Sharp Objects, and second book, Dark Places, both of which are great reads. Gillian Flynn had mastered the effective storytelling of bold and twisted protagonists, and outstanding attention to detail.
Sharp Objects tells a story of Camille Preaker, a reporter assigned to cover the mysterious murder of two young girls in her hometown. This novel was really creepy and made me restless for days. All characters were daunting and suspicious.
Dark Places follows a famous sole survivor of a family murder that happened twenty-five years ago. At seven years old, Libby Day old testified that her fifteen-year-old brother killed her mother and two sisters. Given her young age, she barely remembers what really happened then, and now she struggles to live day by day as an adult. One day she stumbles upon the Kill Club-a society obsessed with crimes willing to pay fees in exchange for valuable evidences of Libby’s tragic past.
Gone Girl is a great book to start when you want to venture the mystery thriller genre. We hope you’ll love these other books in the list as well.
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