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Gillian Flynn – Three of four novels, review

Was I the only person that read Gone Girl and hoped the movie would be better than the book? Honestly, I wondered how that particular novel was chosen for a movie. Usually, the books are way better than the movie, but… I didn’t like the film any better than the book when it comes to Gone Girl. The premise of the book was entertaining but it seemed to me the book dragged on and on and there weren’t any surprises at the end. (I pretty much had figured out the way it was all going to come down only a third way in.) That being said, I applaud anyone who can successfully write a novel and thought I shouldn’t give up on the author. Gone Girl just wasn’t my cup of tea. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, basically, a wife disappears and it looks like the husband was behind the whole thing but the woman was really just trying to get revenge on the husband and make herself famous and put her husband behind bars. The husband figures it out as he knows his innocence and his wife. Okay, no more spoiler-alerts if you haven’t read it. I had heard many people rave about the story, book and movie but it just didn’t grab me.

Impressed with Ms. Flynn’s website, if not her writing, I thought I’d give her another try and picked up The Grownup. It was a short book and I thought that would solve the on-and-on problem of Gone Girl. To be truthful, I couldn’t put it down and was disappointed it was so short. In Grown-ups, I thought I had the ending all figured out and BAM, Gillian Flynn right hooks and the end takes a little twist that left my mouth agape. This read was about a young woman trying to make it as a physic and one specific client. The client has a creepy step-son that gives the plot many twists. After finishing this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and went back to see what else Ms. Flynn had published.

So it’s sounding like I’m just a picky reader, right? The first one too long, the second one too short… Goldie-locks of book reading, good grief. The third book I picked up from this author was Dark Places. Like with the blonde kid and the three bears, this one was just right. Each chapter I changed my mind on how I thought the author would conclude the story and I was still wrong. This book left me on the edge of my seat and kept moving throughout so I didn’t get bored. It’s about a family that a horrific murder happened in their house where the mom and two of the sisters were killed. The youngest, seven at the time, testifies it was the older brother and he is convicted and goes to prison. Decades later, a group of inquiring minds called The Kill Club introduces the protagonist to alternate theories of her family’s deaths. She starts piecing the murders together and discovers the truth about what happened that night- (that’s all I’m saying, again, no spoilers.)
One of the great things about Gillian Flynn’s writings is the characters are believable and likable, even the ones you’re not supposed to like. I’m also impressed with the way she flips things when you are least expecting it, keeping the reader hooked. In my eyes, two of Gillian’s three books I’ve read entertained me and kept me wanting more so I’ll have to give her a huge thumb’s up and look forward to the next one of her novels. Sharp Objects anyone?

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