5 books to read if you loved ‘Gone Girl'
Looking for more novels heavy on the dark and twisty? Ignore the world and dive into these thrillers.
To understand the "Gone Girl" phenomenon, it's best to approach it from two angles. The first concerns those who were introduced to American author Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel on the page, relishing its unorthodox narration and dark, surprising plot twists. The second involves those who experienced the 2014 film, a masterful screen adaptation by American director David and Arnon Milchan, a prolific Israeli producer, that created even more fans of Flynn's work.
Naturally, the psychological thriller genre has subsequently exploded in the wake of "Gone Girl," with readers eager to embrace authors who might lead them down a similar dark and twisty path. Below are just a few we've found that will likely keep you turning pages in suspense for months to come.
'The Girl on the Train'
British author Paula Hawkins' psychological thriller "The Girl on the Train" is a first-person narrative told from the point of view of three different women. Like "Gone Girl," the secret to this page-turner is all in the setup, which initially starts off as rather mundane and then rapidly unfolds into something else entirely. If you enjoyed the twists in "Gone Girl," or are a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window," you're going to savor the suspense offered by "Train."
"What really makes 'The Girl on the Train' such a gripping novel is Hawkins' remarkable understanding of the limits of human knowledge, and the degree to which memory and imagination can become confused," writes Michael Schaub in a review for NPR.
In May 2015, it was announced that "The Girl on the Train" was headed to the big screen, with American filmmaker Tate Taylor directing and actresses Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett to star in the lead roles. The film will be released on Oct. 7, 2016.
American author Kimberly McCreight's thriller "Reconstructing Amelia" opens with a suicide and then takes readers on a twisting journey to uncover the reasons behind the tragedy. The story is told from alternating points of view, with first person for one character and the innovative perspective of the victim from texts, emails and posts on social media.
"Kimberly McCreight spins a riveting narrative that somehow delivers thoughtful commentary on working-mom guilt, bullying, police corruption and 'Gossip Girl,'" wrote Henry Goldblatt for Entertainment Weekly. "Every single twist in 'Reconstructing Amelia' is clever, and rightfully earned."
In 2013 it was announced that Australian actress Nicole Kidman would star in a film adaptation of the book to premiere on HBO.
Dutch writer Herman Koch's darkly suspenseful novel "The Dinner" revolves around a family meal and the nail-biting decision they must make regarding a violent crime committed by their two teenage sons. Embracing the dinner theme, the book's sections are organized like a full course meal, from aperitif to digestif. According to Claire Messud of The New York Times, "The Dinner" is not something that will whet the appetite of all readers.
"There is a bracing nastiness to this book that grows ever more intense with the turning of its pages," she writes. "It will not please those who seek the cozy, the redemptive or the uplifting. If you are such a reader, you may stop right here."
But for fans of "Gone Girl," who understand all too well the darkness at the heart of the genre, "The Dinner" will offer something new to chew on. It's also being turned into a film – with director Oren Moverman, a celebrated Israeli filmmaker, and American actors Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall set to star.
'The Silent Wife'
"The Silent Wife," written by Canadian author A.S.A. Harrison, is extremely similar to "Gone Girl" in that it offers a psychological thriller about a broken marriage told from two different points of view. In an interesting twist, readers know from the very beginning the main character who will die. It's the suspense and secrets that Harrison so skillfully divulges to understand the hows and whys of the crime that will leave you glued to the pages until the end.
In a review for the Guardian, Alison Flood called "The Silent Wife" a "colder, less dramatic" alternative to "Gone Girl."
"[It's] ultimately, a frighteningly possible portrait of a marriage, of how things can slip so far without either party realizing, of how murder can slowly, insidiously, begin to seem like the best – the only – option," she wrote.
In 2015, it was announced that British director Adrian Lyne and actress Nicole Kidman were teaming up on a film adaptation of "The Silent Wife." Much like "Reconstructing Amelia," this one is also slated to premiere on cable network HBO.
'In the Woods'
Irish novelist Tana French's mystery novel "In the Woods" is a celebrated page-turner filled with dark and twisty turns reminiscent of "Gone Girl," "The Lovely Bones" and "Mystic River." The story focuses on two Irish detectives as they attempt to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a young girl. Equal parts police procedural and psychological thriller, the novel spawned a number of best-sellers under French's "Dublin Murder Squad" series.
In March of 2015, it was announced that the detective series was being adapted for television.
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