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Gillian Flynn mines a marriage for mystery as her 2012 novel alternates between the perspectives of a husband and wife after the husband, Nick Dunne, arrives home in Missouri to find his wife Amy has gone missing. Nick sets off on a diabolical treasure hunt Amy created in order to find her—inadvertently unraveling his image as a doting partner along the way and learning that his wife harbored dark secrets he never imagined. As the story unfolds, page by frantically turned page, Nick and Amy’s solipsism comes into focus. With a propulsive plot, spiky characters, crisp writing (who can forget Amy’s “cool girl” speech?), and a stunning twist, Gone Girl was a defining thriller for the post-recession era, launching a renewed obsession with mysteries about complicated women and marital deceptions. Flynn also wrote the screenplay for the hit 2014 movie adaptation, which starred Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as the star-crossed Dunnes. —Tessa Berenson Rogers

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