My rating: 4 of 5 stars
<—– is this dvd cover, or the “soon to be a major motion picture cover”? i didn’t read that one. i listened to the audiobook.
for a long time i had this book mixed up in my mind for another, thought i had already read it, and so checked it off the list. then i realized i hadn’t in fact read it. if i’d known it was by the author of Sharp Objects, i probably wouldn’t have read it at all. somehow in all the muddle i ended up with the audiobook, and i’m not sorry i did.
well, not entirely sorry.
i think one would have to be a hermit even more hermitty than i to have not heard of this book, but on the off chance there’s one deeply antisocial blind person in Gnome who speaks only Klingon, here’s the elevator pitch: wife disappears on couple’s 5th anniversary, husband soon suspected. (sorry, i know that should have been in Klingon… stop bitching and go write your own blog). anyway suspicion soon falls on the husband, but far too many things are not adding up.
and then things get twisty.
half the pleasure of this book is the plot–it’s a quite ingenious plot, my hat’s off to Flynn. i could see barely a foot in front of me most of the time, and that’s a deep pleasure in a mystery. i’m pretty sure too that if i went back and re-read, i wouldn’t find any holes in it, either, and that is a serious accomplishment in a plot so convoluted.
as to the characters, well…
they are totally repulsive. i defy anyone to say that they found this husband and wife pair sympathetic, and that too is a remarkable accomplishment in these times, when truly stellar books die quick deaths because there’s nobody “likeable” in the story. Flynn is in fact so deft at manipulating emotion that you can’t stop reading even when you hate them, and to your horror, you will find yourself sympathizing with them against your will from time to time. it doesn’t last, but i’m quite sure that’s not accidental.
i hope to the god i don’t believe in that i never, ever meet anyone remotely like this pair. or their parents, for that matter.
i don’t think i’ve ever felt quite so satisfied by a book and at the same time so much needed to take a shower at the end. i also hope i will forget this book soon, but i have a feeling that’s not going to be the case.