Who wasn’t shocked by the story of Gone Girl? When Gillian Flynn released the jaw-dropping novel of a missing wife and a marriage full of secrets, she took the reading world by storm. Gone Girl was one of my favorite reading experiences and after, I had read Dark Places and Sharp Objects at a rapid pace. With 2022 quickly approaching and the ten-year anniversary of Gone Girl following, all Flynn Fanatics like myself have been looking for those stories that can captivate them as much as the story of Amy and Nick. From messed-up marriages to chilling small-town stories, here are some books that Gillian Flynn fans can dive into while we wait for what’s next.
The War of the Roses by Warren Adler
Not only is The War of the Roses another twisty and suspenseful story of marriage, but the film adaptation starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner is one of my favorite films of all time. Oliver and Barbara Rose met in the most romantic way, each auctioning for a Staffordshire figure in Cape Cod. From that moment, they built a picturesque life together including children, a mansion, and successful careers to help them create pure happiness. When Oliver suffers from what seemed to be a heart attack and Barbara’s reaction is less than what he expected, the Roses’ picture-perfect life begins to shatter. A classic story of a couple who go from love to hate, this is a cautionary tale of what happens in a divorce when someone doesn’t want to stay and another won’t let go.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Dexter with this twisty tale of an unconventional marriage. Narrated by the husband, My Lovely Wife is about a man who meets the woman of his dreams, marries her, and does whatever it takes to keep her happy. After falling in love, having children, and moving to the suburbs, the couple grows bored and with boredom comes the desire to spice things up to keep the marriage exciting. The secret to success in this marriage is simple: murder.
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
If you crave a complex and brilliantly written unreliable narrator that Flynn can craft, then you’ll love Ani in Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. Ani has everything she could want in life including an amazing career, a fiancé, and a beautiful wardrobe all at her fingertips. What goes from a story about the woman who has it all to a nail-biting suspense story is the secret that Ani harbors. An event in high school that led to public humiliation and trauma that forced Ani to reinvent herself and never look back, until now.
White Ivy by Susie Yang
White Ivy is a twisty tale of obsession and determination with a female narrator that will bring tears to your eyes one moment and grab you by the throat the next. Ivy’s immigrant grandmother taught Ivy how to pilfer items at a young age. As a teenager, when Ivy falls head-over-heels for the wealthy Gideon, she is soon sent away to China when her mother learns what Ivy and her grandmother have been up to. Years later, when Ivy unexpectedly reunites with Gideon and infiltrates her way into his life, she thinks that fate is finally on her side. But, like every story of obsession, Ivy’s happiness is interrupted when someone from her past returns and threatens to demolish everything Ivy has worked so hard to achieve.
The Monsters We Make by Kali White
If Sharp Objects was your favorite Flynn novel with the small-town setting and the dark and intriguing plot, then you’ll love The Monsters We Make by Kali White! An atmospheric story in the 80s, a paperboy goes missing and hours later another one comes home hiding a horrifying secret. When teenage Crystal learns of the disappearance of this young boy, she connects it to another disappearance one town over, and takes this opportunity to write an essay to get herself a college scholarship. Meanwhile, the lead officer on the case is about to unearth some dark and terrifying secrets after the abductions create a domino effect of events that will change this small town in Iowa forever.
These Women by Ivy Pochoda
Loosely based off a real serial killer, These Women is a gritty and heartfelt story of grief and mystery wrapped in a literary thriller perfect for Flynn fans. Pochoda sets her story in south Los Angeles and focuses on a set of narrators plagued by the murders of women whose deaths have been blamed more on their “at-risk lifestyles” than the culprit responsible. From a grieving mother to a young dancer to the vice cop who beings to put the pieces of the puzzles of these murders together, these women tell a story of female empowerment, social injustice, and the fear this area faces when a serial killer haunts the streets.
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Did the marriage of Nick and Amy in Gone Girl disturb you to the core? Well, wait until you meet Jodi and Todd. Jodi and Todd seem to have it all, including the beautiful waterfront condo, but Todd is a serial cheater and Jodi is in denial. With nothing to lose, the couple head toward a deadly showdown as Todd’s infidelity and Jodi’s desire for revenge marks him as the victim and her as a killer.