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Enthralling Books Like "Gone Girl" Everyone Should Read at Least Once

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What Books Are Similar to Gone Girl?

Written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, an award-winning psychological thriller, intoxicated our minds with its indigestible cocktail of a story.

It follows the tale of Nick and Amy, a married couple whose lives look ideal on the outside. However, one day, Amy suddenly goes missing. What happens next is unbelievable.

This book compels readers to exercise their minds, turning them into virtual detectives. Unpredictable and unrelenting, the book was made into a motion picture in 2012, which received critical acclaim all over the world.

This thriller has since inspired many brilliant authors to come up with their own unique ideas. Here’s a look of some books like Gone Girl that’ll hook you instantly.

Books Like Gone Girl

  1. The Couple Next Door
  2. The Perfect Nanny
  3. Sometimes I Lie
  4. The Girl On The Train
  5. The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo
  6. In The Woods
  7. The Woman in the Window
  8. The Last Lost Girl
  9. The Good Girl

1. The Couple Next Door

A family is ideally a safe zone a person would love to be around, but the question is, how well do you know your family?

The Couple Next Door is an American crime thriller authored by Shari Lapena that raises a similar question. Her convincing style takes us to a journey of the dark side of human beings. The author is a former Lawyer, so the gripping tales here are inspired by her prosecution and cases.

The setting of the book is in modern day New York City, revolving around a couple of the brink of falling out. Blessed with a baby girl, she is the only one keeping them together.

However, the actual story begins when they are invited to the neighbor’s house for a birthday party. They check on her every hour, but to their greatest fear, their infant gets kidnapped. Cora’s kidnapping points to strange evidence, which is somehow connected to their own household, or so it seems.

The author focuses on the deficiency in the self-esteem of young people, often leading to unsatisfactory life with negativity and no happiness. The constant anxiety and anticipation of losing an infant amidst some perilous circumstances and people make the mother forget her own problems. When it feels like the case has reached a dead end, a new mystery knocks at the couple’s door.

The author has successfully drawn the reader’s attention to make it a fantastic crime thriller with enough twists to create a masterpiece - one you’ll love and savor.


2. The Perfect Nanny

The contemporary world is like a race. We leave behind a lot to gain something more, often at the expense of both people and time. The French author Leila Slimani has presented us with an award-winning International thriller, The Perfect Nanny, tackling the same theme head-on.

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This is a story that makes the reader question the crime and the criminal. A child seeks nourishment from his parents but what if the progenitors are out for work? Then, nanny becomes the sole guardian of the child.

Loise is a beautiful petite Parisian young lady who gets the noble opportunity to take care of two kids. She is everything a parent wants a nanny to be - disciplinary, educating, caring, and loving towards their kids. But isn’t she too good to be true?

The concept is unimaginably spooky and describes the Dostoevskian theory, which outlines a person’s descent into madness because of an extreme mental setback. The premise of the novel is violent and disturbing. It describes a woman’s relationship with children that starts off lovingly, only to transform into something irresistibly eerie.

She tries to be a part of the family and becomes one of them, taking vacations and eventually having her way. Each chapter is crafted immaculately, shedding light on this person who is almost like family and yet, is just an employee at the end of the day.


3. Sometimes I Lie

Sometimes I Lie is a debut crime psychological thriller novel written by Alice Fenny. The story begins with a woman named Amber who has undergone a terrible accident. Lying in a semi-delusional coma, she can hear everything around her yet she cannot move or open her eyes. She takes readers back to her unhappy childless domesticity, which is the cause of her paranoia.

Amber is an unreliable narrator who makes it clear from the beginning that anything she says should not be taken as the gospel truth. To add further mirth to the plot, the author tries to weave her stories between the present and the past through her perspectives and her relations

It’s very complicated to analyze the characters, particularly Amber Reynolds and her sister. Every character has a secretive side. The ending is a complete jaw-dropper that will leave the readers with a jolt of shock.

There are lots of theories regarding the ending, one of them being connected to multiple personalities. Give it a read. See if you can come up with something new.


4. The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller tastefully executed by the author, Paula Hawkins. The book attracted mass attention with its jaw-dropping technique of telling the story through the eyes of an unreliable narrator.

It sold over more than three million copies across the US alone. Later, an estimate of fifteen million copies was sold worldwide. The author’s brilliance in playing with human psyche is spine chilling. It’s like carving an entire story with just a fragment of a vision. The characterization in the story makes us question our own sanity at times.

This is a story about a broke woman whose life is disoriented, thanks to alcoholism. She takes pleasure in train rides and witnesses this perfect couple every day, until one day she goes missing. The investigation that follows leads to a harrowing conclusion - on that'll unsettle you.

The book is a slow start but gains momentum in the latter half, delving deep into the issues of dejection and depression. The consuming sensation of lust and perfection is the driving force of the novel. The story's tension-release-repeat phenomena will petrify you and yet you'll stay hooked.


5. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is a psychological thriller written by Swedish novelist and journalist, Stieg Larsson. Published in 2005, the story revolves around the disappearance of Harriet Miller. Henrik Vanger, an octogenarian industrialist, hires journalist Mikael Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece. Henrik suspects his family members have killed his niece. The mystery unravels, bit by bit as you churn through this enigmatic book.

The exceptionally complex plot is narrated in such a way that it leaves reader astounded. The book has been adapted into a successful motion picture with the same name. If you love the book, maybe give the film a shot.

Once you're through this novel, check out the Larsson's other masterpieces - The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl with the Spiders Web.


6. In The Woods

In the Woods, written by Tana French is a mystifying psychotic crime thriller. The book was published in 2007 and turned into an award-winning sensation among many readers. The book entices readers with a powerful story that ultimately leads them to extreme sadness.

The story focuses on the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The same kind of murder had sent a shudder across the streets of Dublin on Tuesday, August 14, 1984. Three twelve-year-old children disappeared and one among them was found. The surviving child had no recollection of the past. What is the motive behind the apparent kidnapping and murder of children?

The narrator of the story is detective Rob Ryan - one of the children who was found in the woods. He craves for the absolute truth and yet, he lies blatantly. The author describes the woods and the small Dublin locality with eerie and picturesque grimness.

Both Ryan and Cassie Maddox (Ryan’s assistant) are determined to solve the cases. The characters are highly suspicious and have organic eminence. If you're looking for a transfixing book like Gone Girl, In The Woods will not disappoint you.


7. The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window is like an alter ego of Gone Girl with equally insane qualities. The book is an invention of pure delusional fantasies mixed with depressive thoughts. The plot revolves a woman named Anna Fox, who lives alone in her apartment and is consumed by alcoholism. She hardly gets out and spies on her neighbors who are up to no good, until one day she witnesses something disturbing.

From the setting, it is evident that the author has grown up entertaining himself with psychological thriller movies by Alfred Hitchcock. Again, this is a story with an unreliable protagonist. Puzzling yet enthralling till the last page, you'll devour every page of this thriller.


8. The Last Lost Girl

Maria Hoey expressed her love for writing ever since she was a little girl. The Irish author finally found her success with her debut, The Lost Girl, which has a significance of her dream.

Her story dwells around the past and present and the trauma a family goes through after a disappearance. Her story is inspired by a real-life incident of a missing girl. The reopening of a murder committed a long time ago has a broader connection to it all.

Moreover, a ghostly entity is also part of the entire gameplay. The Last Lost Girl is diverse in its form and is filled with a lot of emotions and dramatic realities. The tale is twisted and has severe consequences that would lead to the ultimate truth.


9. The Good Girl

The Good Girl is a psychological gift presented to us by Mary Kubica. She is one of the bestselling authors in New York and this is her debut novel. The story begins with Mia Denet, a rich and affluent family girl based in Chicago. Mia, being an outgoing girl is fond of people, therefore, she goes to a bar to meet her on and off boyfriend but ends up meeting a dashing stranger who talks her into a one night stand.

He soon possesses her and the rest of the story is based on various perspectives of different characters. The book is strangely intriguing as each new chapter changes our own perspective from time to time. The book is crucial for families and gets subjective at times. We find weird relationship secrets in the most unusual ways.

This book forecasts the human reaction to tragic events, lies, and deceptions. This novel has been compared a lot with Gone Girl as far as the disappearances are concerned. The book’s title itself is sarcastic, making us question about our protagonist Mia. She holds charities, supports the homeless, and is also an art teacher, but does her generous and kind nature make her a good girl?

It is a character-driven story with a lot of thrill and suspense factor. The book is controversial because it openly talks about prevalent racial issues. But, above all, it is smartly constructed. The format is different and the use of multiple perspectives keeps changing our opinions about its characters at various points.

The author has written four more books in the same vein - They are Pretty Baby, Don’t You Cry, Every Last Lie and When the Lights Go Out.

Did I miss out on any other movies like Gone Girl? Let me know in the comments section.


Shailendra Modi on July 10, 2019:

Most of the above mentioned books are written by women. Just a thought - Are women better story tellers in this genre?

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