august books we love - books like gone girl

Books Like Gone Girl – August Books We Love


Books We Love

Once upon a time we did a post reviewing Gillian Flynn’s brilliant novel “Gone Girl” and two other books.  That was our very first attempt at finding other books like Gone Girl, even if we weren’t terribly successful.  This particular posting is more of a working posting that definitely needs on going updates as we discover new possibilities.  So we have listed out our confirmed Gone-Girl-Esque candidates, and we have begun a list of books to read and include as we have time.

Wait, first we have to say – if you haven’t yet read Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” – then the book MOST like Gone Girl, is Gone Girl.  I know, funny huh?  So, yeah, leave this blog now and go read it please.  Mainly because its really good, but also because we are about to spoil the book for you if you haven’t read it already. Bookmark this page, and when you finish it, come on back.

So the first thing I’d like to square away on this list is just a simple definition of what books like Gone Girl should even be like.  The first and most important detail is that they should be SURPRISING.  Gone Girl flipped back and forth on itself more than a 80’s break dancer on cardboard next to his enormous getto blaster.  The next important distinction that Gone Girl had was brilliant characters.  Gillian wrote such rich characters that were way beyond the standard stereotypical mystery cardboard cutouts.  And the final detail all books like Gone Girl need to have is dialogue that is as sharp as a knife.

So now that we have the ground rules laid out for our list let’s launch it.  If you have other books like Gone Girl that you would like to add to this list, all you have to do is comment below and I will add them.  And once I’ve read them I’ll cement them in or remove them.  Easy as that.

Confirmed Books Like Gone Girl

These are books that we have read and are definitely heading down the same road as Gone Girl.  Exact match?  No such thing.  Clever twists and crazy reveals?  Definitely.  If you disagree with us we’d be happy to discuss this in more detail in the comments.

the dinner - books like gone girlTitle: The Dinner
GG Rating:  5/10
Author:  Harlan Coben
Review:  The entire point of this book’s marketing pitch is that it is a European Gone Girl. And while it isn’t Gone Girl, we love everything that ISN’T said in this book.  Makes the things that are said all the better.
Summary: It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

reconstructing amelia - books like gone girlTitle: Reconstructing Amelia
GG Rating: 6/10
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Review: Interesting in a curious sort of a way.  But not in a NO WAY, sort of a way.  The twists are pretty obvious, but intriguing all the same.
Summary:  In Reconstructing Amelia, the stunning debut novel from Kimberly McCreight, Kate’s in the middle of the biggest meeting of her career when she gets the telephone call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Amelia has been suspended, effective immediately, and Kate must come get her daughter—now. But Kate’s stress over leaving work quickly turns to panic when she arrives at the school and finds it surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. By then it’s already too late for Amelia. And for Kate.  An academic overachiever despondent over getting caught cheating has jumped to her death. At least that’s the story Grace Hall tells Kate. And clouded as she is by her guilt and grief, it is the one she forces herself to believe. Until she gets an anonymous text: She didn’t jump.

tell no one - books like gone girlTitle: Tell No One
GG Rating:  7/10
Author:  Harlan Coben
Review:  Read this in an evening – and couldn’t put it down.  Clever twists throughout even if the characters are a bit weak.  Still a rip roaring read.
Summary:  For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive.  Everyone tells him it’s time to move on, to forget the past once and for all. But for David Beck, there can be no closure. A message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his dead wife know. Suddenly Beck is taunted with the impossible—that somewhere, somehow, Elizabeth is alive.

drowning people - books like gone girlTitle: The Drowning People
GG Rating:  7.2/10
Author:  Richard Mason
Review:  No book starts off faster to the races than The Drowning People.  And no book promises so much and still delivers.  Brilliant read.  Great characters.  Stunning twists.
Summary:  It is a cold afternoon in winter. An old man sits in a room high above the sea, watching the sun set. It is twenty-four hours since the death of his wife at Seton Castle, the home they had shared for more than forty years. And as it grows dark, he tries to make sense of a life only recently understood; and to explain how he, by no means a violent man, has killed his wife in cold blood…

books like gone girl - shutter islandTitle: Shutter Island
GG Rating:  7.5/10
Author: Dennis Lehane
Review:  We enjoyed this book so much that we’ve refused to watch the movie remake.  It’s spoiled for us already anyway.  So why bother?  Brilliant book.
Summary:  The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

into the darkest corner - books like gone girlTitle: Into the Darkest Corner
GG Rating:  7.8/10
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Review:  Woah.  If you have ANY tendencies towards paranoia, do not… we repeat… do not, read this book.  Serious goodness here though if you can survive it.
Summary:  When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sextransforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor,moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life. Until the day the phone rings . . .

Dare me - books like gone girlTitle: Dare Me
GG Rating:  8/10
Author: Megan Abbott
Review:  The writing is taut, the female characters here are interesting (if a bit bubblegum) and the twists are good.
Summary:  Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives. Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself. Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.

ghostman - books like gone girlTitle: Ghostman
GG Rating: 8.25/10
Author: Roger Hobbs
Review: Bank robbery goes bad and the Ghostman is called in to clean it up.  But this thing goes all kinds of pear-shaped really fast.  Who’s who & what’s what?  No idea.
Summary:  When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer and cleaner-upper from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport, to be joined shortly by other extremely interested and elusive parties.

books like gone girl

Title: Before I Go To Sleep
GG Rating:  8.5/10
Author: S. J. Watson
Review:  Memento?  Shutter Island?  The Prestige?  This is the book version.  Absolutely crushed hard on this book.
Summary:  Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he’s obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she’s written three unexpected and terrifying words: “Don’t trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion.

brilliance - books like gone girlTitle: Brilliance
GG Rating:  9/10
Author: Marcus Sakey
Review:  Just released about a week ago – while more different than Girl Gone than anything else on this list – it is one of the best “what is going on here” books in the list.  Fantastic read.  Never mind Gillian is promoting this book hard herself as a Gone Girl like alternative.
Summary:  In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets by the way they fold their arms. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible by being where no one is looking. They’re called “brilliants,” and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in—and betray his own kind.

the dinner - books like gone girlTitle: The Shining Girls
GG Rating:  9.3/10
Author:  Lauren Beukes
Review:  The Shining Girls is definitely been widely accepted as THE book of the summer and the book most like Gone Girl. I would agree, it’s a fantastic read. Loved every minute.
Summary: THE GIRL WHO WOULDN’T DIE HUNTS THE KILLER WHO SHOULDN’T EXIST. The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.” Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

The Expats - Books like gone girlTitle: The Expats
GG Rating: 9.5/10
Author: Chris Pavone
Review:  Uber smart and strong female lead.  Wicked unraveling plot.  Couldn’t put it down because heck, Pavone freaking crazy-glued my hands to the dumb thing.
Summary:  Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.  Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her…

Other Books Like Gone Girl?

So we have a pile of other books specifically for this post in search of fantastic books in this space.  And our list is currently sitting at 24 more to read.  If you have a tip on a book that might fit well in this space we’d consider it a personal favor to point is in a good direction.  I mean, we had to have given you at least one here you haven’t read yet, right?!  hahah.  It’s the least you could do for us.  Alright, until next month.  Ta.