Why You Need To Read The New Gone Girl That's Breaking Sales Records

Photo: Courtesy Amazon.
I devoured Gone Girl. I then devoured Sharp Objects and Dark Places. With no other dark Gillian Flynn thrillers to pore over in insomnia-fueled binge-fests, I started haunting local bookstores in pursuit of new material. Reconstructing Amelia was good, a heady mix of a whodunit mystery and YA novel. So was You Should Have Known, a marital thriller that gave me chills and essentially convinced me to never, ever get married.

On my last trip to the U.S., I made my regular pilgrimage to W.H. Smith to pick up a book for the flight. I had a dog-eared copy of Karen Blixen's Out of Africa with me, but I needed something quick, disposable, gripping, and less rife with lengthy passages about coffee fields. I needed The Girl on the Train. And so did a lot of other people, apparently; today The Guardian reports that Paula Hawkins' thriller has broken the U.K.'s all-time record for hardcover book sales. It's been at No. 1 for 20 weeks, surpassing the 19-week record set by Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol in 2009 by seven days.

Without giving too much away, Hawkins' thriller follows an unstable female protagonist who develops an unhealthy preoccupation with a couple she sees on her morning commute. A crime is committed, Rachel gets thrown in the middle, and, like Gone Girl's Nick Dunne, she manages to screw up at every turn to the point where you want to scream down at the pages for her to CTFO. Obviously, there's much more to it than that — and I finished the book by the time I'd crossed the Atlantic.

TGOTT wasn't so disposable, though. I soon passed my copy to my sister, who grinned as only someone whose local library has a 24-person waiting list can. She'll pass it on to our mom, or a friend. A couple of years from now, we'll make a date to see the film version — Emily Blunt's name has been thrown around — and complain about the book being better. Then one of us will say, "Did you read the new thriller by so-and-so?" "Not yet," another will respond. And we'll be off on another book binge.

But, seriously, read this one first.

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