I read this book because it is hyped all over The Internets, but I hadn’t a clue what it was about. I finished it over a week ago and I’ve been struggling to write a review because (1) I feel conflicted about whether I liked it or not, and (2) I don’t know how to review it without giving anything away. So, I’m warning you now that this review contains massive amounts of spoilers. If you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know what happens, stop reading immediately.
Nick and Amy have been married five years, and on their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. The house is in disarray, the front door wide open, and it is clear that she has not left of her own free will. Nick calls the police to report it and everything starts to go downhill for him at that point, because as we all know, it’s always the husband. Right?
The book is broken up into three sections. In the first part, the chapters alternate between present-day Nick and entries from Amy’s diary over the past several years. Nick spends a lot of time denying that he had anything to do with his wife’s disappearance, but he doesn’t actually seem all that concerned about her either. Amy’s diary paints a picture of a happier couple, although her most recent entries show that their relationship has changed and she admits that she is actually scared he might harm her now.
Here are my problems with this book:
1. Nick’s sister’s name is Margo. He insists on calling her “Go.” This has to be the most irritating nickname in the history of all nicknames ever. I refused to read it and made a conscious decision to call her by her full name whenever I came across it.
2. Nick and Margo’s relationship is WEIRD. I get it, they’re twins. They have a special connection. But in the beginning of the book there is this unnerving sexual chemistry between them and it’s disturbing.
3. We find out in part two that Amy is alive and well, hiding out in a rented cabin at some deranged campground that seems to exist solely for the purpose of hiding murderers and battered wives and anyone else trying to stay under the radar. As Amy starts to detail her plan and explain why she did what she did, I began to hate her. I don’t know if that was the author’s intention, though, because it seems later like you’re supposed to be on Amy’s side. I mean, I get it, Nick cheated on her. He had a mistress. That is awful and inexcusable. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you frame your husband to look like a killer and plant evidence against him, trying to get him convicted and sent to death row. However, I constantly got the feeling that the author was trying to get some kind of pro-women message across and it just didn’t settle right with me at all.
4. The ending was horrible. Nick stays with her because she’s got too much against him and he doesn’t know how to prove that she is a sociopathic murderer. He can never leave because then he will be the jerk who left his formerly-kidnapped-and-abused now-pregnant-with-his-child wife, and really, who wants to be that guy? Yet, I still find it absolutely sickening that he is now trapped in a marriage where he has to literally fear for his life every single day because his wife is capable of not only killing him, but making it look like he deserved it.
5. This is not so much to do with the book, but the reviews of the book. I went on to Goodreads immediately after I finished it to see if anyone else felt the way I did. Not many people did. A majority of the comments were along the lines of, “They deserve each other!” Really, people? Do you really believe that marital infidelity is EXACTLY THE SAME as faking your own abduction and then taking the life of someone along the way because it would make your story look more realistic when you have to go crawling back home??? I, for one, do NOT. I do not for one second excuse Nick’s character for what he did. It was wrong. Amy had every right to be upset. But for someone to suggest that these two people belong together because they are both EQUALLY awful? No. Just no.