It’s pretty highly touted, this mystery. For the most part, it deserves to be. Flynn gives us not one but two unreliable narrators, one of them unreliable twice over. The first one is Nick, the victimized husband who comes home on the day of his fifth anniversary to find his wife Amy gone, leaving behind blood and signs of a struggle. The setting is a small Missouri town, Nick’s boyhood home, where he and wife have been forced to retreat after both losing lucrative NYC writing jobs and being notified that both Nick’s parents are in trouble. Mom has cancer. Dad Alzheimer’s.
The marriage has not thrived in the new environment, and we gradually learn how far things have deteriorated as the investigation proceeds. As usual, Nick the husband is number one suspect. Flynn has folks—including the police–making a lot of remarks about how well-informed they are about police technique and procedures from TV and movie CSI adventures, and this becomes part and parcel of the search.
I can’t describe the action much further without revealing more of the plot than would be healthy for anyone who likes to experience the twists and turns for themselves, and for the most part this is a story full of unpredictable surprises. However, I must say that the final twist, to me, discredits the rest of a generally well-done mystery. Just couldn’t buy it. Defies the laws of nature and human psychology—even for those involved in a sociopathic conspiracy as unique as this one. Just wouldn’t happen. So, what was headed for a four star rating, suddenly sank to a two because of it. Too bad.