A novel by Gillian Flynn about a married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne, whose marriage has slid from picture-perfect to downright frosty over the course of five years. Then, on the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. There are signs of a struggle, and Nick soon realizes he's the prime suspect.

Nick narrates the investigation of Amy's disappearance, while in alternate chapters Amy's diary tells the history of their relationship. But there are hints that some things have been [[UnreliableNarrator left out]].

A film version by Creator/DavidFincher starring Creator/BenAffleck and Creator/RosamundPike was released in 2014.
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!!This book contains examples of:
* AnachronicOrder: Towards the beginning, there's a scene that takes place at the very end of the story; from there, the narrative goes back and forth between Amy's disappearance and her relationship/marriage with Nick before settling on the latter. [[spoiler:Then it jumps back to show how Amy faked her own abduction before going back to the present.]]
* AnAesop: Honesty is the best policy. Alternatively, [[spoiler:never, ''ever'' cheat on your spouse]].
* AngstWhatAngst: InUniverse. Nick is perceived as this trope by the general public because he has a hard time looking sad for the camera. In fact, at one point he slips up so badly that he ''smiles while on a news broadcast about Amy's disappearance''. As if that wasn't bad enough, the media latches onto the Nick-isn't-sad-enough angle and really blows it up.
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: '''Averted.''' [[spoiler:Nick always wanted a child with Amy, but she just gets herself pregnant as a last resort to prevent Nick from telling the truth about what she did from everyone. And it works, which Nick acknowledges, as he would do anything for his unborn son.]]
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Amy gets everything she wants in the end, coming off as a heroic victim and suffering no consequences for her actions. Although Nick's final words to Amy in the novel seem to strike a nerve, "Because I feel sorry for you. Every day, you have to wake up and be you." Amy comments that she can't stop thinking about this.]]
* BerserkButton:
** Nick does not like being compared to his father.
** Amy's is triggered by [[spoiler:attempts to control her, via her psychosis]]. She also doesn't take [[spoiler: the discovery Nick is cheating on her very well.]]
* BettyAndVeronica: Subverted. [[spoiler:The more inexperienced Andie may seem like the Betty to Amy's Veronica with Nick being the Archie. But Amy is Nick's wife, while Andie is his 20 year old mistress.]]
** Also subverted with [[spoiler: Desi and Nick to Amy's Archie. Desi may seem like a nice, clean-cut guy- but he also stalks Amy. Nick may seem like a simple guy or even a sociopath, but he is Amy's husband- while millionaire Desi is not.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Amy is known as a nice girl but is in fact a sociopath.]]
* BookEnds: Nick's opening monologue, which is given more context and is expanded upon the second time around.
* BreakTheCutie: Happens to [[spoiler:Andie]].
* CountryMatters: The word "cunt" is used multiple times in only one conversation, [[spoiler:when Amy admits to being a borderline psychopath for the sake of her relationship with Nick]]. It also doubles as NWordPrivileges given that only a woman says it.
* CrazyPrepared: [[spoiler:'''Amy'''. At one point some of Amy's pre-haircut blonde hairs are found in Desi's trunk, supporting her abduction story. Nick speculates that she probably had kept a bag of her longer hair...just in case. Not to mention all the junk she hoards in the shed to make Nick look like a greedy little cheat, draining the toilet so she could steal pregnant Noelle's urine to use for a pregnancy test...the list goes on and on.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Everyone, but Go probably takes the cake.
* {{Determinator}}: [[spoiler:When Amy makes up her mind to punish somebody, she will get the job done. No matter how long it takes. Or how much effort and research she has to put in. Or how much ''physical injury'' she has to do to herself. As Hilary puts it, "The girl ''cracked her own ribs''. Who was going to believe me?"]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler:Amy's modus operandi. She frames a bad friend for assault, frames a cheating boyfriend for rape, frames a cheating husband for murder, and we hear of her spending a year working on getting a truck driver who cut her off fired.]]
* DoggedNiceGuy: Desi is a particularly obsessive variant, [[spoiler:as evidenced by his "protection" of Amy]].
* DomesticAbuse: Nick's father was incredibly psychologically, verbally and emotionally abusive towards Maureen, but Nick notes he likely justified it because he never caused her ''physical'' abuse. He suspects this is why his twin sister remains unmarried and hates crying in front of men, fearing dismissal.
* DumbBlonde: Averted hugely with Amy. [[spoiler:As it turns out, she's TheChessmaster behind the whole thing.]]
* DyeOrDie: [[spoiler:To avoid detection after her disappearance, Amy cuts her hair short and dyes it. She also puts on weight and gets fake glasses.]]
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Nick's full name is Lance Nicholas Dunne. He refuses to go by "Lance" because it exacerbates his punchable alpha-male douchebag appearance.
* EvilIsPetty: So very petty. [[spoiler:While hanging out with Amy (who is masquerading as Lydia/Nancy) at the cabins, Greta says that Amy looks like a "rich, stuck-up bitch" when she is discussed on the Ellen Abbott show. Amy goes and spits in Greta's milk, potato salad and orange juice.]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:Turns out, Amy had staged the "disappearance", correctly thinking people would suspect Nick of murdering her.]]
* FemmeFatale: [[spoiler:Amy Elliott-Dunne.]]
* FreudianExcuse: {{Downplayed| Trope}}. [[spoiler:One of Amy's earliest memories is discovering that she was different from the other children around her, specifically noticing she was unable to experience joy in the same way they did. That said, the way her parents, especially her mother, treated her during her upbringing definitely didn't help matters]].
* FullNameUltimatum: When Go is irritated with Nick, she upbraids him not with his full name, but his hated real first name, Lance.
* GenreSavvy: [[spoiler:Both Margo and Jacqueline pick up on the fact that something is very off about Amy, but both of them are powerless to stop her blackmailing and murdering Nick and Desi, respectively.]]
* GoodCopBadCop: Sort of. Detective Gilpin is somewhat hostile towards Nick while Detective Boney is sympathetic; but in this instance, this reflects their actual feelings on the matter.
* GunmanWithThreeNames: Nick knows the public is turning against him when his full name "[[EmbarrassingFirstName Lance]] Nicholas Dunne" is all over the media.
* HappilyMarried: Deconstructed twice.
** Amy and Nick [[spoiler:come to realize that as strained as their marriage is, no one else will ever live up to the other and stay together]].
** Amy's parents are ''very'' happily married... and their relationship is so perfect that [[spoiler:it caused Amy to feel extreme pressure her whole life to be a perfect child and led her to become TheSociopath she is today.]]
* HeManWomanHater: Nick's father dislikes women so intensely that, in his creeping senility, his vocabulary has almost entirely boiled down to chanting the word "bitch".
* HenpeckedHusband: [[spoiler:After Amy's return, Nick is essentially this to Amy, being forced to act like the perfect husband to her while he waits for her to admit even the smallest thing about her actions that he can use against her.]]
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: When Amy was a child, her parents wrote a series of children's books called ''Amazing Amy''. Far from it being flattering, Amy finds it a huge passive-aggressive insult, because Amazing Amy always wound up correctly handling situations that Real Amy messed up (in her parents' opinion).
* IAmNotMyFather: Nick's worst nightmare is turning out to be like his abusive father.
* IJustWantToBeYou: Amy's childhood friend Hilary was obsessed with her and planned to kill her and take over her life. [[spoiler:At least, that's what Amy wanted everybody to think.]]
* InTheBlood: Nick's greatest fear is ending up like his father, a rabid misogynist. It's not an unfounded fear.
* ItsAllAboutMe: [[spoiler:Amy has no regards for anybody other than herself. She reacts with outrage when people begin to feel pity for Andie, because ''Amy'' hates her, therefore everyone should.]]
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:After framing her husband for murder and covertly waging a campaign to ruin his life, then murdering her lover and framing him for rape, Amy gets off completely; Nick was planning on exposing her, but decides against it after learning she's pregnant with their child.]]
** KarmaHoudiniWarranty: [[spoiler:Amy does get robbed and left nearly penniless during the course of these events.]]
** One may also interpret [[spoiler: Amy's comeuppance is the fact she is a person who wants desperately to be loved for who she is rather than who they want her to be but can never be now since she burned all bridges with her husband. Also, she's trapped herself in a marriage with a man who despises her with a child who may pick up on the fact she's incapable of loving normally. Worse, Amy suffers VillainDecay as her husband takes care of her insurance with the vomit she collected almost immediately. Amy will never be able to pull off one of her schemes on her husband again since he'll always be watching.]]
** Greta and Jeff get away with stealing Amy's money. They are never found, let alone prosecuted.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Amy at one point says Desi thinks of himself as this.
* TheLadette: Go.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Amy, at the start of her and Nick's relationship. [[spoiler:Actually a deconstruction, as we discover that Amy was trying out being the "Cool Girl", which she regards as a vapid male fantasy that she holds in bitter contempt.]]
** Amy's "Cool Girl" speech is an angry takedown of this trope, a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech about women changing themselves to fit the ideal of the "Cool Girl" who tries to be [[TheLadette "one of the guys"]] and adopts her boyfriend or husband's interests in order to please him. This speech became iconic almost immediately, and it has been [[http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/cool-girl-new-manic-pixie-dream-girl/ critiqued and debated by feminists]] as either [[BrokenBase a really good speech or a really horrible one]]. The speech is also somewhat ironic, as she condemns women who appear to be happy while remembering her earlier time with Nick differently than it appears on-screen. This is justified with [[spoiler: Amy being a sociopath.]]
* MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome: [[{{Deconstruction}} Deconstructed]]. The media assumes, and we are led to believe, that Nick killed Amy. [[spoiler:Then we learn that Amy, being the real manipulative psychopath, knew the trope so well that she exploited everyone's expectations about her case to frame Nick.]]
* MommasBoy: Nick, but with a Dad like his, it's no surprise.
* MoralMyopia: [[spoiler:Amy never seems to pick up on the fact that, at the novel's end, her treatment of Nick is rather reminiscent of how Desi was treating her when she was his "guest".]]
* TheMovieBuff: Nick is a former movie and TV critic, refers to himself as a "film geek," and bonds with another guy over ''Film/TheGodfather''.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: As a former prosecutor, "victim's rights" advocate and generally anti-defendant commentator with a religious-sounding surname, Ellen Abbott has clear echoes of Nancy Grace. In the film, she's even played by Missi Pyle, who had [[ActorAllusion already played another Expy]] of Nancy Grace on ''Series/TheMentalist''.
** Meanwhile, Nick's defense lawyer Tanner Bolt ([[RaceLift in the film version]]) is an unmistakable parody of Johnnie Cochran, right down to his trademark glasses and fast-talking demeanor.
* OhCrap: When Nick opens the shed.
--> Back to the far back of the yard, on the edge of the treeline, there was the shed.
--> I opened the door.
--> ''Nonononono.''
* OnlyBadGuysCallTheirLawyers: Nick holds off on hiring a lawyer because he's worried that it'll look bad for him; he turns out to be right. It doesn't help that he winds up hiring a lawyer known for defending extremely guilty dirtbags.
* OutWithABang: [[spoiler:Desi has his throat slashed by Amy after he ejaculates inside of her.]]
* PapaWolf: [[spoiler:Rather tragically exploited - when Amy reveals she's pregnant with Nick's child, Nick notes he would do anything for his unborn son, and that includes staying married to Amy so he can protect him from her.]]
* PetTheDog: [[spoiler:On Amy's "to do" list she sets up to frame Nick, she takes the time to say a final goodbye to Bleecker, their cat.]]
* RageBreakingPoint: [[spoiler:Nick reaches his after Amy's return and subsequent TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, almost strangling her to death. He stops himself.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler:Amy gives one to Nick after she returns and he threatens her with a divorce.]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Amy faked her abduction, disguised herself, and framed her husband for murder, abuse, and financial exploitation in order to get revenge against him for cheating on her.]]
* SanitySlippage:[[spoiler: Amy goes mad over a period of years. The pressures of trying to live up to her parents expectations,trying to be a wife and ultimately having to remake her plan.]]
* SisyphusVsRock: [[spoiler: Nick deciding to stay married to Amy in order to protect his son and keep tabs on Amy for as long as they both live]].
* SlashedThroat: The ultimate fate of [[spoiler:Desi Collings]].
* TheSociopath:
** [[spoiler:Amy checks off many of the signs: [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], a distinct LackOfEmpathy, being a ConsummateLiar, and an inability to forge connections.]]
** [[spoiler:Nick also meets most, if not all, of these same criteria. He even admits to most of them. However, Nick isn't nearly as dangerous to be around. And ultimately, the sacrifice Nick is willing to make for his unborn child may count as a subversion.]]
* StalkerWithACrush: Desi Collings.
* StrawHypocrite: [[spoiler: Amy smugly claims that the reason criminals get caught is that they're too impatient, and she's fool-proofed her plan by being patient with the planning stages. Once the plan is in effect, however, she loses her patience and takes steps to speed things along.]]
* StepfordSuburbia: Amy considers the town she and Nick move to (and Nick's hometown) this.
* TeacherStudentRomance: [[spoiler:Nick and Andie.]]
* TwinTelepathy: Nick and his twin sister are close enough, and similar enough, that Nick describes them as almost able to read each other's minds. Until the events of the book drive something of a wedge between them.
* TheUnfavourite: Go jokes she was this to her parents, as they weren't expecting to have twins. Given their father's attitude towards women, there may be some truth in it.
* UnreliableNarrator: Nick keeps leaving significant gaps in his narrative. [[spoiler:Then we discover that Amy's diary was a complete fabrication.]]
* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: It's hard to discuss Amy without revealing she's a sociopath.]]
* WomanScorned:
** [[spoiler:Amy as her marriage breaks down around her ears.]]
** [[spoiler:Andie turns on Nick when he announces at a vigil that he still loves his wife.]]
* XanatosSpeedChess: [[spoiler:When Amy gets robbed whilst on the run by Greta and Jeff, she changes her plans accordingly by calling Desi, whom she was in friendly contact with for ''years'' before her disappearance and even after she accused him of being a StalkerWithACrush, to help. She then manipulates Desi into thinking Nick was abusive and he invites Amy to stay at his place. When Amy realises that she is not in control of the situation anymore, she begins ''violating herself with a wine bottle'' and tying her wrists and ankles with ropes to frame Desi for kidnapping and raping her. Love or hate Amy, that's impressive.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:Nick, it turns out, has been cheating on Amy for over a year by the time of the disappearance.]]
* VillainDecay: [[spoiler: Implied by the ending. Amy has a plan to frame Nick for poisoning her if he doesn't behave but he torpedoes it very early. Now that he's watching her, it's quite likely Amy will never be able to get away with one of her schemes again. In short, she's lost her major advantage which was always surprise.]]

!!The film adaptation contains examples of:
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Officer Boney is described as ugly in the books, but is nowhere near ugly onscreen.
** Noelle is described in quite unflattering terms by both Nick and Amy, but she's reasonably pretty in the film.
* AdaptationalHeroism: The film version of Nick is a somewhat more sympathetic character than the book version, [[spoiler: being more of a regular loser than the near sociopath in the book. Noticeably, while in the book he has some leverage over Amy in the end, film Nick is a trapped victim, entirely under her heel.]]
* AdaptedOut: Hilary and Desi's mom.
* AdultFear: Amy [[spoiler:successfully frames an ex-boyfriend for rape after he leaves her for another girl, landing him on the sex offenders register and ruining his life. It's her word versus his, only she's faked some evidence too.]] False rape accusations should scare everybody: innocent men can end up in jail and the phenomenon can lead to genuine accusations being disbelieved.
* BrokenPedestal: The film is a bit clearer that, despite finding out [[spoiler: that Nick is innocent]], Margo has learned some fairly disturbing aspects about her twin's character. At one point Nick admits that he was somewhat relieved that Amy wasn't at home; Margo's unsettled look speaks volumes.
* DemotedToExtra: Nick and Margo's parents aren't given nearly as much focus in the film, with Bill only appearing in one scene and Maureen doesn't even get speaking lines. Justified, however, in that they are mostly used in the novel to explain Nick and Margo's own personality quirks.
** [[spoiler: Andie]] has comparatively less screen-time compared to the books.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Nick's less sociopathic personality compared to the book turns the ending into this rather than an EsotericHappyEnding.]]
* EyeObscuringHat: Nick temporarily adopts this as a disguise when Ellen Abbot's show attacking him and implying an incestuous relationship with Go plays in the airport waiting area.
* FanDisservice:
** In the movie, we get a short glimpse at Desi's (read: Neil Patrick Harris's) penis - [[spoiler:after he has had his throat slashed open, with his corpse covered in blood]].
** A scantily clad Rosamund Pike? [[FanService Good]]. A scantily clad Rosamund Pike [[spoiler:''covered in blood'']]? [[{{Squick}} Not so good]].
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Amy gives Desi what he's clearly been hoping for all along when she leads him to the bed in his lake house. [[spoiler: He probably wasn't hoping to strangle on his own vocal cords, though.]]
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: [[spoiler: Tanner and Boney stop helping Nick and Margo after Amy returns - they note that while they are sympathetic, the case is too big for local police and that Amy's hero status is currently impenetrable.]]
* KubrickStare: After showing her true colours [[spoiler: Amy]] is a ''master'' of these.
* MaleFrontalNudity: Neil Patrick Harris gets a fan-disserving one. Ben Affleck alleged that he had one too.
* NeverTrustATrailer: An example that also provides an aversion to TrailersAlwaysSpoil: [[spoiler:one trailer has a scene of Amy's lifeless corpse sinking in the water]], but in-film the event is simply an ImagineSpot.
* NotHisSled: [[spoiler: Averted. Initial reports said Flynn had written a different ending for the film, but she and Fincher later walked back those implications. The film's ending is the same as the novel's, minus the subtle alterations noted here.]]
* OverdrawnAtTheBloodbank: [[spoiler:There is ''plenty'' of blood in the scene where Amy slashes Desi's throat open.]]
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], as the throat is a major artery. Blood doesn't so much gush as spray out when that one is cut.
* PaperThinDisguise: Played with. [[spoiler: Amy goes to reasonable lengths to avert it - dyes her hair, forgoes makeup, wears glasses, puts on weight, adopts a new accent and even smashes herself with a hammer to the face, looking reasonably different from her image in the media. However, an actual victim of domestic abuse and trailer trash Greta sees through it and admits so when she robs her, even making a point of saying that she clearly has never been hit in her life before socking her in the jaw.]]
* RaceLift: Tanner Bolt, who was white in the book, is played by Creator/TylerPerry in the movie. The character had a black wife, who's been AdaptedOut, and since Perry's Bolt takes on her media guru role, he could be seen as a CompositeCharacter.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Detective Boney. She never really buys the accusations against Nick, even [[spoiler: once she finds the fake diary]] and assumes that his blunders are just a result of stupidity and shock. She immediately voices her suspicions so that Nick has a chance to provide his own context. Deconstructed, since Nick doesn't do that and antagonizes her by being uncooperative, [[spoiler: eventually leading to his arrest after the police gets Amy's "anonymous" tip about the woodshed. Once Amy actually returns, she starts questioning the holes in her story, but is shut down by the FBI.]]
* RightThroughHisPants: Inverted. [[spoiler: Desi somehow penetrates Amy through her panties before she kills him.]].
* StreetSmart: Greta certainly doesn't have Amy's education, but she's no slouch at sniffing out lies and recognizing opportunities. She's savvy enough to [[spoiler: see through Amy's story very quickly, and correctly reason that she's on the run and can't call the police if she's robbed.]]
* TooCleverByHalf: [[spoiler: Amy might be a dangerous and highly intelligent sociopath who outwits everyone around her, but she is outmatched by simple, everyday criminals in Jeff and Greta, who rob her, beat her up and get away scot free thanks to common PragmaticVillainy.]]
* {{Twincest}}: Mentioned by name after the media spreads rumors about Nick and Go.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Apparently a favorite tactic of [[spoiler: Amy]]. She's willing to go the extra mile to make it work, too [[spoiler: rubbing her wrists raw on rope to leave ligature marks and using a wine bottle to [[{{Squick}} induce vaginal tearing]] on at least two separate occasions to frame someone for rape.]]
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