If you clicked the link to this blog because of the title, you have unknowingly just proved the point of this opinion. There have recently been several books that claim to have the same original storyline as “Gone Girl” and “Before I Go To Sleep”. “Gone” and “Before” had twisty thriller plots that were so fantastic, I’m still thinking about them over a year later and intend to read them again. Having really enjoyed both, I have been sucked into reading a slew of not so great books allegedly just as good. The most recent was “Turn Of Mind”, a story about a hand surgeon with dementia who might have killed her best friend, and now can’t remember. Even though that sounded intriguing, the plot was slow to develop, unlike “Before” where from the first chapter it was obvious things were not as they seemed. The writing in “Turn” also made me turn away because the lack of quotation marks and identification of speakers was too hard to follow. Gillian Flynn recommended several books in the same vein as hers, which I tried and found to be nowhere near as creative. “The Shining Girls,” “Visitation Street,” and “Pancopticon” were just a few of her recommendations that didn’t measure up.
It is clear that publishers recognize the immense success of “Gone” and are trying to use that title to sell other books. This infuriates me because no book has come close to being another “Gone Girl”, but I have to admit that this marketing ploy is working, at least on me. Maybe the point is that a good book should be celebrated on its own, and I should stop trying to find a second rate version of a beloved bestseller. After all, a classic is a classic, and I certainly don’t expect there to be anything remotely close to “Rome and Juliet”. Still, I keep searching for another book where when I reach the end there is an “ah ha” moment, and I immediately want to begin reading it again to see all the things I missed the first time. To me, these are the books truly worthy of being a bestseller and I’m constantly trying to find them. So, I continue to reach for suspenseful books and hope they will measure up!