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My Favorite Drama Books

5 Books | by Deborah Tatman

Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone

Books

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Girl and The Truth About Melody Browne comes a “riveting” (PopSugar) and “acutely observed family drama” (People) that delves into the lingering aftermath of a young girl’s disappearance.Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. Beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers, and half of a teenaged golden couple. Ellie was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away. Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

Books

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The "mercilessly entertaining" (Vanity Fair) instant classic "about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships" (Lev Grossman, Time). NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE AND ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Janet Maslin, The New York Times - People - Entertainment Weekly - O: The Oprah Magazine - Slate - Kansas City Star - USA Today - Christian Science MonitorOn a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle - St. Louis Post Dispatch - Chicago Tribune - HuffPost - Newsday "Absorbing . . . In masterly fashion, Flynn depicts the unraveling of a marriage--and of a recession-hit Midwest--by interweaving the wife's diary entries with the husband's first-person account."--New Yorker "Ms. Flynn writes dark suspense novels that anatomize violence without splashing barrels of blood around the pages . . . Ms. Flynn has much more up her sleeve than a simple missing-person case. As Nick and Amy alternately tell their stories, marriage has never looked so menacing, narrators so unreliable."--The Wall Street Journal "The story unfolds in precise and riveting prose . . . even while you know you're being manipulated, searching for the missing pieces is half the thrill of this wickedly absorbing tale."--O: The Oprah Magazine

The Family Upstairs: A Novel

The Family Upstairs: A Novel

Books

Be careful who you let in... Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl: A Novel

Books

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.Amazon.com ReviewAmazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy disappears. There are signs of struggle in the house, and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect. It doesn’t help that Nick hasn’t been completely honest with the police, and, as Amy’s case drags out for weeks, more and more vilifying evidence appears against him--but Nick maintains his innocence. Alternating points of view between Nick and Amy, Gillian Flynn creates an untrustworthy world that changes from chapter to chapter. Calling Gone Girl a psychological thriller is an understatement. As revelation after revelation unfolds, it becomes clear that the truth does not exist in the middle of Nick and Amy’s points of view; it is far darker, more twisted, and creepier than you can imagine. Gone Girl is masterfully plotted, and the suspense doesn’t waver for a single page. It’s one of those books you will feel the need to discuss as soon as you finish it, because the ending doesn’t just come--it punches you in the gut. --Caley AndersonFrom Author Gillian FlynnYou might say I specialize in difficult characters. Damaged, disturbed, or downright nasty. Personally, I love each and every one of the misfits, losers, and outcasts in my three novels. My supporting characters are meth tweakers, truck-stop strippers, backwoods grifters ...But it's my narrators who are the real challenge.In Sharp Objects, Camille Preaker is a mediocre journalist fresh from a stay at a psychiatric hospital. She's an alcoholic. She's got impulse issues. She's also incredibly lonely. Her best friend is her boss. When she returns to her hometown to investigate a child murder, she parks down the street from her mother's house "so as to seem less obtrusive." She has no sense of whom to trust, and this leads to disaster.Camille is cut off from the world but would rather not be. In Dark Places, narrator Libby Day is aggressively lonely. She cultivates her isolation. She lives off a trust fund established for her as a child when her family was massacred; she isn't particularly grateful for it. She's a liar, a manipulator, a kleptomaniac. "I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ," she warns. "Draw a picture of my soul and it'd be a scribble with fangs." If Camille is overly grateful when people want to befriend her, Libby's first instinct is to kick them in their shins.In those first two novels, I explored the geography of loneliness--and the devastation it can lead to. With Gone Girl, I wanted to go the opposite direction: what happens when two people intertwine their lives completely.I wanted to explore the geography of intimacy--and the devastation it can lead to. Marriage gone toxic.Gone Girl opens on the occasion of Amy and Nick Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. (How romantic.) Amy disappears under very disturbing circumstances. (Less romantic.) Nick and Amy Dunne were the golden couple when they first began their courtship. Soul mates. They could complete each other's sentences, guess each other's reactions. They could push each other's buttons. They are smart, charming, gorgeous, and also narcissistic, selfish, and cruel.They complete each other--in a very dangerous way.Review"Ice-pick-sharp... Spectacularly sneaky... Impressively cagey... "Gone Girl" is Ms. Flynn's dazzling breakthrough. It is wily, mercurial, subtly layered and populated by characters so well imagined that they're hard to part with -- even if, as in Amy's case, they are already departed. And if you have any doubts about whether Ms. Flynn measures up to Patricia Highsmith's level of discreet malice, go back and look at the small details. Whatever you raced past on a first reading will look completely different the second time around." --Janet Maslin, "New York Times ""An ingenious and viperish thriller... It's going to make Gillian Flynn a star... The first half of "Gone Girl" is a nimble, caustic riff on our Nancy Grace culture and the way in which ''The butler did it'' has morphed into ''The husband did it.'' The second half is the real stunner, though. Now I really am going to shut up before I spoil what instantly shifts into a great, breathless read. Even as "Gone Girl" grows truly twisted and wild, it says smart things about how tenuous power relations are between men and women, and how often couples are at the mercy of forces beyond their control. As if that weren't enough, Flynn has created a genuinely creepy villain you don't see coming. People love to talk about the banality of evil. You're about to meet a maniac you could fall in love with. A" "--"Jeff Giles, "Entertainment Weekly""An irresistible summer thriller with a twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Burrowing deep into the murkiest corners of the human psyche, this delectable summer read will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page." "--People" (four stars) "[A] thoroughbred thriller about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships. "Gone Girl" begins as a whodunit, but by the end it will have you wondering whether there's any such thing as a who at all." "--"Lev Grossman, "Time"

Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone

Books

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Nominated for a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award “An acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense.” —People “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted.” —Booklist, starred review “Sharply written with twists and turns, Jewell’s latest will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." —Library JournalEllie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away. Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

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