If you’re looking for more books like Gone Girl with unreliable narrators, split perspectives, and dark psychological themes, then look no further than this list.
Here you will find 15 more books like Gone Girl that will invoke the same morbid fascination and necessity to race to the finish to figure out the truth from the lies.
About Gone Girl
Every now and then a book comes along that takes over popular culture. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of those books.
Since its publication in 2012 it has sold more than 20 million copies. It debuted on the New York Times bestseller list in the second spot, and then spent 91 weeks on the chart. It has inspired a wealth of imitations trying to emulate some of its success and this list is going to add fifteen more offerings for you to read next.
Part of the appeal of Gone Girl was the unreliable narrator and the alternating perspectives that revealed more as you progressed through the book. This kept readers hooked as they raced to the ending to figure out how Flynn would wrap everything up.
It is also a book from the female perspective that undermines stereotypes and asserts a new narrative. It has dark themes throughout, and then an epic twist at the end.
The book begins when Amy goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary. Nick, her husband, is immediately under suspicion.
As the investigation unfolds, allegations come to light that Amy was afraid of Nick and strange searches are found on his computer. But Nicks insists it isn’t true and the searches weren’t made by him. So begins 400 pages of the dark psychological thriller as readers learn what really happened to Amy.
Gone Girl was Flynn’s third publication. She also wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, which received four Golden Globe nominations. Flynn currently lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
15 Books like Gone Girl
However, let’s finally get into the books like Gone Girl. The below recommendations all hit on one or more similar themes or tropes from Gone Girl.
These books have red herrings and surprise endings, unreliable narrators and a palpable tension throughout. Some will involve a sudden disappearance or problematic relationship like Gone Girl, but all are dark, psychological thrillers.
1. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
The first recommendation on our list of books like Gone Girl is Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. This book also features an unreliable narrator and two timelines. However, in this book, the reader and the narrator are on the journey together to determine what is the truth amidst a sea of lies.
Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face.
And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben. He is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.
2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
In this next recommendation for books like Gone Girl, this couple also has a seemingly perfect life. However, trouble toils beneath the surface when the wife shoots her husband in the face and never speaks another word. Fans of epic twisty conclusions like Gone Girl will adore The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. She is a famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer. She lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas.
But then one evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander. It is a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations — a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…
3. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
This next book also features a sea of lies with a building tension and dark psychological themes. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz presents an interesting scenario in which a struggling writer hears the perfect idea for a book. When the original author turns up dead, he takes the idea for his own and finds immediate success — until someone reveals they know his secret.
Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect. He hasn’t written — let alone published — anything decent in years.
When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is ready to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then…he hears the plot.
Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel. But it never comes.
When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that — a story that absolutely needs to be told.
In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised, and read all over the world.
But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives. You are a thief, it says.
Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?
4. Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
Like Gone Girl, Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown dissects a family dynamic after a member goes missing. But in this book it is the mother who disappears, leaving behind her husband and daughter.
It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan — a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life — went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body — only a hiking boot — has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.
But then Olive starts having waking dreams — or are they hallucinations? — that her mother is still alive.
Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth — about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.
5. You by Caroline Kepnes
Fans of dark psychological thrillers will have likely heard of this next recommendation for books like Gone Girl, but may be more familiar with the adaptation starring Penn Badgley. However, you should absolutely read the original source material, You by Caroline Kepnes, if you haven’t already.
When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: He Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know.
She is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight. It is the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man. All while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way — even if it means murder.
6. Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent
Next in our books like Gone Girl is Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent. It also features a seemingly perfect couple when that illusion is shattered with a terrible act of violence.
Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease.
Until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious. He then subsequently beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbours, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.
7. Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
Similarly to Gone Girl, Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber features past demons and lies that threaten to shatter everything.
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way.
Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past — starting with her last name.
When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel.
Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past — and the lies on which she has staked her future.
8. The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is a creepy, addictive read about obsession. But this time it is the female protagonist reaching for her perfect, idealized dream. This recommendation is a dark, twisted book, just like Gone Girl.
Juliette finally has it all. Great friends. An exciting new job that sends her to exotic locations all over the world. Best of all, she has a good, decent man who loves her, who wants to spend the rest of his life with her…
He just won’t admit it.
But Juliette’s not worried. After all, fate brought them together in the first place. If she and Nate are meant to be, they can weather any storm — even this break-up they’re going through now.
Nate thought things had been moving too fast, getting too intense. All he needed was some space, though. Now that six months have passed since that awful night, it’s time for Juliette to put her plan into action.
It takes some convincing: Cleaning his apartment while he’s out, leaving behind his favorite foods…little things to make him realize how badly he misses her. Once he sees Juliette has this perfect new life — and broken free from her dark past — he won’t ignore her anymore. Especially now that she’s working for his airline.
She’s not going to let him go so easily. Because their love is like a dream that never dies. Even when it turns out to be a nightmare.
9. Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finlay Boylan
This next book also features secrets from the past coming to light which impact the present-day timeline, just like Gillian Flynn’s bestseller. Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finlay Boylan is our next recommendation for books like Gone Girl.
Judith Carrigan’s past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.
The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.
10. Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin
This book following a female protagonist also flips expectations in its narrative. In Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin, readers follow a woman who, thirteen years ago, was abducted. Ever since she has wondered who replaced her in that basement, and now she sees a missing person flyer with someone who could be her childhood twin.
Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.
I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.
If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…
I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.
Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.
11. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
This next recommendation for dark psychological thriller books like Gone Girl also features an abduction. But, once more, there are hidden secrets in The Good Girl by Mary Kubica that will destroy everything.
One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger.
At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.
When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.
12. If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar
Just like Gone Girl this book also features split perspectives that slowly come together to reveal the larger, more sinister picture. However, in If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar, there are three perspectives that shatter the illusion of the perfect marriage.
Cassie had it all: The fairytale wedding, the stunning home, the perfect husband. But when she arrives on the intensive care ward at St. Catherine’s hospital in a coma, it soon becomes clear that she has a secret; a secret that changes everything.
Alice, the chief nurse on the ward begins to feel a connection with Cassie and can’t help but wonder if things are not quite as they seem.
Frank, another patient, can hear and see everything around him but cannot communicate. He understands that Cassie’s life is in danger and only he holds the truth, which no one can know and he cannot tell…
13. Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison is just like Gone Girl with its unreliable narrators and suspicious relationship. It also features a wife who disappears and a husband that falls under suspicion.
Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly.
Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.
Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family, and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel.
Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself?
14. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
The penultimate recommendation for books like Gone Girl is a dark psychological thriller with a building tension as the book progresses. Just like Gone Girl, Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill will have you racing through the pages to reach the conclusion.
Jean Mason has a doppelganger. She’s never seen her, but others swear they have. Apparently, her identical twin hangs out in Kensington Market, where she sometimes buys churros and drags an empty shopping cart down the streets, like she’s looking for something to put in it.
Jean’s a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving bookstore in downtown Toronto, and she doesn’t rattle easily — not like she used to. But after two customers insist they’ve seen her double, Jean decides to investigate.
She begins at the crossroads of Kensington Market: A city park called Bellevue Square. Although she sees no one who looks like her, it only takes a few visits to the park for her to become obsessed with the possibility of encountering her twin in the flesh.
With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she’ll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers, and vagrants — the regulars of Bellevue Square — are eager to contribute to Jean’s investigation.
But when some of them start disappearing, she fears her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate much stranger than death.
15. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Finally, if all you want after finishing Gone Girl is to read more books written by Gillian Flynn, then Dark Places is a great pick for your next read. This is Flynn’s second book and a testament to the dark, sinister theme of her writing.
Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.
Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before.
Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?
She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day…especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.
Who did massacre the Day family?
Final thoughts on books like Gone Girl
In conclusion, here is our list of 15 books like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. These recommendations are all dark psychological thrillers. Most of them involve a sudden disappearance, or a relationship that is much different from how it appears at first glance.
If you enjoy twisty endings, unreliable narrators, and a building tension, then you will absolutely enjoy these 15 books like Gone Girl.
- Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (2011)
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (2019)
- The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2021)
- Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown (2017)
- You by Caroline Kepnes (2014)
- Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent (2014)
- Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber (2017)
- The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton (2018)
- Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finlay Boylan (2017)
- Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (2017)
- The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (2014)
- If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar (2017)
- Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison (2017)
- Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (2017)
- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (2009)