Here’s What The Actual ‘New Gone Girl’ Books Are

Sick of every book being described as ‘The New Gone Girl’? Here are the ones that actually live up to the test.Photographs by Jake Kenny


by Alexandra Heminsley |
Published on

Before We Met – Lucie Whitehouse (Bloomsbury, £7.99)


Some are calling ‘the marriage thriller’ a genre of its own, but to be a true competitor to Gone Girl, you need a little more than a dicey marriage. Before We Met has this in spades. Set in perfect Peter Jones-land – the leafy streets and red brick houses of Fulham – it is a very British take on realising you have absolutely no idea who you really married. Hannah Reilly has a whirlwind New York romance and gives up a dream career to move back to London, only for her husband not to show up at the airport from his flight home and huge sums to go missing from her bank account. Immensely readable creepiness, all set against a deceptively chic Farrow & Ball backdrop, ensues…

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This is the Water – Yannick Murphy (Headline, £7.99)


There’s little more satisfying than reading about insufferable people’s supposedly perfect lives exploding into chaos and pain, and T_his is the Water_ manages this, as well as being extraordinarily written. There’s a serial killer operating amidst an idyllic New England girls swimming team, and it’s exposing all sorts of the parents’ sordid secrets. As grisly as it is splashed with some nice social commentary, the real thrill here is that it’s written in second-person narrative, with short, seemingly-repetitive chapters that reflect the rhythmic nature of the girls’ swimming. It has echoes of The Lovely Bones as well as Gone Girl, and is an admirably stylish and excruciating tense read.

The Secret Place – Tana French (Hodder, £14.99)


It’s a fact of both life and literature that there’s little as chilling as a psycho schoolgirl, and The Secret Place uses this to full effect. Set in a smart Dublin boarding school, it opens with a dead boy’s body found in the grounds, and a case that seems to be going nowhere. It’s a slow starter, but before too long the scenes of interviews with teenage girls who are terrifyingly brilliant at flirtatious lies become hypnotic, and unnerving. If you’re new to Tana French’s writing, there is the same added bonus that Gone Girl had: the author has a fantastic backlist for you to discover.

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Dear Daughter –Elizabeth Little (Harvill Secker, £12.99)


With a narrator so unreliable you suffer from constant seasickness, and the same fizzy sense of the media tracking the case that gave Gone Girl such edge, this is the thriller of the summer. Janie Jenkins is a one time US It-girl who was convicted of killing her mother, and now she’s been released and is looking for the real killer. Her spiky, modern voice is familiar to anyone who’s followed a cocksure blogger or sharp-elbowed media player, and the case itself crackles with new leads. This is so damn good that it’s worth going on holiday with someone you hate, just so you can ignore them all week.

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Follow Alex on Twitter @Hemmo

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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