I have heard a ton about this book and waited a very long time for my library reserve to come in and was psyched about it when I had it safely downloaded onto my kindle. So maybe it's a four star and I'm just disappointed enough to reduce it to a three star.
I was debating between a 2 and 3 star rating during the first 20-30% of the novel. I didn't like Amy from her diary entries and the set up on Nick was just too overblown. Clearly, he was sketchy, but the fingers were all too pointed so I knew that he had to be innocent.
Then at the 50% mark things got interesting. I decided that maybe Nick did murder Amy but in a blind rage and he was suffering from some brain cancer or tumor or early-onset Alzeihmer's (like his dad) or just crazy mental instability (also kinda like his dad) and he didn't know he had murdered her. As we all know, he had plenty of motive. And part two came and we got to hear the "real" Amy's voice. And I liked her. Diary Amy was too much of the "cool girl" ("basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn't ever complain").
Around 80% I stopped liking it again. Amy became too whiny. She wasn't interesting anymore, she was just mean and controlling. I liked her at first, but then she grated on me. And I mean that in the best possible way. I am a control freak who is quite dominant, can be mean, and am often short with people. I, too, intimidate and oftentimes don't mind that I intimidate people (if you can't handle me, then fuck off). However, Amy is truly a sociopath; she doesn't really have any connection with anyone and ultimately she ends up treating Nick worse (but very similar to) the way that Desi treats her. Desi wants a little Amy pet; Amy forces Nick to become her pet. Her whole "fake it until we make it" analogy doesn't quite work. I didn't buy that the "real" Amy (the one we see through the cracks of the Ozark Amy) would be satisfied with him faking it. Shakespeare has "all the world is a stage" and Irving Goffmann studied the front stage and back stage of our selves; I think what Flynn ultimately constructs here is a person who does not even have a soul. If she had finessed it better, I think I could have liked Amy even after she murders Desi.
Ultimately (and as a child of the 80s..like Nick I too was born in 1977), I have to say it was way too much of a Scooby-Doo ending. Wait, it's not the husband we strip his mask and it's really the old boyfriend, or strip the mask a second time and it's really the wife after all. Just too many attempts at twists and Flynn's hand visible throughout. I like to either really notice the author (WOW what amazing text and word choice and elaborate description) or not at all (the story seems to weave itself out of thin air). An example of noticing her too much (and too much set up with Flynn trying to be cute) was that "Able Andy" was "Amazing Amy"'s husband, but "Able Andie" was Nick's mistress.
I had a few stupid annoyances throughout. The first was about Go. She is his twin and seems to be the one that is more competent at getting things done and taking care of things, yet it is always Nick who gets the call from the nursing home (and they bring his dad to the police station for godssake without ever even calling Go?), he is the one who cleans out Mom's house and Dad's house and why exactly isn't she more active in this stuff? Coupled with that, Amy changes the alarm code at Dad's house but doesn't tell Go? Doesn't Go ever go there? The second was that the cell that Amy uses on the run is a number that she gave to the alarm company (disposable does not equal not trace-able, it just means the number can't be linked to you, oh yeah unless you're an idiot and you give it to your husband's Dad's alarm company). The third (and this is really dumb) is that Flynn fucks up the anagram. She says Ratner Tolb is an anagram for Tanner Bolt, but Tanner has two "n"s and one "r" while Ratner has two "r"s and one "n". Fourth, when she is out with Greta she shows her money belt, but Amy is not that stupid. I get that she would wear the belt, but she would also pull out $20 or $50 ahead of time to have in a pocket to get her through the night. Fifth, I found it absolutely unbelievable and way too convenient that Andie and the Elliots are in the SAME BAR for their press conference in which Amy meets Desi at the SAME TIME.
Certainly it's worth reading, but there really isn't anything profound; there are no life changing pivotal moments, there are no well crafted sentences. This is just a page turner that will keep interest and entertain. I kinda wish it came in a few weeks back and I could have read it when I was on vacation.