Domestic Chillers: Why Gone Girl has us Hooked
In recent times there has been an influx in what we’ve come to call domestic chillers or marriage thrillers – psychological thrillers set within the domestic sphere, exploring the dangers of marriage and the inability to truly know one’s partner.
The most prominent example of this kind that immediately springs to mind is, of course, the bestselling phenomenon Gone Girl, the story of a couple with such a difficult married life that when the wife, Amy, goes missing suspicion quickly falls on her husband Nick. This story proved so incredibly popular that it has now been made into a major new film, to be released next week. Gone Girl is a marmite book – you either love it or you hate it but you definitely won’t forget about it.
This gripping book is said to have inspired a fascination in readers which could similarly account for the success of titles including SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret and Lucie Whitehouse’s Before We Met. In each case, the events play out like a car crash – and yet we still can’t bear to look away, simultaneously drawn in and repelled by the scenes that unfold. Perhaps, deep inside, we don’t believe that these things could ever happen to us, so we can explore the traumatic situations while not experiencing the shame and devastation ourselves.
At this year’s Cheltenham Festivals, we’ve partnered with Viking Cruises to host an event exploring this fascinating genre. On Friday 10th October, Sunday Times columnist and author India Knight will be delving into marriage thrillers in our Cheltenham event Domestic chillers: Why Gone Girl has us hooked.