Gillian Flynn’s Best Books

So far in her career, Gillian Flynn has written four novels, all of which have been incredibly successful. They are ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Sharp Objects,’ ‘Dark Places,’ and the novella ‘The Grownup.’

Gillian Flynn

American Author

Flynn’s novels are incredibly popular and known for following female protagonists (and often antagonists) who challenge the standards society sets for them. These novels often include murder, loss, criminal investigations, and incredibly cunning characters attempting to manipulate one another.


Gone Girl 

Published in 2012, this famous psychological thriller follows the disappearance of a woman named Amy and the subsequent investigation into her husband, Nick. 

The novel is divided into three parts, with the first two parts alternating between Nick’s point of view in the present and entries from Amy’s diary detailing their courtship and marriage. The third part takes a dramatic turn as the reader learns more about the truth behind Amy’s disappearance.

The book is known for its twists and turns and its complex, unreliable narrators. Both Nick and Amy have secrets and flaws that are gradually revealed throughout the novel, and the reader is left to piece together what happened to Amy and who is truly responsible.

The novel was adapted into a successful film directed by David Fincher in 2014, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles.

Sharp Objects 

This was Flynn’s debut novel which was published in 2006. It centers on a journalist named Camille Preaker, who returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls. Camille has a troubled past and a complicated relationship with her family.

As Camille investigates the murders, she becomes increasingly entangled in the dark secrets of her own family. She struggles to maintain her sobriety and confront her own past traumas while trying to solve the case. It is known for its haunting and atmospheric tone, as well as its shocking twists (something that’s common in all of Flynn’s novels). 

In 2018, the book was adapted into a limited television series starring Amy Adams as Camille.

Dark Places 

Dark Places‘ is a famous mystery novel that was published in 2009. The story follows Libby Day, a woman who, at the age of seven, survived the massacre of her family in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Her older brother, Ben, was convicted of the crime and has been serving a life sentence for it ever since.

Years later, Libby is approached by a group of amateur investigators who believe that Ben is innocent and want to re-examine the case. As Libby delves deeper into her family’s history and the events leading up to the murder, she uncovers a web of secrets and lies that lead her to question everything she thought she knew about the crime. 

She slowly learns more and more about what happened and finds a far more complicated truth than she expected. The novel explores themes of family, trauma, and the long-lasting effects of violence. It also explores what is commonly known as the Satanic Panic in rural America during the 1980s. 

Like ‘Gone Girl,’ this novel uses several different perspectives. These include Libby, her mother (Patty), and even Ben (her brother and convicted murderer). The novel was listed on The New York Times Best Seller List after it came out and was included on several “best books of the year” lists. It was also nominated for Dark Scribe Magazine’s Black Quill Award.

It is known for its dark and gritty tone, as well as its intricate plot twists. In 2015, this book was adapted into a film like Flynn’s other best-known novels. This film was directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and starred Charlize Theron as Libby.

The Grownup 

The Grownup‘ is a novella by Gillian Flynn, published in 2014. Although the story is only 64 pages long, it is incredibly dramatic and is regarded as one of her best works. 

The story follows an unnamed narrator, a young woman who makes a living by providing “spiritual consultations” to wealthy clients. She previously worked as a sex worker before focusing in on fortune-telling and scamming. She sees her work as a scam until she meets Susan Burke, a woman who claims that her Victorian mansion is haunted. 

She visits the house for cleansing sessions, hoping to make some more money, before realizing that there is far more going on inside the walls than she thought. It turns out that the house is truly haunted and that the family needs far more help than the narrator can provide. 

The narrator begins to suspect that there is more to Susan’s story than she is letting on and soon finds herself caught up in a dark and dangerous situation. The novella is known for its twist ending and ambiguous nature, leaving the reader unsure of what really happened.

The Grownup‘ was originally published as a short story in famed ‘Game of Thrones‘ writer George R. R. Martin’s and Gardner Dozois’ anthology, ‘Rogues,’ before being released on its own for purchase.

The book received critical acclaim and won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2015. It showcases Flynn’s signature style of psychological suspense and intricate plotting in a compact and satisfying read.


What is Gillian Flynn known for? 

Gillian Flynn is known for her gripping psychological thrillers that feature complex characters, unreliable narrators, and unexpected plot twists. Her novels often explore dark and disturbing themes that translate well into films. 

Are Gillian Flynn’s books good? 

Gillian Flynn’s books are widely regarded as some of the best in the thriller genre. She has a talent for crafting suspenseful and unpredictable stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Her characters are often flawed and deeply human, making them all the more compelling.

What is the best Gillian Flynn book? 

Gone Girl‘ is arguably her most famous book and has gained a huge following, but ‘Sharp Objects‘ and ‘Dark Places‘ are equally gripping and well-written. Her novella ‘The Grownup‘ is also a favorite with fans of her writing and the psychological thriller genre generally. 

Is Gillian Flynn still writing? 

Gillian Flynn has announced that she is working on a new novel. Her last full-length novel, ‘Gone Girl,’ was published in 2012, and since then, she has been working on screenwriting and producing for film and television.

Emma Baldwin
About Emma Baldwin
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues on Book Analysis.
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