You don’t really need me to tell you to read Gone Girl. It’s this year’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” with all the appropriate zeitgeist.

But if you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s what it’s about: you know those stories you see on the news all the time? The ones where the pretty young wife disappears and the husband starts acting all suspicious? Yeah, it’s that story. For the first half, anyway. Then, oh my lanta! Then the novel becomes somethings else — a thriller in the tradition of Hitchcock, full of wonderful melodrama.

Having a little experience with novels that take a sudden, jolting turn hundreds of pages in, I understand how difficult this book must’ve been to get published. Gillian, her agent, her editor, her publisher all deserve a pat on the back (and a raise!) for taking such a risk. As a reader I love this kind of mind-fuckery. There’s not enough of it in the literary world–and make no mistake, Gillian is literary, even if she’s hiding behind genre. Here’s one of my favorite sentences: “Maybe it was my conscience, scratching back to the surface from its secret oubliette.” That’s literary.

I had the pleasure of meeting the writer at a book fair in Ohio last month. She signed it for my wife, “To Julie, from her sweet husband.” After reading the book, I have to wonder if that wasn’t some sly joke.

To say anymore would be to ruin the book’s surprises. Just read it already.