Study Guide

Shawna Kelly in Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn

Shawna Kelly

Did you know that there's such a thing as kidnapping investigation groupies? Yeah, neither did we. Shawna Kelly, however, enlightens us to the existence of flirty, middle-aged women who prey on the husbands of the disappeared, inadvertently making them do self-incriminating things.

Shawna is a super annoying cougar who seems to be more concerned with hooking up with Nick than finding Amy. For one thing, she shows up at the Find Amy Dunne Headquarters wearing promiscuous clothing that, according to Nick, is "how you not dress for a search" (13.65). For another, she won't leave him alone, calls him "a baby" (13.81) because he's thirty-four, and seems happy that Amy is four years older than Nick because it suggests he likes older women—so if Amy ends up dead, she's got a chance.

Like Andie, Shawna also doesn't seem to appreciate the seriousness of Nick's position. Seriously—she takes a selfie with him during the search party? Who does that? Try a pathetic opportunist who recognizes that she could potentially get an "ego stroke" (13.98) out of the biggest thing to happen to North Carthage, Missouri since the now-defunct mall.

Maybe she consciously takes the photo because it's part of her plan to end up on Ellen Abbott Live and make a name for herself in this society consumed with reality television. Or maybe she just doesn't have common sense. Either way, she makes a mean chicken-Frito casserole—and if you don't eat it, she'll gladly throw you under the bus (which is exactly what she does to Nick on Ellen's show).

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