Study Guide

Gone Girl Chapter 7

By Gillian Flynn

Chapter 7

Nick Dunne—The Night Of

  • Boney and Gilpin take Nick back to the police station to continue their interview. Nick is rather amused by how much the whole thing feels like a fake cops television show, or even a game show—he laughs about this, which seems to disturb Boney.
  • The cops ask Nick to submit to some preliminary tests to rule him out as a suspect, including swabbing his cheek and testing his hands for gunshot residue. Nick cooperates, but only because his childhood with his persistently angry father made him into a people-pleaser.
  • When it's over, he submits to a tape-recorded interview. Boney grills him about his marriage, Amy's personality, and her occupation; at one point, Nick slips and says Amy was (past tense) a quiz writer, and then laughs about the mistake.
  • Boney's motivations are super unclear, and she seems to waffle back and forth between liking Nick and being suspicious of him. For example, she seems disappointed that he and Amy don't have children, as well as that Amy doesn't have a history with alcohol or drug abuse. She also seems curious about the fact that Nick has yet to notify Amy's parents and the few friends she has back in New York.
  • Notice anything weird about Nick's account of Amy's disappearance? We still don't know how their anniversary breakfast went or what they talked about. Nick states that he went to the beach after breakfast because Amy suggested that he go there to think about their life—in reality though, Nick privately confesses to us readers that he never went and has lied to the cops about this (for the eleventh time, but who's counting…).
  • Here's something else kind of weird: Amy has been missing for several hours before Nick finally gets upset and starts demanding that the officers get on the case and figure out what's going on. He even acknowledges this himself, saying that he should have been angry, upset, and worried from the start. He claims that this is also the product of his quest to never become like his father, but we're not sure we're buying it. Is he really suppressing his emotions because of his dad? Is he really upset about Amy or just relieved that his troubled marriage is out of the picture? Or… could he possibly be involved?
  • Here's something else that doesn't look good: Nick starts reflecting to us about how much Amy has changed. The cute, funny, smart girl he met in New York has now become a dwindled, depressed shell of her former self.
  • At Boney's insistence, Nick finally caves in and calls the Elliotts, even though they're bizarrely proud of their 9:00PM bedtime and are surely already asleep. As expected, Marybeth freaks out and yells at Nick for only now calling them to inform them of this. She demands to speak to the officer in charge, and as Nick puts Gilpin on the phone, he realizes that calling the Elliotts makes Amy's disappearance officially an emergency.
  • So imagine being in Nick's shoes. Your problematic wife is gone and you've been dealing with the cops for hours. Could this situation possibly get any worse? Of course it can, especially when your father with Alzheimer's shows up at the station after escaping from Comfort Hill. To make sure Nick finishes his responsibilities to the police, Boney orders an officer to drive Nick's dad home.
  • The cops drive Nick to Go's. Go is shockingly upset about Amy's disappearance given that she seems to not really like her, though she's not really concerned about their dad escaping from Comfort Hill, because evidently this is a regular occurrence. Like Boney, she seems to disapprove of how Nick is handling the Amy situation and advises him not to turn to alcohol as a solution, as he needs to be ready to return to the station for a press conference the next day.

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