Book blurbs and reviewer shorthands that rev up readers by name-checking runaway bestsellers for comparison are nothing new – take The Girl On a Train, or, as many have already labelled it, "the British Gone Girl." Just like Paula Hawkins's thriller, this summer's crop of No. 1 hopefuls tips heavily toward Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel, even if the "insert-quirky-modifier-here Gone Girl" label has come to mean any vaguely twisty tale. In that vein – and to mark the cinematic adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns, or "the YA Gone Girl" – we suggest our own favourite read-alikes of suspense and deceit. Or … are they?
The Disease Gone Girl Trust No One by Paul Cleave, in which a bestselling crime novelist with early onset Alzheimer's is accused of murder. Cue the clever meta-narrative as he attempts to piece together his actions and separate fact, fiction and dementia – it's sensitive and astute about the disease while being gripping and darkly funny.
The Mommy Wars Gone Girl In Chris Pavone's The Expats, Luxembourg is a comfortably sleepy spot for spy-turned-stay-at-home mom to do the school run. Until a past secret life threatens the bake sale. Will she have to lean in like a #girlboss? You'll never guess what happens next.
The Spy vs. Spy Gone Girl Old lovers reunite to reminisce about their espionage days, complete with split timeline, ulterior motives and contradictory remembered narratives in All the Old Knives, Olen Steinhauer's tense new novel (inspired by the TV dramatization of Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman in Christopher Reid's poem The Song of Lunch).
The Sex & the City Gone Girl Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. They say: GG meets Cosmo meets S&TC. We say: She's totally a Samantha, except this is more disturbing than a glossy Gossip Girl.
The Flapper Gone Girl The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, about jazz-age stenographers in the NYPD (Keira Knightley has optioned the novel to produce and star). Plenty of fringe, Charleston and period atmosphere to brag about at the next inevitable Gatsby garden party.
The Canadian Gone Girl Published under the name A.S.A. Harrison, Susan Harrison's race-against-the-clock thriller The Silent Wife is all the more pointed given the fact that it's her only novel before she died of cancer at 65.
The pre-Gone Girl Gone Girl Chances are that if you enjoyed Flynn's predilections for pitch-black twists and formidable female leads, then the author's 2009 Dark Places will fit the bill. Read – or more likely devour – it before the film adaptation starring Charlize Theron comes out Aug. 7.
The YA Gone Girl John Green may have struck both bestseller and box-office gold with The Fault in Our Stars, but don't discount his other work, such as this aforementioned pseudo-potboiler about a lovesick teen's journey to find the girl who (literally) got away.
The Romantic Gone Girl For readers who wish they could live in Jan Karon's Mitford, The Headmaster's Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene will do.
The Non-Fiction Gone Girl How Priscilla, the mysterious and beautiful late aunt of The Telegraph literary critic Nicholas Shakespeare, survived wartime France is an enigmatic tale he reconstructs through her letters and other research. As gripping as Flynn, though with more painful moral ambiguity.
The Fifty Shades of Gone Girl You by Caroline Kepnes, is a chilling novel of stalking, social media and obsession, and far from prudish. The Dunnes have nothing on the couple in this thriller.
The Graphic Novel Gone Girl Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau is a cinematic chronicle of one woman's escape from her life.
The Vintage Gone Girl Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, naturally.
The High School Movie Gone Girl Tana French's The Secret Place is a book that drops John Hughes, murder and Mean Girls into the setting of a private girls' school in Dublin. The dialogue and interior monologues bring all the ghosts of good, bad and ugly duckling memories of high school rushing back – you can practically hear the Simple Minds anthem.
The Comics Nerd Gone Girl The Night Gwen Stacy Died by Sarah Bruni is set in small-town Iowa and takes the infamous June, 1973 story arc in Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man as a jumping-off point. A kidnapping is faked and we'll say no more.
The Gonzo Gone Girl Gonzo Girl by Cheryl Della Pietra, though, full disclosure: This memoir à clef novel about a year spent as Hunter S. Thompson's personal assistant has absolutely nothing in common with even the Coles Notes version of Gone Girl. But hey, the title works.