The story begins as a mystery that follows the events the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, writing teacher Nick Dunne returns home to find that his wife Amy is missing. Her disappearance receives heavy press coverage, as Amy was the inspiration for her parents’ popular Amazing Amy children’s books. Detective Rhonda Boney does a walkthrough of their house and finds poorly concealed evidence of a struggle. The police conduct a forensic analysis and uncover the remnants of cleaned blood stains, leading to the conclusion that Amy was murdered. Suspicions arise that Nick is responsible, and his apathetic behavior is interpreted by the media as characteristic of a sociopath.