Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck bring Gillian Flynn’s bestselling marital mystery thriller to caustic life.

A warring married couple’s dark secrets spill forth in this enjoyably slippery suspense thriller. Pike’s golden girl Amy has gone missing, but is husband Nick, played by  Affleck, to blame for her disappearance?

As the cunning mystery unfolds, director David Fincher tugs our sympathies this way and that while springing narrative twists and traps with stomach-lurching suddenness.

The mysteries begin when Amy vanishes from the couple’s Missouri home on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. Signs of violence point to an abduction, but the police and the media soon have Nick pinned as the culprit.

We, meanwhile, have two unreliable narrators to guide us – Nick, as he goes through the purgatory of trial by 24-hour TV news, and Amy, via diary entries recounting the giddy glamour of their New York courtship and the soul-sapping torture of their married life in Nick’s dull hometown. Whose version can we trust?

Affleck is excellent, showing a furtive side to his bland good looks, but it is Pike who steals the film with her scarily chilly portrayal of a woman whose glacial beauty hides fierce passions.

The supporting cast are superb, too: Carrie Coon as Nick’s level-headed twin sister; Kim Dickens as the shrewd police detective on the case and Tyler Perry as Nick’s canny showboating, media-savvy lawyer.

Gone Girl’s scathing satire of the hype and hysteria of rolling TV news and gossip-hungry chat shows is hugely enjoyable. Yet when it comes to its shocking plot and pitiless anatomy of a marriage, the pleasures are double-edged and disquieting.