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Gone by Lisa Gardner, book reviewAfter reading some good reviews of Lisa Gardner’s novels a few months ago I decided it was about time I acquainted myself with some of her work. I read ‘The Killing Hour‘ whilst away on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It left me keen to read more books by this author, hence me getting my hands on a copy of ‘Gone‘.

I was really surprised on reading the blurb on the cover, to discover that the same characters which featured in ‘The Killing Hour‘ were also featuring in this book, as I had thought Lisa Gardner wrote stand alone novels. Although the characters feature in ‘The Killing Hour‘, you do not need to have read that book to enjoy or understand this one. The story does not follow on in anyway and it is not essential to know the previous history of the characters. Their past is referred to briefly, which provides the necessary information the reader may need.

In ‘Gone‘ we are introduced once again to ex – FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, who works privately these days along with his wife and partner Rainie. Quincy’s daughter, Kimberley (now a fully fledged FBI agent) and her agent boyfriend Mac also feature once again. Quincy finds himself thrown into his worst nightmare when a car is found abandoned with the engine running late at night. The car belongs to his wife Rainie and she seems to have disappeared. Rainie has had a few problems lately. The effects of one of the cases they were working on seems to have taken its toll and also hit her on a personal level, which she had found increasingly difficult to deal with.

Instead of sharing her emotions with Quincy however, she had turned to drinking again. Quincy has found it very hard to reach out to his wife as she has put up so many barriers and eventually walks out on her, leaving her a note telling her he loves her. He hopes this will shock Rainie to her senses and allow him to help her. However, before anything has a chance to happen, Rainie’s car is found abandoned, her purse still on the seat and no sign of her.

Quincy wonders if he has pushed his wife too far and blames himself. Has his actions, the stress of the case they were working on – a vicious double homicide, or the possible abuse of a disturbed child Rainie took close to her heart, all got to much for her to bear? Or has one of the ghosts from Rainie’s troubled past finally caught up with her? Together with the local Sheriff, the police and Sergeant Detective Kincaid from Major Crimes, Quincy soon finds out there is more to his wife’s disappearance than he initially thinks and enlists the help of his daughter Kimberley and her boyfriend Mac. Meanwhile, there is one man who knows what has happened to Rainie and if he doesn’t get what he wants, then Rainie will be gone for good…

Having really enjoyed ‘The Killing Hour‘, I was really pleased to discover four of the characters from that book were featuring again here and settled down for another good read. The first thing that struck me was the difference in Rainie’s character here. I would not have imagined she would have the problems she does and also the way she deals with them are also not as I would have imagined, given how strong she appeared to be in the other book. She came across as a ‘rock’ to Quincy and yet here it seems the roles are reversed. Kimberley ‘prefers to be an island’ Quincy, is as tough and gutsy as ever, even though being in a relationship with Mac, with whom she got involved with in the other book, shows a softer side to her character.

I was impressed with a couple of the other characters who feature in this book. The female Sheriff, who is both compassionate as well as tough, is a great addition as also is Detective Kincaid, who is not intimidated at all by Quincy’s reputation and presence throughout ‘his’ case. Both are fine examples of the well developed characterisation in this book.

“Overall, this is another decent thriller from Lisa Gardner and worth a read.”

As the story unfolds, I found myself guessing how it would end and whilst I was right about a few things, I still got a surprise at the end which was good. I do like to be kept guessing when reading a book such as this. The first and final thirds of  ‘Gone‘ are definitely the best parts. The middle section if I am honest, did not grip me as much as the other parts, which was slightly disappointing. When I got to the middle of the book I found the story had slowed down and was dragging a little. I was finding it easy to put the book down, where as if I am reading a great thriller I find it practically impossible to put the book down until I have finished it!

Fortunately the story does pick up again and for the final third I was well and truly hooked. It was just a shame it wasn’t like that all the way through. I certainly found ‘The Killing Hour‘ gripping from start to finish and had hoped for more of the same with ‘Gone‘. It is definitely worth sticking with though, even if like me, you find your mind wandering halfway through. At 376 pages, this is a thriller of average length, however it does feel slightly as if a little filler was used to pad it out somewhat in the middle.

What I do like about Lisa Gardner is her ability to write a good psychological crime thriller, which whilst featuring relevant police departments, FBI etc, never gets too bogged down with procedures, the ins and outs of them and everyone’s job roles. She only tells what you need to know and explains things clearly, so you are not left baffled by either the police or FBI procedures, or the complex nature of laboratory procedures.

Despite this book being a little slow halfway through, you will be racing through the pages towards the end. Overall, this is another decent thriller from Lisa Gardner and worth a read.

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by Lisa Gardner

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