Jack Caffery Series #5
2012 Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Rating: 5/5 (Outstanding!)
A car has been stolen. A car with an eleven-year-old girl in the backseat. When the call comes in, Detective Jack Caffery is sure it’s a routine carjacking, and the girl will turn up once the thief realizes his mistake. But as the minutes tick down, Caffery is faced with the sickening truth: the girl was the target. And then the carjacker strikes again.
Meanwhile, police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, half-submerged tunnel could put her in grave danger. The carjacker is always a step ahead of the Major Crime Investigation Unit, and as the chances for his victims grow slimmer, Jack and Flea race to fit the pieces together in time. Chilling and captivating, Gone is Mo Hayder at her terrifying best.
I was not familiar with Mo Hayder until one of my regular customers at work loaned me her copy of Gone, urging me to read it as soon as possible. I packed it for my trip to Hawaii, but never got around to reading it. I wound up loaning it to my mom (also an avid reader and lover of mysteries) while we were there and she read it in a day and a half!
Now that I’ve finished the book, I understand why my friend was so insistent that I not wait to read it (and how my mom was able to read it in less than two days). It’s brilliant and quite possibly the most compulsive thriller I’ve read since Tana French’s The Likeness and Faithful Place. I would have finished much more quickly than the three (!!) weeks it took, but I wanted to savor each and every chapter, not wanting to rush as the end drew near, and not wanting to miss critical details as they were were revealed.
Like Tana French, Hayder is a superb storyteller. Her characters and setting are well-drawn and her plotting is tight, with a conclusion that is not at all convoluted. This is literally an unputdownable read. One night, plagued with insomnia, I curled back up with the book and read from 1 to 3 a.m. This fast-paced thriller had me on the edge of my seat, my pulse racing, knowing I should try to go back to sleep, yet unable to stop reading. The tension in one of the scenes reminded me of Silence of the Lambs and had this been a movie, I would’ve had my eyes half-covered. I even got a little spooked as I climbed the stairs to our dark bedroom! In spite of a couple of clues, which I did pick up on, she kept me guessing and threw in a couple of surprises unrelated to the perfect denouement.
Final Thoughts: I have a new favorite author. Thankfully, she has a decent backlist and for once I don’t care if I’ve read a series out of order. I’m hooked and ready for another!
“One of those books that dares you to put it down once you’ve started reading and then challenges you to forget it once you have finished…. The only way you can read Gone without having every nerve in your body jumping and screaming is if you are not paying attention…. Hayder is a storyteller par excellence… [who] continues to drop charges into the water until practically the last paragraph. If you have read her previous works, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re new to her craftsmanship, read Gone and be enthralled. Strongly recommended.” (Bookreporter.com)