April 22, 2012


Jack Caffery Series #5
2012 Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Finished 4/14/12
Rating: 5/5 (Outstanding!)

Publisher’s Blurb:

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)


  1. Now I'm wondering why I've never heard of Mo Hayder - this sounds excellent.

  2. Anonymous12:46 PM

    I've heard good things about Mo Hayder's books for quite a while. She's been on my list to try, but you know how that goes. Good to know that this one spoke to you so clearly. I have her standalone book, HANGING HILL on my shelf and I think I have others on my Kindle. I might even have this one on my shelf. Anyway, I'm going to take your word for it and check this author out. Lovely to see you with a 5/5, Les. LOL

  3. I have the first two of this series, though I haven't read them yet, because I hear they are a bit violent, and I have to be in the mood for that. That said, I've been hearing wonderful things about Gone. Like Kay, I have to get to this book/series soon! Lovely review, and isn't it good to find a book you can't put down?

  4. You've made me want this one like right now! And I hardly ever read out of order but I'm going to by golly!!

  5. Les,
    Is your Mom named Andi? She left me a nice comment on my blog and then I looked at HER blog,but it looks like she has not written anything there for years.
    Perhaps that is why she can read in a book in two days if she doesn't write anything on her blog! This is fun but it takes some time, doesn't it?
    Sending best wishes to you both!

  6. Yay! A 5/5 is delightful to see! So glad you loved it! I have read Birdman (#1) in 2007 and rated it a 4.25/5, but haven't gotten to another one (on my short list though) yet. I have all of her books (in one form or another) except for two, this being one of the two.

    I have been practicing the "it doesn't matter if I read a series out of order" philosophy for quite some time now, and it has worked for me. I don't purposefully set out to do that, but I don't fret if it does. I have enjoyed numerous books and have found new authors by just jumping in. If a book grabs my attention, I'm going for it! So glad this one worked out for you. :)

  7. I will keep this on my mental reminder list because I can stand a good thriller, now and then. Not now, though. Right this moment, I need sweetness and light so I'm reading The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones. It's a bit of a relief. Glad you found a terrific new author! So funny that your mom read it in less than two days and you kept putting it off. :)

  8. Kathy - I'd never heard of her until one of my customers mentioned the book to me. I'm so glad she did!

    Kay - Yes! Definitely check out this author. I think you'll be happy you do. I have Birdman (the first in the series) ready to pick up at my library tomorrow. Can't wait!!

    Susan - I'm anxious to read the first in the series (see my note to Kay). I didn't think Gone was terribly violent, so it'll be interesting to see what Birdman is like.

    Staci - Do it! You won't be sorry, I promise. :)

    Kay G. - Yep, that's my mom! She doesn't blog much anymore, but she is on Goodreads.

    Joy - Yes, a 5/5 is delightful, isn't it?! I really did love this book. Hubby thought it was good, but not great. I have Birdman ready to pick up at my library and can't wait to dive in.

    Nancy - It's fun finding a new author, especially with a manageable backlist. I think you might enjoy this book when you are ready for a thriller. Nice plotting and unpredictable outcomes. It definitely surprised me on several occasions. If I had read it in Hawaii (as my mom did), I probably would've polished it off in 24 hours. I should've started it on one of those long flights! Note to self: Save a Hayder book for flight to Nashville in June.


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