Gone – Lisa Gardner

I’m not usually a huge crime-fiction reader, but this book was lent to me, and I’ll generally read anything, and if it hasn’t captured me within the first few pages then I’ll leave it. But Gone didn’t give me a problem, because I was interested in the story from the very beginning. The writing style wasn’t marvellous, but the plot itself was intriguing, and I wanted to know what happened to the characters, and why.

This is the story of Pierce Quincy, an ex-FBI profiler, and his wife, Rainie Conner. They’ve recently separated due to various problems in their marriage, but mainly because Rainie has a drink problem which she won’t admit to. Quincy is at his wits’ end because he doesn’t know what to do to help his distant wife so he leaves, hoping to shock her into realising she has a problem. However, Quincy soon regrets his decision when he gets a call a few days later to tell him that his wife’s car has been found by the side of a road and neither she or her beloved gun are anyway to be seen. Questions are whizzing round: was she drunk and had an accident, has she committed suicide, has Quincy hurt her and is putting on a good show, or is somebody else involved?

This is Quincy’s worst nightmare. His wife has had a troubled past which is what has driven her to drinking of late, and he doesn’t know if he has now lost her for good. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Rainie has not taken off of her own accord – she has been kidnapped. The abductor seems to have done his research on past kidnappings, as he adopts the alias of a criminal that was active eighty years ago. Trouble is, this kidnapper never had any intention of returning his victim alive – he was simply after the money.

As the police launch an investigation, Quincy insists on being involved – he has the expertise, after all. He puts together a profile of the man he thinks has taken his wife, but for once in his life, he curses the knowledge he has. It’s all very well putting together evidence for cases he has no involvement in, whereby failure would simply disappoint him. If he fails this time, it could cost him the love of his life.

I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t a particularly easy read, but it wasn’t gruelling either. The pace skipped along nicely, and sometimes it made me want to read twice as fast because I was desperate to know what happened next. As I mentioned before, the plot was very exciting and Lisa Gardner has clearly done her research into the American policing and legal system because everything made sense, from procedures to red tape. Crime-fiction lovers will eat this up, but for those usually into more light-hearted books, I’d still recommend it.

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