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After 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 thorougly 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.
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 this book 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 this book. 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.
Gone - Lisa Gardner
Description: Author: Lisa Gardner / Genre: Crime / Thriller
You can currently buy this book from Amazon for £4.19 with free UK delivery.
Gone is one of a series of books by Lisa Gardener which feature ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy. Quincy is called to an abandoned car belonging to his estranged wife Rainie Conner (also an ex cop). The can hasn't been in an accident, the engine is still running yet there is no sign of Rainie.
It emerges that Rainie is a relapsed alcoholic who has been taking medication to help her stay off the booze. Unfortunately, ceasing this medication causes quite severe side effects, and so the race is on to find her before these take effect.
Quincy soon begins to receive ransom letters but all is not as it appears, and the plot quickly thickens with an even more sinister turn. Quincy enlists the help of his FBI agent daughter Kimberly and her partner Mac and together, they try to work out what is going on and how to get Rainie back safely.
I won't say any more about the plot so that I don't spoil it for those who haven't read it, but take my word for it, it is exciting and fast paced right up to the end.
I really liked the rest of his series and this book was no exception. The book is gritty and draws you in so that you find it difficult to put down. The writing is never predictable and the storylines believable and intriguing.
Lisa Gardener is one of the best in her field and this book certainly doesn't let her down. If you are a fan of crime thrillers then you are sure to enjoy this book, which keeps you hooked from start to finish.
I definitely recommend this book, it is a fab read and one that you will be glad that you took the time to read. I am already looking forward to reading the next one and hoping that someone has included it in my Christmas stocking!
Approximately 3 years ago, my sister introduced me to Lisa Gardner by accident. She picked up her book "The Killing Hour" in our local £ shop. I couldn't get into it immediately, and it took me 3 or 4 attempts to read it. By the time I'd put it down, having soaked in every word, I was determined to read more of her material. Going back to the beginning, I read the rest of her published works in the space of 4 weeks.
I am not really that enamoured by authors who have a continuing thread of characters running through their books for exactly the same reason as I've stopped watching long running drama on tv. It takes too much investment, as opposed to a one off book where you finish it and the characters are done. But with Rainie and Pierce Quincy, I've found myself drawn into their world. Therefore I was thrilled when I saw that after The Killing Hour, this book would incorporate Gardner's most popular characters once again.
The book re-establishes the main characters, as we find that their marriage has hit the rocks after Rainie hits the bottle. Recognising that she's on the road to destruction, Quincy has no alternative but to leave her, hoping it'll shake her into sobriety. One wild wintery night though, Rainie is kidnapped from the side of the road by a man who initially presents his agenda as a financial one. Each of his ransom notes come with the name of famous kidnappers from the past, leaving the local police force bewildered. However, the police force bungle the rescue by trying to outmanouvre the kidnapper, much to Quincy's fury.
Quincy calls once again on daughter Kimberley and her partner Mac to head up a seperate investigation, and soon link the kidnapping to another crime that Rainie was once involved in trying to solve. As Rainie and a young boy are held captive, the race is on to rescue them both before the kidnapper's increasingly bewildering agenda changes once again.
Its great to see the Quincy's brought together once again, giving you a feeling of familiarity that lends a sense of catching up with daring friends. Kimberley is as gutsy as ever, whilst Quincy remains determined to save his wife in more ways than one. Rainie has less to do in this tale, but leaves you no less routing for her. Part of the authenticity Gardner brings to the characters is built on back story, and whilst there is little room for development in them this time round, it really is like a reunion of sorts. Gardner also brings to the fold a couple of new characters with Kincaid being the most notable of them.
The biggest plus to Lisa Gardner's books is her acknowledgement of past books, once again drawing the reader into that familiarity that bringing past characters back achieves. You cant have these characters, and not at least acknowledge what makes them the people that they are. Her characterization is brilliant, and you just know that every character is behaving exactly as a real person would in those circumstances.
Lisa is an adept writer, weaving brilliant stories around characters that you care about, and as the book draws to its twisted finale, you cant help but want more. Rainie, Kimberley and Pierce have now encountered the dark side of humanity across five books, but there's plenty of life left in them yet. Lisa Gardner has now introduced us to another new character Bobby Dodge in another new thread that she is running, and I'm just hoping that Dodge gets to meet up with Pierce Quincy one of these days for an adventure that will tie her characters together. Who knows, but one can hope.