The backstory: Long Gone is Alafair Burke's seventh novel but her first stand-alone novel.
The basics: In New York City, after a chance meeting at an art gallery, Alice Humphrey has just landed the perfect job of running a new art gallery. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, teenager Becca Stevenson has started keeping some secrets from her mother. Lastly, FBI agent Hank Beckman can't stop following the man he holds responsible for his sister's death, even though it may cost him his job.
My thoughts: As you can see from my summary, this novel opens with three different narratives. Although it's clear the storylines will intersect sooner or later, I still found myself jotting down a character map as I read. In this novel, Alafair Burke left enough clues about little things to alert the readers to connections before these connections were made more formally. Remembering the details (or referring to the details on my character map) of characters led to some thrilling moments as I read. While a character map isn't a necessity, I had so much fun keeping up with it as I read. I didn't actually need to use it that long, but once I'd started, it was so much fun to draw arrows and lines to signify new connections. I wish I could share it with you, but it's filled with spoilers now! Ultimately, it made me more impressed with all that Burke accomplishes in this novel. It's a grand thriller
The verdict: Long Gone is a smart, fast-paced, contemporary thriller. I raced through it's action quickly, but I stopped to marvel at how large of a story Burke had created. It's a first rate thriller sure to delight casual readers and seasoned mystery readers alike. I'll be digging into Burke's two series in the coming months too.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Publication date: June 21, 2011 (it's out in paperback now)
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Long Gone from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.) Want more opinions? Check out the full tour schedule. Want to know more about Alafair Burke? Visit her website, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.
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