Tuesday, May 29, 2012

book review: Long Gone by Alafair Burke

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
Length: 357
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.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

12 comments:

  1. Read Long Gone last week and loved it! This was my first Burke novel, but I'll definitely be seeking out her other works. The way she weaves such a complicated thriller but still manages to keep the prose and dialogue easy to read is quite impressive. Glad you enjoyed it too!

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    1. Wasn't it wonderful? I'll definitely be reading her other novels now too. I'm going to go back to the beginning and hope to squeeze in the first one next week!

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  2. I love books that successfully interweave multiple story lines into one narrative, and think that I would enjoy this one a lot. It sounds like it would be an excellent novel that makes me think, and when I am ready for something a little more suspenseful, I think I will grab it up. Nice job with the review today. I love that you didn't give too many spoilers!

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    1. Zibilee--it was easier to say very little than to start talking about this story. The end was so wonderfully complicated (but not convoluted!), it was hard to remember how little we knew at the beginning. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did when you pick it up!

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  3. Ahhh this sounds really good!! Your character map sounds like fun. =)

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    1. Jenny, I had so much fun with the character map I'm thinking of doing them more often. I almost always made them in English classes in high school and college!

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  4. Oh so great to see you liked it. I have the eGalley as well, and have enjoyed this author in the past.

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    1. Diane, I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed this author in the past. I had been meaning to read her for years and now will make time for all of her books this year!

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  5. I love it when an author sprinkles clues throughout the story - it makes the reading so much more interactive for me.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

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    1. Heather--I love it too. I hate when it's obvious or so obscure the reader could not possibly guess!

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  6. I really enjoyed this one when I read it as well! I have another of this author's books sitting on my shelves and I'm really looking forward to reading it! Great review!

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    1. Samantha, I'm looking forward to reading more of her books soon too!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!