marymurtz's Reviews > Long Gone

Long Gone by Alafair Burke
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May 12, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 07 to 08, 2011

Long gone is a tightly wound, superbly drawn out and thrillingly tense mystery surrounding Alice Humphrey, the daughter of an aging Hollywood actress and famous Oscar-winning director. Alice, determined to get along in the world without relying on her rich and famous parents, soon finds herself unemployed and at loose ends in New York, her degree in Art History clearly inadequate to pay bills.

So when a handsome stranger strikes up a conversation with her in a gallery and offers her a job, she can scarcely believe her good fortune. Her friend Lily warns her that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Alice, however, plunges forward, given free reign as the manager of an edgy new gallery in the meatpacking district in Manhattan.

Her freedom in the gallery comes with only a few strings: she has to establish a major showing of the mediocre, pretentious and borderline lewd photography put forth by the lover of the gallery's shadowy investor. And she cannot have contact with her boss's boss, the investor whose money has made the gallery possible.

Within weeks, everything falls apart: the photography show is a terrible scandal because some of the subjects appear to be children. Protesters begin demonstrating in front of the gallery. Alice tries to handle the negative publicity, and when her boss, Drew, calls to arrange to meet her there she is relieved to finally have some support when they get together. But when she arrives at the gallery, it is empty - dark and completely stripped of all furnishings, artwork, computers...there is nothing there. Nothing except Drew's body, shot dead. And then Alice becomes a suspect and at every turn, the police's case against her appears more and more airtight.

"Long Gone" is a stressful and wonderfully crafted labyrinth of mistaken identity, family secrets, investigation and intrigue. When I initially read the book's summary, I rolled my eyes. I'm glad I gave this book a chance, because it was a terrific read!

Pre-release galley courtesy of the publisher: this book will be released June 21, 2011.
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