Mark Stevens's Reviews > Gone

Gone by Mo Hayder
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's review
May 07, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 07 to 30, 2012

One line of Gone sums it up: “Everything about this case had the dank, fetid smell of defeat about it.” The case does get fetid, almost quite literally. A simple case of a missing girl gets big and messy. Mo Hayder’s writing that is appealing, organic and down to earth. She is telling a story. Gone is 99 percent story, 1 percent flash.

I didn’t have the back story of Detective Jack Caffrey and diver Sergeant Flea Marley, but Hayder lets us in on their secrets (and there is one especially dark one in there). The one character who could probably use a bit more set-up is the so-called “Walking Man,” who serves as a source of insight and inspiration for Caffrey, but you quickly catch on. (Check Mo Hayder’s web site for back story about “Walking Man.” That will help.)

Caffrey operates from a familiar frame of mind for a detective: “Every person in the world had habits.....from the obsessive compulsive who had to count every pea he ate, every light switch he touched, down to the drifter who seemed to have no aim and no direction and yet could always find a good place to make camp and sleep. Everyone moved in patterns to some degree or another. Those patterns might be all but invisible, even to the persons themselves, but they were there, nonetheless.”

In Gone, the search is for a “jacker” who kidnaps young girls and toys with his pursuers, jerking them around. Then, Flea Marley goes missing and the pressure mounts on Caffrey and the whole team.
We know where Hayder is and what she’s up to, however, and her situation is tenuous as she finds herself trapped deep in the bowels the Sapperton Canal Tunnel. I’d also recommend looking up the Sapperton history so you can picture the access shafts and get your mind around the length and size of this piece of centuries-old engineering.

I wonder if Hayder wasn’t inspired by the sheer scale and darkness of Sapperton. If so, she succeeded.
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Paula Mark,
I decided to read this book on my new Kindle after I saw you had decided to read it. Your review hits the nail on the head. It kept me entertained, and interested as we learned about the characters and English area history. Thanks

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