Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

He's Gone

Rate this book
“What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”

The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.

As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

323 pages, Paperback

First published May 14, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Deb Caletti

30 books2,266 followers
Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over twenty books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. Her books have also won the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, the Washington State Book Award, and numerous other state awards and honors, and she was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. She lives with her family in Seattle.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
918 (12%)
4 stars
2,330 (31%)
3 stars
2,779 (37%)
2 stars
1,149 (15%)
1 star
316 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,052 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie W..
724 reviews485 followers
July 31, 2021
What are your deepest, darkest thoughts about the people in your life that you know and care about?

When Dani's husband, Ian, simply vanishes one morning, we are treated to her internal musings about her relationship with him (and others as well). Sometimes I sympathized with her emotional roller coaster ride (I could even finish some of her sentences!); however, at other times, I couldn't connect with her reasoning.

Deb Caletti writes a slow-burn suspense, leaving tidbits of clues for me to nibble. As usual, my suspicions were incorrect!

I also enjoyed:
- that narrator Cassandra Campbell does a fine job once again!;
- Dani's mother's sassy attitude;
- that I could understand and appreciate Ian's ex-wife, Mary's, thought processes;
- the analogy thread to the metamorphosis of a butterfly; and,
- Dani's analysis of the real Brady Bunch (LOL bit)!

Overall, I liked the story, but it dragged sometimes. I will warn you that this book contains a large focus on adultery. Usually that irks me, but for some reason it didn't in this story. Go figure!
Profile Image for Melissa (Catch Up Mode).
4,565 reviews1,866 followers
June 23, 2020
Way too much telling, not enough dialogue and action.

Caletti’s novel has an interesting premise, but suffers from far too much introspective telling and not enough dialogue and action. When the ultimate solution is finally revealed, the reader almost doesn’t care, because the main characters are so unlikable and difficult to root for.

Dani Keller wakes up after a night out at a party with her husband’s work colleagues. She had a bit too much to drink and doesn’t actually remember coming home. Her husband, Ian, is not there, but Dani assumes he’s gone to get breakfast and patiently waits. As the day progresses, she begins to worry and starts to pick apart their relationship in her head to determine whether he might have left her for another woman, just as he left his previous wife for her. What happened to Ian?
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,139 reviews1,878 followers
April 1, 2021
No author has ever expressed better for me, the things a woman thinks and feels during each stage of a relationship. When Dani's husband disappears, she explores their relationship from its start to the present day, until you find out where he has gone. Insightful..💕
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
November 26, 2019
I thought the premise of this book sounded pretty dam good.

It’s excellent writing but not much dialogue until about 3/4 into the book, so it was a bit tedious to read as it’s based on reflections of the past.

It’s worth a read. I’m just saying don’t sit eagerly for that “big” reveal.
It’s ok just not overwhelmingly fantastic to make you gasp.
Profile Image for Mary Lins.
845 reviews117 followers
May 13, 2013
I found this novel to be compulsively readable. Dani wakes up after a fuzzy night with a hangover and a missing husband. I just HAD to know what happened to him! As Dani, the first-person narrator, begins to describe her marriage(s) and how she got where she is, the reader is treated to a mature, thoughtful and insightful treatise on modern-marriage.

Readers who are turned off by novels involving adultery should skip this one, but readers who enjoy delving into the complexities of the human heart will love it. Ultimately i felt that the moral of the story is that no one can "rescue" you from your life; only you can do that for yourself.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,337 reviews696 followers
August 15, 2013
4.5 stars: What would you do if you woke up and your husband had vanished? What a great story idea. What makes this novel expand from great to exceptional is Caletti’s use of Dani Keller’s, (the wife of the missing husband, Ian) authentic internal monologue. Dani’s voice is raw and human. Her narration becomes a meditation of her marriage, of her relationships, of her life, of her self-imposed guilt. Is she a reliable narrator? Are any of us a reliable narrator of our lives? After Ian has been missing for a day, Dani wonders why he would leave. What could possibly lead to Ian just vanishing? This prompts Dani to meticulously examining her marriage to Ian, and to the events leading up to the morning of his disappearance. She finds fault with herself, with her imperfection in her marriage. She examines her parents marriage; Ian’s parents marriage. As I read, I thought of my marriage, of friend’s marriages, of how every marriage is a mystery. I also thought of friends divorces and the aftermath of divorce. While this is a wonderful rumination of marriage(and divorce), it’s also a great suspense novel: what happened to Ian? Caletti furnishes alternative solutions to where Ian could be, beyond the obvious, resulting in a true page turner. A thought provoking suspense novel: genius.
Profile Image for Deanna.
115 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2013
I am clearly in the minority in my opinion of this book. I will leave the synopsis to other reviewers and focus on why the editor of this book should take a vacation and come back ready to do some serious editing.
First, in fiction, I have never enjoyed the author just telling me a characteristic of a character. Show me the character interacting, give me some revealing dialogue, or share a memory. This author phoned it in by simply stating conclusions.
Second, far too much of the book was spent on the early relationship, and not in a way that laid the foundation for the question central to the story's resolution.
Third, couldn't we have just one minimally likable character? Please?
Last, the resolution was abrupt, mainly because there was no genuine development of tension in the first 92 percent of the book.
While the author has potential, she definitely needs a much stronger editor.
Profile Image for Carol.
829 reviews482 followers
July 24, 2013
What a wonderful career I have (librarian, soon to be retired). It allows me choose so many wonderful books often based on reviews with consideration of our readers tastes. Sometimes I call a patron immediately and suggest a new book, other times I wait to see if they will find the book on their own.

In the case of "he's Gone" I had some readers in mind. The book began its circulation process and within two reads, a woman stopped at the desk to tell me it was "awesome". What better recommendation than that! Not only did she think this but her husband liked it too. Yes, this was one reader I had in mind. Reader serendipity. Hope you don't mind my chatter. Given all this I just had to read "he's Gone" myself.

"I used to imagine it sometimes, what would happen if one day I just didn't come home." Immediately I'm hooked. I've felt that way at times, perhaps you have too. "I'd just like to runaway and never come back" or maybe stay away a few days and sneak back home feeling refreshed and revitalized. But what if the tables were turned and it was a loved one, more importantly, my husband who just disappeared into thin air. I wake up and "he's Gone". How would I feel, what would I think?

I've always been fascinated with books that explore marriage. This one is that, but more so a confession of a marriage. It is expertly written and thought provoking. Like many, a good book for discussion. Don't expect a fast paced thriller. This is a slow examination of thought and feeling. Without giving anything more away, I was certain of the ending, clues were given, but other choices were possible.

3.5 for writing, 3 for plotting...a solid 3 read.
Profile Image for Alice Bola.
136 reviews6 followers
May 28, 2013
Very rarely do I begin to write a book review when I am no further than halfway through. He’s Gone is the kind of novel that makes its reader pause and think. This novel is emotional and truthful, brave in ways I have a hard time comprehending. And Dani is athe epitome of that bravery.

I love when authors write from that place inside that is so honest and vulnerable; it almost hurts to read it because of the raw truth behind it. It’s that place that makes you see your own weakness, the one you always hide because you are afraid of how others will see you. I’m inclined to think that those writes do not have any fear in revealing these truths however I know that’s not true. The truth is that they are incredibly brave to reveal these things in spite of their fears. No one wants to admit how weak they are or that they made mistakes and wrong decisions.

Now that I have finished He’s Gone, I understand Dani, our protagonist. Her story is one of amazing revelation and honesty. I enjoyed every single second I was poking around in her head, dealing with her emotions and trying to grasp something that was always out of reach.

He’s Gone is the story of the aftermath when Ian, Dani’s second husband, disappears. She is left with little memory of that night and millions of questions. Told in both the present and in reflection as to what brought her here. This novel is simply spectacular and a must read. So do yourself a favor and run to the nearest bookstore and pick this on up. Be prepared to feel. Ms. Caletti is a gifted writer and a natural storyteller. You can't but experience the anticipation and grief right along with Dani. So, just go. Seriously. It's that good.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews270 followers
August 21, 2019
“When you go looking for rescue, you end up trapped in your own weakness.”
― Deb Caletti, He's Gone

Can you imagine if you will, you are married and so happy. You go to sleep one night with your spouse by your side. Then you wake up. Your spouse is not there. OK, Maybe he or she is out taking a walk, went to met a friend, went to the grocery store. So you wait. But your spouse never comes home..

That is the premise in "He's gone" an excellent piece of Women's fiction that surprised me with how utterly good it was. Dani, is the wife who wakes up to a missing spouse and as the police investigate, she wages a furious internal battle with herself about what really happened to him.

I should say there is much internal dialogue in this book. It did not bother me at all. In fact, I felt it added greatly to the plot. I do not always like that aspect of story telling but it works great here and I read to the end. And was very impressed by the book overall.

A strong four stars and a great book for Fiction lovers and for book clubs.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews747 followers
May 27, 2013
3.5 stars

He’s Gone is the hauntingly beautiful tale of a wife at loss after her husband goes missing. Dani and her husband Ian came back from a party one night and then her husband isn’t seen again. The worst part is that Dani can’t even remember when she saw him last. She was sure he came into the house with her, but she had taken some Vicodin pills with a couple of wine glasses, so her memory is a little bit blurry. Then when days stretch into a week, with no clues fingers start pointing towards Dani, she has no evidence to back her up and the way she’s erratically behaving, it seems as though she’s more involved than she’s letting on.

With He’s Gone I was hooked into finding out the mystery behind Ian’s disappearance, the little clues that we got, several people could have potentially been involved; Ian’s ex wife Mary, Ian’s kids, Ian’s maybe mistress on the side or even Dani’s ex husband Mark. Dani and Ian didn’t get together in the best way, they were both married at the time and had a brief affair, and once Dani had left Mark, Ian was still indecisive about what he wanted, constantly flickering back and forth between Mary and Dani. And with kids involved on both sides, it made Dani’s and Ian’s relationship, even more strenuous. So the mystery surrounding Ian’s disappearance was one heck of a complicated one.

The difficult thing for me with He’s Gone was that that there was an incredible amount of detail to Dani and Ian’s back story. I enjoyed learning about how Ian and Dani first got together and I know the back story was crucial to the case and what sort of people Dani and Ian had become today, but sometimes the richness of detail could be a little overwhelming. I’m not sure if this is Caletti’s style of writing, as this is the first book I have picked up by her, but some of the detail I could have done without. This is my only criticism for He’s Gone, because otherwise He’s Gone was a pretty decent read. Caletti does an amazing job of getting you right into Dani’s mind; it’s not the best place to be in at times; she’s full of self doubt and guilt. But being able to get into the murky depths of her memories was at the same time a scary yet fascinating feeling. Dani had been through so much, and at the beginning I was totally on her side, but then Caletti starts giving you niggling feelings, Dani’s self doubt over Ian’s disappearance tends to grow increasingly, that at parts I suspected that she had lost it and killed Ian. I liked how Caletti thoroughly messed with my head.

He’s Gone at times was a heavy read, it dealt with issues of abuse, loss and complicated relationships. But it was also a story which looked in detail at the clues and assumptions we pick up and make of people along the way. It’s a story which puts a lot of things into perspective and makes you want to stop and think a lot of things through.
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
May 7, 2016
Initial reaction: I thought it was actually quite a nice mystery and compelling read. I didn't really put this book down as I followed Dani's struggles to remember what happened the night her husband disappeared. It's a decent character study of a woman who has a lot of complicated relationships and explores the issues behind them as well as the overarching mystery. I think the comparisons to "Gone Girl" actually do it a disservice because it's a very different novel than that. I liked it quite a bit.

Full review:

Quick review for a somewhat quick read. Deb Caletti's "He's Gone" is a tale of an unreliable narrator, a mystery, and a complex character study all in one swoop. I personally would not have compared this to Flynn's "Gone Girl", but there are very (keyword: very) minor similarities. Dani is a woman carrying many different weights in her life, and it's just one more weight when her husband doesn't come home after a night in which they were both drunk and presumably had an argument. Her memory is scant, and her fear grows as progressive pieces of the night and of previous weeks fall into places. Dani toys with the idea of never coming home or imagining something happening to her given the situations in her life, but she never thinks it would be her husband who would take to the task first. It's really a novel that shows a series of deteriorating relationships and self-doubt/blame on Dani's part, but at the same time, the intimacy of Dani's perspective and emotions keep it very vivid. I found myself intrigued as to both the overarching mystery of what happened to her husband and also following her backstory.

Don't get me wrong, Dani's life is by all measures complicated and complex. She's "the other woman" in her husband's relationships (yes, cheating is a central focus in this book) and it's intricately tied to not just former relationships in her life but also her present. It ties up a little neater than I was expecting given the weight of the build-up the story has from the beginning, and there are some moments that feel a little more weighted for pacing - but the story itself still gripped me because of how well it captures Dani's actions and reactions in the moment. Caletti has a gift for that kind of focus that's present in her YA works, and it certainly works here in the first adult work I've read from her. I'm definitely interested in reading more from her in the future.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from Edelweiss from the publisher, but also purchased an audio copy from Audible.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
Author 10 books46 followers
May 14, 2013
He's Gone breaks all the "good writing" rules and gets away with it.

It's written in first person. We are told to limit the number of times we use the word I, which is used 21 times on the first full page of print and continues to proliferate throughout. It's used 20 times on the last page. That alone would warrant a failing grade in any writing class. Caletti also slips into second person, occasionally addressing the reader as "you".

The title and cover art makes it look like a mystery, but it was clear to me where the husband had gone by the end of the first chapter. By the end of the second I was sure. I waited for some kind of twist or surprise and was disappointed to see it all play out just as expected. A flat and anticlimactic ending.

Novels are expected to have an underlying theme and often have a subtle metaphor that repeats to reinforce the theme. Caletti's theme is transformation and is illustrated by the metamorphosis of butterflies. She beats us over the head with this in nearly every chapter. Nothing subtle about it.

Perhaps the most pervasive writing rule is "show, don't tell." We struggle to show scenes through dialogue and action. He's Gone is densely printed, full of Dani's thoughts, dreams, and memories.

HOWEVER, despite breaking all these rules, the novel works. Although I was impatient with some of the long soul-searching passages, I kept reading because the characters in Dani's life were real and touching and I cared about what happened to them.

Profile Image for Donna.
765 reviews
June 7, 2013
I know this book got rave reviews, but to me this book was not that great. The majority of the book is nothing but reflections. The premise of the story, a man goes missing, sounds great and wants you to think it's this big mystery. However, the mystery is small compared to the fact that the story is basically the retelling of how the man and woman met. You are suppose to maybe believe that this man left his wife. Nothing is missing, and divorce or leaving is not an option. The backstory is that both the man and woman were married to other people when they met each other. They had an affair, and eventually both get a divorce and marry each other. Of course life isn't what it seems for either of them. But there is love. Then he disappears. Did he leave on his own, was he taken, did his wife hurt him? Yes it's a mystery, but not a big enough one to intrigue me. Maybe because over 3/4 of the story is reflections. Not much dialogue until the cops get involved. Overall I was disappointed.
Profile Image for Sarah Marie.
1,830 reviews227 followers
January 5, 2018
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.*

He's Gone by Deb Caletti

3.5 stars

Dani Keller wakes up with a slight hangover to the sound of her and husband’s boat, The New View, banging against the dock. She thinks nothing of it and goes about her day on her Seattle houseboat. This Sunday morning isn’t like the rest though. Her husband Ian isn’t home. As the hours pass, Dani tries to go on about the day without worrying, but she starts to panic. Ian doesn’t return and irritation at him not being there turns into worry then panic. Dani realizes that Ian’s gone. He might never come back. The police try to figure out where Ian could’ve gone. Dani refuses to believe that Ian is dead and is sure he left her. Dani recounts her relationship of where their adulterous relationship began to the difficulties of the word soulmate and what it means for them, she examines all of the sins and choices she’s made and the one that she can’t seem to remember. I have read some of Caletti’s YA works and have a soft spot for them (my little sister who has discovered her love for contemporary can’t say the same). Caletti has a way of capturing my attention in her books and I was entranced with Dani’s recount of her sordid affair and just overall life story. This being Caletti’s first delve into adult romance I really enjoyed it. I’m a teenager that loves adult romances and I think I have developed a taste for what I like in my romances and this isn’t my usual romance, but I really enjoyed it. I haven’t really read Nicholas Sparks (mostly excerpts in my world that counts), but I have seen a lot of the movies based on his books. Each one of those movies has a certain feel to it and He’s Gone is very reminiscent to that feeling.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

The main female character is Dani. I really liked Dani. She was strong and really funny. I appreciate Dani’s humor because without it this book would’ve been extremely depressing. Dani was always able to make the hard times of her life have a bit of humor in them and I admire her for it. I felt bad watching Dani go from a normal housewife to a wife desperate for answers. I immediately picked up on a pattern in Dani’s life about men and I happened to notice it before she admitted or even realized to it. I personally don’t condone cheating and it was probably the one thing that bothered me the most about Dani and her past choices. I don’t condemn her for it and as the story goes on my early revelation becomes something she addresses.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4

The main male character is Ian. Ian isn’t ever present in the present of the novel, but he is always there. I personally didn’t like him very much, but there were moments that made me love him as much as Dani did. There were things about their relationship that were sweet and things that weren’t. I hated seeing their relationship change once they were married. It was so different and it’s like Ian changed altogether. That change is what made me not like him.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 3

The Villain- There is no villain. It’s not that kind of story. Sometimes a book doesn’t need a battle to face with someone, but a battle within.

Villain Scale: Nonexistent

Dani’s mother and daughter played a big part of Dani’s story. Dani’s mom was hilarious and she like Dani has a funny personality, but is much cruder. I liked how her family was there for her and showed their support. There are other characters of course, but I won’t talk about them in the review because I don’t want to reveal everything that happens and each character plays a role in some way. I already feel like I've revealed too much.

Character Scale: 4

This is a very strong emotional journey. It started out as what could’ve been a romance and became a story about realization and evolving like butterfly (See what I did there? You’re probably really confused but if you’ve read the book it makes sense.) I definitely recommend this. I’m not sure for when maybe a rainy day. Since this story is based in Seattle it seems fitting. Give Caletti a shot she’s definitely worth it.

Plotastic Scale: 3.25

Cover Thoughts: The cover is beautiful in person. I love it and I just think that it somehow fits and it explains a lot about Dani’s journey. I’m probably interpreting the cover all wrong and thinking about it too much but I’m sticking to it.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
127 reviews3 followers
June 8, 2013
I was afraid it was going to be too much like Gone Girl, but it's not at all. This is touching and poignant and easy to identify with her feelings. So well articulated.
At about 80% into the book, some of her prose gets a bit redundant but the book is still good. Unfortunately, there is a drop off at the ending. Why does this happen to some writers? Are they done with the story themselves, having thought it and now writing it becomes a chore? While the ending itself wasn't bad, the writing of it, was lacking in emotion and certain detail. My feelings sort of languished in the chapters before and instead of feeling like I wanted more, I just shrugged it off. Which is sort of weird, because the first 90% of the book left me afraid to end the story since I was loving the writing and how Caletti drew me into the lives of her characters. *sigh*
Profile Image for Meg.
12 reviews
July 28, 2013
I was asked to read this for my book club. Sad to say I got so bored with it and guessed (pretty much) the mystery that I started skim reading all the uninteresting background claptrap and when that still bored me, skipped right to the end.
I certainly feel the point of this story got lost in all the nostalgia and reflection. I think the point is that we are conditioned to respond to situations and question ourselves based on what has happened to us in the past. Poor old Ian Keller, did anyone really care what happened to him? There really wasn't a mystery in the book even though she placed a lot of clues but our heroin was too self absorbed to pursues them.
A mishmash of genre tying to be too many things and ending up being nothing.
Couldn't recommend this book :(
Profile Image for Michael.
1,215 reviews114 followers
April 25, 2013
Had it not been for Gone Girl, I think I might have liked Deb Caletti's first "adult" novel He's Gone a great deal more.

Dani Keller wakes up on a typical Sunday morning to find her husband has gone missing. They had a mild argument the night before and Dani had a bit too much to drink at a party for her husband's company. Initially not concerned, she assumes he's out blowing off steam and will come back soon. However, as the hours stretch on and he won't answer his cell phone and she discovers his car and his car keys have been left behind, Dani slowly begins to worry something more is going on than meets the eye.

Comparisons to Gone Girl are probably inevitable and I think that's a bit unfair to both books. But it's going to happen given that the two share a similar starting point for the narrative. He's Gone works well when it's filling in the details of how Dani and her husband met (they were both married to someone else at the time and began an affair) and we are slowly given glimpses of their life together. Where the novel tends to grinds its gears a bit too much are in the present situation as Dani reflects on their current life and marriage and the implications of whether her husband has left her or something more sinister is in play.

It all leads up to an ending that I found rather anti-climatic. I can see what Caletti is trying to achieve, but I'm not necessarily sure He's Gone achieves it. A lot of this comes down to the fact that as a first-person narrator, Dani is a bit too reflective and honest with us. There's a lot of telling us things that have happened or are happening.

In short, He's Gone was good, but not great. I was hoping it would be something more.
Profile Image for Jim Loter.
151 reviews47 followers
August 25, 2013
The central "missing person" mystery of "He's Gone" is very nearly a Macguffin. The novel is really about the stories we tell ourselves and the actions we take to avoid loneliness and difficult truths. Protagonist Dani has finally escaped her abusive marriage to Mark, but only after she finds her "rescuer," Ian, a perfectionist entrepreneur who, we learn, is not without his own issues. As Dani investigates Ian's disappearance, she begins to peel back the layers of denial, numbing, and self-doubt in which she has wrapped herself. Details about the previous evening emerge gradually, and so do details about her relationships with Mark and with Ian. The writing cleverly keeps Dani's reliability as a narrator in question, which works well from both the mystery angle and the self-exploration angle. We eventually realize that though Dani is not entirely reliable, she is not consciously withholding information - she's been withholding information from herself for so long that it has become second-nature. Her revelation is that "When you go looking for rescue, you end up trapped in your own weakness." In pursuing answers about Ian's disappearance, she becomes stronger and less-dependent, and it is only after she takes up the tools in her own hands to fix a nagging problem herself can she learn the truth.
Profile Image for Mary Harju.
32 reviews6 followers
May 15, 2013
This one just wasn't for me. Most of the novel consists of soul-searching flashbacks. Maybe I just didn't have the patience required, because I I finally gave up mid-way through and skipped to the end--the only thing that had me reading on was to find out what happened to the husband. Even the last pages were overly melodramatic and lackluster. Much of the language was cliche and the characters were flat and generic. I checked the author's write-up in the back to discover she had won (or nearly won) awards as a YA author, which seemed to make sense; It was like reading YA but without any substantial kind of plot (at least in the first half, since i couldn't finish it).
Profile Image for Mary.
1,473 reviews
August 9, 2016
He's Gone is a compelling narrative by a woman whose husband has gone missing. It's the story of when they meet until that day she can't find him. It's a smooth, psychological portrayal by, what some might think, an unreliable narrator. It certainly kept me wondering and guessing! I liked He's Gone and will definitely look for more of Deb Caletti's books. (I received a review copy via Library Thing Early Reviewers for my honest opinion).

Note: I also used an Audible credit and alternated listening and reading. Cassandra Campbell's narration was perfect! I highly recommend the audiobook.
Profile Image for Ricki Treleaven.
479 reviews11 followers
August 24, 2013
This week I read he's GONE by Deb Caletti. I admit that I read it because it's a Books a Million book club selection, and Sarah Addison Allen (author of Garden Spells) recommended it. It was a bit of a disappointment. Although well-written, I didn't care for the main character at all, and I'm the type reader that if I can't sympathize with the characters and like them just a little, I won't like the story.

Dani Keller is the other woman, first of all. She was married to a husband who beat her, and what does she do? Whom does she choose to have and affair with, to "save" her? Ian Keller, the control freak from hell. I kid you not, this is the dumbest woman in modern literature. Plus she has a daughter.

What has she taught her daughter?

1. It's okay if a man beats you. Deal with it.
2. When you decide you've had enough, have an affair with a married man with children.
3. But make sure you chose an OCD judgmental control freak who drives everyone crazy, including his business partner.

Basically the story is about Ian's disappearance one Sunday morning after a company cocktail party the night before. Dumbass Dani decides to pop a couple of vicodin before drinking lots of wine at the party, so she fights with Ian on their way home from the party and passes out in bed once they return home to their trendy Seattle houseboat. So of course her behavior makes her suspect #1 in the eyes of the police detective.

The plot follows about two weeks after Ian's disappearance. Told in Dani's point of view, she examines their marriage and realizes that it wasn't what she believed it to be. The reader notices right away that Dani has traded one type of abuse for another one. Okay......I really didn't need to know the intimacies of their totally messed-up marriage. Ian is a freak, and he collected butterflies for heaven's sake. Weird like the main character in The Collector by John Fowles.

Dani's license to date/cohabitate with men should be revoked.

I personally am happy that Ian is gone.
Profile Image for Sebastian.
149 reviews9 followers
June 27, 2013
Reading it felt like a chore.

When I read the description of this book I thought it was right up my alley. But I was sorely mistaken, the first person narration by a character that I did not like from the beginning and that got even less likable as the story progressed was hard to deal with. For weeks I was pretty much stuck, reading only a few pages a day, when I finally reached the midway point and things got a little more interesting.

I did like the premise of a husband disappearing and no one having a clue as to what happened, and when we learn more about the past stories of the characters the story becomes more complex. The main problem is that it takes way too long to get to the good part. The ending was a little flat too, but I wouldn't say it was terrible. I typically enjoy flawed characters a lot, just to give you an idea, Crime and Punishment, is my favorite book, but I could not relate to Dani at all.

Finally, I have to comment on the piggyback ride this author took here. Almost everyone is aware of the success of Gone Girl: A Novel, which was released almost a year before Caletti's book, and to be honest is a better product. Using a very similar title, in which the one disappearing is the husband instead of the wife, and relying on first person narration is one too many coincidences for my taste. I guess in the end it worked out alright, since this book has gotten quite a bit of notoriety and I bet some of that has to do with the connection to Gone Girl, but I don't think is the right way to go about writing. Anyway, I can't really recommend this book, it is not bad, but there are way too many better books out there, and so little time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.
Profile Image for Jenna Jessup.
30 reviews
August 31, 2015
I didn't like this book at all because there was no plot to the story. There was a conflict that came up in the beginning, but then throughout the whole rest of the book it lead to nothing, nothing happened. The only part I enjoyed reading was the very end when I found out what actually happened to Ian, the husband. There was way too much telling of old, irrelevant stories and not enough dialogue and interaction.
Profile Image for Jan.
1,878 reviews79 followers
December 10, 2018
Dani wakens the morning after a company party to find her husband, Ian, gone. When he hadn't returned after a few hours, Dani, who cannot remember the last details from the night before, isn't even sure Ian came to bed at all. Notifications are made, the police are called and no one has seen nor heard from Ian Over the course of the next few days, Dani has ample opportunity to examine how she came to marry Ian after her abusive marriage to Mark and how she traded one set of problems for another. Dani examines every aspect of her marriage, sins of omission and comission, did (could?) he leave her and the not knowing is all encompassing. What do you think happened to her husband?
Profile Image for Valerie.
699 reviews39 followers
December 19, 2018
This is the author's first novel for adults (she mainly writes for young adults) and I thought it was a very good picture of a second marriage gone wrong. In this story, the narrator, Dani Keller, wakes up one Sunday morning on her houseboat home in Seattle to find her husband gone. They had attended a party the previous evening and both of them had imbibed a bit too much wine. Dani is confused as to why Ian is gone and she does not remember the actual part of the evening where they came home. All she can remember is that they had a fight in the park where the party was held and were arguing in the car on the way home. Day after day goes by and Ian is still missing, so Dani calls the police. It is not like Ian to behave this way as he is very picky and rigid about his work schedule and just about everything else in his life. (The two had met at a block party in the suburbs when they were each married to other people. They were convinced they were soul mates, but Ian had broken off their extramarital affair over a year before both of them divorced their current spouses. Then the two of them married). As the author points out, though, instant attractions are not always because the parties have positive things to bring to their relationship. People are who they are regardless of who they are dealing with, and a lot of that has to do with upbringing and programming from and early age. In this instance, Dani had been physically abused in her first marriage, and she was basically a people pleaser. Ian had low self esteem due to his overbearing father, and as a result he had a personality that dealt only in certainty and narrow boundaries. Dani had been thinking of leaving Ian prior to his disappearance, and she fears that her missing memories may have been due to the fact that she had done something terrible. When the police get involved, they seem to be thinking along these lines also. But is Dani capable of harming anyone? The story is very involved with both Dani and Ian's previous marriages and the fallout from their eventual marriage; i.e. Ian's children will not speak to him and want nothing to do with him. Dani's daughter is not at all like Ian's children. She and Ian have a fairly good relationship. Throughout the book, we view the relationship from family members, ex spouses, and co-workers, as well as therapists. I think the point the author is trying to make is that just because two people may think they are "soul mates", they may be reacting to all of the baggage they carry from childhood until their meeting. And that is not always a positive, especially if the two parties are simply reacting to an attraction, rather than thinking about their individual lives to that point.
Profile Image for Susan.
298 reviews59 followers
August 16, 2013
He's Gone is a dark and compelling mystery that explores human emotions at its most vulnerable state. Deb Caletti embarks on the journey into adult fiction, with a new novel that will have you twisted and tied up into knots before it is even over. An addictive read that you won't be able to put down, it will suck you into the masterful world of lies, mistrust, deceit, infidelity, and discovering oneself in the aftermath. She tells one of the most complicated and complex stories, that I've read in the last few months. I was unable to put it down until the last page had been read.

It's one of the better written and more intriguing psychological mysteries that will keep you up all night thinking about it, long after you've read the last page. Caletti doesn't fail to capture the realness in human emotion when writing her characters. Her writing style is simply superb and works well, in this setting that she has created. It lends itself well to creating the backstory and keeping readers interested in the goings on.

The suspense will have you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out what's to come next, as Caletti throws out another twist that will lead you to even darker places not yet explored. To say that this novel is psychologically thrilling, would be an understatement. But, as dark and suspenseful as it is, it's also heartbreaking and devastating too. The emotional factor alone, is enough to choke you.

The characters are incredibly interesting and complex in so many ways. The main character, is likable in some ways, sympathetic in others, and can sometimes be annoying when it comes to the self-hate. Recognition in oneself seems to be one of the stronger elements of this story. Although, it's not just recognition of oneself, it's recognition of many things in various different forms. Truth looks you in the face in so many ways, which is what made watching Dani's slow recognition of it, so fascinating to read about.

Fans of her young adult works, will not want to miss out on this novel by any long shot. I personally feel as if this is a great first adult book for Deb Caletti and I hope that she continues to write for this genre. I know that I will be more than happy to give any novel she writes a chance, since she writes them with such wonderful realism and emotion.
Profile Image for Laurel-Rain.
Author 6 books230 followers
May 30, 2013
On the morning after a party that she barely remembers, Dani Keller awakens to the odd sound of the boat pounding against the dock...and a feeling of something not quite right. Almost immediately, though, we are gifted with a view of Dani's world, living on a houseboat with a gorgeous view of Seattle. I connected to the story right away because of these details. And then I would further connect by the situation that slowly unfolds.

For one thing, her husband Ian is nowhere around, and as the day progresses, irritation turns to fear, and ultimately to panic as more time goes by.

Ian is Dani's second husband, and the two were married to other people when they met. Their infidelities would follow them and haunt them, even as they believed they were soul mates.

In this story that wrapped itself around me and plumbed the depths, excavating all the feelings that resonate for anyone who has ever been in a relationship or had an extramarital affair, I held my breath. Slowly the possibilities of what might have happened to Ian are ticked off, as if from a list, leaving very few answers that anyone wants to live with.

I loved how Dani's introspective journey led us right into the muck of her interior world, reminding me of my own experiences with relationships. How she needed rescue, and thought that was what was happening when she turned to Ian. But then she discovered that we all carry ourselves into each relationship, and somehow turn to new situations that are not that different from the one before. Our situations did not destroy us, but we are "destroyed... by the ways in which we'd inevitably, with time, revealed ourselves."

Even as I began to think I knew what would happen next, or what would be revealed about Ian's disappearance, I was surprised. And then...not so much. "He's Gone: A Novel" was a totally engrossing story that kept me reading long into the night, with its internal explorations, the realistic characters, and the feelings it evoked. Five stars.
Profile Image for Ariel.
585 reviews24 followers
March 12, 2013
Thank you to Random House for providing me with a review copy of this novel.

There seems to be a proliferation of "gone" novels lately. If you compare this one to the most popular one, Gone Girl, it will suffer unfavorably. That was one heck of a psychological thrill ride. Taken on it's own however there is still a lot to like here. The author has her finger on the pulse of what is like to be in a long term marriage and she doles out relationship truths like nuggets of wisdom along the way.

At the heart of the novel is married couple Dani and Ian. After attending a party together Dani awakes the next morning to find Ian missing. And so it begins. How well did Dani really know Ian at all? Theirs wasn't a fairy tale romance but instead was love born out of an adulterous affair. There is a price to be paid for that and at the top of the waiting to collect list is Ian's teenage children by his former wife Mary. Did the affair have something to do with why Ian went missing? Dani is left to confront all sorts of uncomfortable truths as she attempts to find her husband.

This book was more about the state of marriage than a thriller. Ian's disappearance is the framework for looking at what it means when a long term marriage reaches the breaking point. For some people it flames out like when your partner physically assaults you as portrayed by Dani and her husband Mark and sometimes it just dies a long lingering death of growing apart like it did for Ian and Mary. Either way the end of a marriage is hell. Many times Dani and Ian are left pondering if it is all worth it. The resolution of the mystery of Ian's disappearance at the end of the novel was rather abrupt and a little ho hum. His fate however is not what ultimately drives the novel. Anyone who has been married for over ten years will find a lot to relate to in the novel He's Gone.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews589 followers
April 29, 2013
He’s Gone by Deb Caletti is a dark trip through the life and mind of Dani Keller. It is full of secrets, regrets and questions, lots of questions. After a night of partying, Dani wakes up to find her husband, Ian gone, vanished, no note, nothing, just gone. As the mystery of his disappearance grows with each day, Dani has time to think on her life, and how she got to where she is today. Is Karma paying her back for her choices in life? Has Ian left her for another woman? Is he having an affair? After all, isn’t that how they got together? Is he just tired of trying to always be in control of every single situation? Has the conflicts at work with his partner gotten to be too much? Dani is a bit neurotic, a little insecure, always trying to please others, in a desperate search for her husband. When the police fail to find him and begin to look at her as a possible suspect in some type of foul play, she begins to question herself. Even her own searching turns up nothing but more questions, more doubts about their relationship.

Deb Calleti has penned a dark journey into the complexities of both the characters’ minds and their marriage. Speaking through Dani’s voice, she has brought us into the world of each character as seen by Dani with realistic and often painful insight. This story is a raw and unapologetic look at adultery and its consequence to all involved, while including a mystery that dares to be solved!

This ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Publication Date: May 21, 2013

 photo 24ca4058-0d60-4632-8fd8-ea92209c18a8_zps24d17487.jpg
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,052 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.