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Gone Again

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  4,329 ratings  ·  249 reviews
'It's just to say that no-one has come to pick Nathan up from school, and we were wondering if there was a problem of some kind?' As Mark Douglas photographs a pod of whales stranded in the waters off Edinburgh's Portobello Beach, he is called by his son's school: his wife, Lauren, hasn't turned up to collect their son. Calm at first, Mark collects Nathan and takes him hom ...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Faber & Faber Crime
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,329 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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Donna Irwin
I am not having a good run with books this year so far! This started off well, loved the relationship between father and son, but it deteriorated into implausibility and silliness.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Starts well, particularly the relationship between the child & his father, but gradually descends into almost farce.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book confused me no end. The blurb on the back implies it's a thriller, but having seen Doug Johnstone in person recently, he himself described it as a study of the relationship between a father and his young son when the mother goes missing.

If it's the latter, it's quite effective, but I didn't find the thriller bit all that convincing. The central characters, including Ruth the mother-in-law, are good, but I wasn't sure about the way the police conducted things around the book's main inci
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started off incredibly well--a sure recipe for a wonderful crime drama of sorts, but what seemed so promising fell flat 2/3 of the way in. The author lost his way, as did I. I give 3 stars for keeping me engaged enough to finish, but it was a chore when the story became too incredible.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
When it comes to high-octane psychological thrillers, Scottish writer Doug Johnstone knows how to deliver. I've read two of his novels — Smoke Heads (2011) and Hit & Run (2012) — and thoroughly enjoyed both. His latest novel, Gone Again, is another fine example of his raw, edgy and fast-paced narrative style.

The story, which is set in Edinburgh, revolves around a newspaper photographer, Mark Douglas, whose wife, Lauren, goes missing. Lauren was supposed to pick up their six-year-old son, Nat
I've given this three stars because although I enjoyed it, there were aspects of it that didn't sit right. The book starts off with Mark getting a phone call from his son's school because his wife hasn't picked Nathan up from school. As you learn more about Mark and Lauren's past you discover things that throw you a curve ball, and makes you think about and reassess what you thought you'd figured out. There were things that happened (can't say what as it would spoil it) that were in my opinion a ...more
Dale Levy
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good tight story

The story is layered and you are one moment with the hero and one against him. And the main armature of the whole story is about telling the you can see it one way and someone else sees it! Actually the story is a shiny piece of seaglass yours to cherish. Oh and another thing about the story is that you worry all the time you are reading it....I meAn mother's worry about their kids, kids eating properly how much does something cost to cl
Katharine Harding
This was fast paced and kept my interest although I often thought "Mark - what are you doing?!"

At the end, some questions were left unanswered, and I liked this aspect but it might not be for everyone.

There were a few twists in the plot and some of these seemed pretty unrealistic to me, which has lowered the final score I gave it.

As a study of a man's relationship with his son, it was touching and I think that was my favourite part about it.
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
the first half was great tension, waiting what could be the deal, but the last half wasn't as great. But satisfactory read, I did find myself wanting to know what happened.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
Setting: Edinburgh, UK; present day. Freelance photographer Mark is on Portobello Beach taking photos for a local newspaper of a pod of whales at risk of breaching themselves when he receives a phone call from his son's school. His wife Lauren has failed to turn up to collect their six year old son Nathan so Mark has to go. And so begins a rollercoaster of events for Mark, his son and his mother-in-law Ruth as Lauren's failure to collect Nathan becomes a full-blown disappearance. Sadly Lauren ha ...more
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book! Becomes quite a page turner very early on when a mother disappears and her husband and 5 year old son are desperate to find her. I recommend!!
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I came across this author after reading another of his books, Hit & Run, which I really enjoyed and very much looked forward to reading more by him.

Mark is very much your average type of guy. Married, a father to Nathan as well as a working man. On the day he gets the phone call to tell him that no one has picked Nathan up from school, he has no idea what a roller coaster of a ride his life is about to take.

You can very much feel Mark's frustration that no one seems to be taking the disappea
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Holden
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
For the way the tension was built, this is worth three stars. The way the past was dripped into the novel created a tension which gave the story creditability.

It is difficult to avoid spoiling this novel with a summary of the plot.

Apparently no tension between husband and wife.
Why had she disappeared before?
Then real tension between husband and mother in law. To the degree that there is a restraining order, why?
Is there something going on at work?
Is the husband a suspect?

The end provides some an
Brian Stoddart
A different offering from Doug Johnstone, and probably a touch below his normal high standards. His main character undergoes a bewildering set of trials including the murder of his wife, having his very young son involved in shooting an intruder, a rapprochement with his estranged mother-in-law, and dealing with a stolid police force.

he triumphs in the end, in a sort of way, and Scotland provides its normal terrific background. As a whole, it is perhaps too much a stretch of the reader's credib
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doug Johnstone doing what he does best. He takes a reasonably simple event, complicates it, then builds on that complication until you have a full blown disaster. OK, sometimes he gets a bit carried away and if you isolate some of the events, they don't hold water (which is why it dropped one star in my review), but in the flow of the story they make perfect sense at the time.
Good to see another Scottish story teller writing about Scottish locations. Not big historical places, but everyday towns
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started off well, yet dragged along quickly. I was tempted to stop reading halfway through but wanted to see how it finished. I didn't like the husbands violence and him hitting two women without remorse. He was very unlikeable. I also felt no connection with the characters especially the husband and wife. Left me not really interested in their relationship or what happened. The father son relationship was also cold. It was glad to be finished.
Terri Lindsay
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted this book to end. It started out interesting, but quickly deteriorated. The fact that the dad has no problem punching women in the face made me wish he would go to jail regardless of whether or not he killed his wife. His son was also crazily violent. What is up with that? The author wrote about it as if it was normal.
Sarah Moore
This book is ok... I think I got the ending that I wanted less than half way through though, and then the rest of the book seemed to get more far fetched. I didn't really believe in the characters, although I did love the way that the relationship between father and son was handled. I'm not disappointed to have read this, but I won't be searching out any of his books in a hurry.
Ellen Thielen
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This fast paced novel is based in Scotland, where a man has to deal with his wife's unexpected disappearance, and take care of his young son. She left once before while dealing with post-partem depression. Now with another baby on the way he is trying to keep his young son in the dark about where his mom went.
Jane Everhart
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not believable

Too much happened, Mark would have been in jail. He was a very violent man, smacking women around when he got angry. Didn't believe Ruth would have come around like she did, probably would have just tried to get custody of Nathan.
Marcie LaBelle
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved it, read it in one day!
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This was exciting all the way through, but the ending was a little lackluster.
May 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a struggle to get through. I'm not a DNF-er, because I need to know what happens, becauase regardless, I feel somewhat invested.

This was another fallen casualty to the "GONE" in the book title war. The premise of the story is that Mark (husband and father) gets a call from school, asking him to pick us his son, Nathan. He responds by saying that his wife was supposed to pick him up, like she does every other day, and it's all an uphill battle from here. Turns out, this isn't the first t
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is essentially a basic potboiler -- a generic mystery with some domestic drama thrown in. On the quality and strength of writing, this might've been a 3/5 or so, however the two biggest issues with the book are its total lack of coherent plot, and its weird undercurrent of misogyny.

The plot and resolution come from nowhere, feel terribly convenient, and all kinds of other plot threads never quite get resolved or brought up again in a meaningful way.

And why, exactly, is the main character so
John Travers
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
what can we do with Doug Johnstone?
again we have a book that overall ticks the trade marks of a Doug Johnstone
take a good original premise
write excellent characters and descriptions of locations and conversations
have a really really rubbish stupid ending to the book almost like its written by an 8 year old, generally omg so and so is the baddy, he's trapped the goodies, they have a fight, a gun goes off and they escape.

every book the same, and yet I keep reading them because I generally like the
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I hadn’t read any of Doug Johnstone’s books until recently but that is something I intend to remedy ASAP. I loved the setting of this book set as it is in Portobello and Edinburgh. Mark Douglas, a self employed photographer is out on a job when he gets a phone call to say that his son Nathan is still at school as no one has collected him. From that point his whole life takes a dark and disturbing turn. As the police don’t seem at first to take his wife’s disappearance seriously and starts to do ...more
Karla Goforth Abreu
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Immediately, the reader is drawn into the book -- a missing wife, a frightened turned frantic husband, a sweet innocent little boy. The story is fast paced yet the author has spent time developing the characters. The grief, numbness, and anger are described vividly. The last third of the book is more unbelievable, crisis mounting on crisis, but then an action, mystery, thriller should be that way.
I am not a fan of foul language used repeatedly. This novel had more than I would have preferred bu
Allie Holler
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Gone Again is written by Doug Johnstone. A story about a young boy, Nathan, and his father, Mark, and Mother, Lauren. When Lauren has gone missing Mark and Nathans lives change forever. The mystery of what happened to Lauren and what Mark does to figure out the death. One critique I would have is that there are parts of the story that are elongated that make the story a bit boring at times. The author tends to have a major detail or event that he focuses on for a big portion of the book and then ...more
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Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Chris ...more
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