Mysterious Book Report GoneGone by Mo Hayder

Atlantic Monthly Press, $24.00, 416 pages, ISBN 978-0802119643

We’re continuing with the Edgar winners this week, reviewing the 2012 recipient of the Best Book Award.  She’s a British author named Mo Hayder, and her novel is Gone.  This novel is the latest installment of an ongoing series featuring inspector Jack Caffery and Sergeant Flea Marley.  They have had an almost, but not quite, romantic relationship because she’s concealing a hit-and-run accident by her brother, which resulted in the death of a young woman in a previous novel.  The primary plot of the new book revolves around a carjacking, in which an 11 year old girl is taken.  It’s a routine case until Caffery, with Marley’s prompting, recalls two other unsolved cases of carjack-kidnappings . . . and the chase is on for a serial criminal, who’s abducting, and likely murdering, young girls of 10 to 12 years old.

At first, the novel is character-driven, and frankly, I found it to be a little on the tedious side.  I had to prod myself to keep reading long enough for the plot to pick up the pace a little.  And pick up the pace it does, so well in fact, that by the last quarter of the book I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough . . . it had turned into a barn-burner.  Should you choose to read it, and you had better be a patient reader if you do, the ending is so exciting, so dynamic, and so good, that you, like me, will understand just why the Edgar judges named it the Best of the Best for 2012.


John Dwaine McKenna