Jack Caffery's newest case seems like a routine carjacking, a crime he's seen plenty of times before. But as the hours tick by and his investigation morphs into a nightmare, he realizes the sickening truth: the thief wasn't after the car, but the eleven-year-old girl in the backseat. Meanwhile, police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, half-submerged tunnel could put her in grave danger.
The carjacker is always a step ahead of the Major Crime Investigation Unit, toying with their minds in taunting letters, and ready to strike again. As the chances for his victims grow slimmer, Jack and Flea race to fit the pieces together in time.
©2010 Mo Hayder (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Riveting... Hayder keeps the tension high... The meticulously crafted plot is heightened by Hayder's skillful evocation of mood as she summons the specter of a highly intelligent criminal who is taking great satisfaction from every parent's worst nightmare. A captivating thriller." (Booklist)
"A brilliantly plotted mystery that keeps you guessing not only who the villain is, but what exactly he's after... First-rate mystery that takes full advantage of the wintry, moonlit West Country and the unusual skills of its lady diver." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A carjacking goes from bad to horrifying in Hayder's gripping fifth thriller." (Publishers Weekly)
"Chilling... Shocks are in store." (The New York Times Book Review)
"It's a tribute to Hayder's powers as a suspense writer that she completely turns the over-familiar premise of this novel inside out and upside down. The more pages of Gone that we captivated readers turn, the farther away we get from cliched thriller conventions." (The Washington Post)
Mo Hayder has written a fabulous series about the exploits of DI Jack Caffery and Sgt. Flea Marley. As the events in some of the books take place close in time to the previous book, it's helpful to listen to them all in one marathon.
Damien Goodwin, the narrator of Birdman and The Treatment was absolutely excellent. He has a fabulous range of voices and characters. Andrew Wincott, the narrator of Ritual and Skin, was very good (but not as good as Damien Goodwin).
Unfortunately, Stephen Crossley, narrator of Gone and Poppet, is abysmal. He has only two voices: one male, and one female. Regardless of age, class or origin, the characters all sound the same. He has the same sort of breathy earth-shattering revelation quality to his narration that Scott Brick has, but without the skill.
If the story weren't so good, this would be unlistenable. I'm dreading listening to Poppet because it's the same narrator. Perhaps he will have had some lessons in vocal range and intonation.
The story lines are absolutely gripping, and filled with red herrings and intrigue and multiple plot lines. Mo Hayder is a genius. I love everything she has written. She's not afraid to kill off her characters, and there are often things she leaves hanging from one book to another.
The series is fabulous and a must-listen to anyone who likes thrillers, British police procedurals, and intricate psychological mysteries. The books aren't for the faint of heart or the squeamish, but they're well worth it if you enjoy this particular genre.
The theme of lost / missing / kidnapped children runs through all the books, but it's never heavy-handed.
The first two books are five stars across the board, the second two get 4 stars for performance and 5 overall and for story, and this one only gets a 2 for performance. They all merit 5 stars for the story.
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