GONE FOR GOOD is Harlan Coben's ninth successful novel. If it is action you crave this thriller transmits it in spades. As in all Coben novels New Jersey is his venue of choice with short side trips to Albuquerque and Boise. Eleven years ago Ken Kline fled his suburban Newark home after being accused of raping and straggling his neighbor, Julie Miller. Now an international fugitive, Ken is believed by some to be dead. However, three days before his mother dies of cancer, she tells her younger son, Will Kline, that she knows Ken is alive. Will, an assistant director of a home for runaways and his pal, Yogi Squares, the director for the home provide counseling, food and temporary shelter to the children of the night encamped in the darkest and most dangerous parts of Newark. The day of his mother's funeral, Will's girlfriend, Sheila, disappears only to have her finger prints show up at the site of a double murder in Albuquerque. Will, with the help of his well-connected friend, Squares, attempts to find out how these tragedies are tied together. Assistant director of the New York City FBI, Joseph Pistillo, who has a personal grudge against Ken, starts harassing Will believing that he is protecting Ken and knows where he is hiding. Also in the mix is a contract killer, John Asselta, better known as the Ghost, who loves to break fingers and necks for the fun of it. He too is threatening Will to find out the whereabouts of brother, Ken, so he can kill him.
This novel is loaded with surprises on every page. Its snappy dialogue and lifelike characters qualify this suspenseful thriller as a true page turner. The ending is the surprise of all surprises but a bit amateurish, the only weak part of the story. I give this novel a stron