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Publisher's Summary

Women are turning up dead on the rural outskirts of Virginia, killed in grotesque ways, and when the FBI is called in they are stumped. A serial killer is out there, his frequency increasing, and they know there is only one agent good enough to crack this case: Special Agent Riley Paige.

Riley is on paid leave, recovering from her encounter with her last serial killer, and, fragile as she is, the FBI is reluctant to tap her brilliant mind. Yet Riley, needing to battle her own demons, comes onboard, and her hunt leads her through the disturbing subculture of doll collectors, into the homes of broken families and into the darkest canals of the killer's mind. As Riley peels back the layers, she realizes she is up against a killer more twisted than she could have imagined. In a frantic race against time, she finds herself pushed to her limit, her job on the line, her own family in danger, and her fragile psyche collapsing.

Yet once Riley Paige takes on a case, she will not quit. It obsesses her, leading her to the darkest corners of her own mind, blurring the lines between hunter and hunted. After a series of unexpected twists, her instincts lead her to a shocking climax that even Riley could not have imagined.

©2016 Blake Pierce (P)2016 Blake Pierce

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent Thriller

I'm noticing a trend in these FBI thrillers - female agents who are brilliant like no other, become damaged goods who have to work through their own trauma while saving the day. I've never read a thriller where a male agent was trying to solve a crime while recovering from serious trauma endured on the job. This aspect felt pretty cliched to me. That said, that didn't totally ruin the book for me and I was able to enjoy the suspense and action.

Elaine Wise did a great job with narration (I am partial to a British accent) but was not a good pick for this book. I kept forgetting that this story took place in the States! Overall, it wasn't bad but I wouldn't recommend it to friends.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

British voice

Have a book read to you by a British voice you can’t even pronounce Yosemite correctly just turns me right off of the whole box couldn’t even finish it which is too bad because I think the story would’ve been pretty good

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

why the english accent!?!

story was good and i enjoyed it but if it is set in the US I expect not to hear a UK english accent telling the story. it made it hard to stay in the US terrains

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting story and narration

This is a great story full of suspense that keeps you coming back for more. The narrator did an excellent job; though, I did think it a bit odd the American main character had a British accent. All in all, definitely credit worthy. I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Story!

Both the author and narrator were new to me. I am finding it difficult to evaluate this book as I might be overly picky. I listen primarily to romance books and some mystery books.
I really enjoyed the narrator's voice, but didn't think the British accent was the right fit for an American FBI agent. I thought she did a good performance with regards to suspense and emotions, but not necessarily enough differences in the characters.
I thought the story was well written, but I didn't like Riley Paige character. I thought Riley just wasn't smart enough to be an FBI agent and details just didn't add up for me. I would try another book by both the author and narrator again, but probably not one in this series. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Once Gone

Once Gone is the first book in Blake Pierce's Riley Page Mystery series. This is a new to me author and since I love mysteries I was excited to listen to this book!

The mystery/serial killer threads of this story had good bones, but I found some of the execution lacking. And, I seriously did not like Riley. At first I did, but the more the story went on, the less I did. At the beginning of the story we were told how strong and smart Riley is. That may have been first impressions but nothing in her actions made me think that once I got to know her. In fact to me, she seemed to just be grasping at straws and every now and then it worked out for her. She failed to follow protocols and seem to think rules did not apply to her. She declared a man guilty with little information, questioning, or background checking and then a chapter later she was thinking she got it wrong and was on her way to declaring another man guilty.

I had a big issue with her not following the rules. She thought nothing of passing herself off as an FBI agent when she'd been fired from her a job. Something highly illegal. And then, she thought nothing of ignoring the law and not getting a warrant before shooting open a lock to enter a house. Had the serial killer not been killed, he would have gone free because of police misconduct. And that's a huge failure in a crime drama for me.

The narrator of this story, Elaine Wise, did not work for me. Though I listened to the sample and had no issues with it, once I started listening to the story, the voice just didn't match the story. She had an easy to listen to voice and kept a good pace. She expressed the appropriate emotions in her narrating. But, she was just reading the book. I've listened to many audiobooks and something I've loved is how the narrator brings the book to life, brings the characters to life. That was not my experience with this book. There were not different voices for characters, and the characters were not brought to life for me.

I love murder mysteries/serial killer books and have high expectations for them. I enjoyed this author's writing. At the beginning when I wasn't enjoying the narrator's reading, I thought this was a series that I would choose to continue by reading instead of listening. I love when a crime drama has a strong lead, especially a strong female lead but she has to be a character worthy of that and Riley was not.

**I was given this audiobook by the author via Audiobook Boom at my request and have voluntarily left this review**

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Loved this book! The narrator was great at getting into each charter as well! Must read.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Why a British narrator?

I think I would have enjoyed the story more if the narrator were American! Her mispronouncing of several things and places took away from the story and made it a bit tedious.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

British accent was out of place

It was a good story. A little over the top but good. However having it read by someone with a British accent was really weird.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Drawn in from the start

What made the experience of listening to Once Gone the most enjoyable?

Jumping from perspectives without revealing the killer really brings an interesting level of curiosity to the book. Elaine brings Blake's characters to life with her narration.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. It's an 8 hour long version of good crime drama TV. You not only want to know who's the killer, you want to know how the characters will resolve issues in their own lives.

Which character – as performed by Elaine Wise – was your favorite?

Riley in this book. (I am on book 6 of the series now)

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I got physically anxious at times and cried a bit at the death of some.

Any additional comments?

I'm shocked to see negative reactions to this book. I've not picked up a book since highschool and this series has gotten me hooked.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Smith
  • 05-16-17

Formulaic, silly, over-long.

Starts well and could have been a perfectly pleasant way to pass a flight. But became improbable, frustrating, and I finally had to skip my way to the end but even then couldn't quite be bothered to finish. An editor who removed the Marie subplot would have helped a little.