By Lisa Gardner
Bantam Hardcover, December 2006
Buy Link for mass-market paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Lisa-Gardner/dp/0553588079
An abandoned car—motor running, door open, purse still on the seat. Sergeant Kincaid of The Oregon State Police has seen it before and it’s never good. It usually means a suicide. But in this case he’s wrong, as the kidnapper contacts the local news with his ransom demands. When ex FBI profiler, Pierce Quincy is called in, it’s not to profile the case, but because the missing person is his wife, Lorraine (Rainie), an ex-cop who now works freelance cases with her husband.
While dealing with an especially heartbreaking case of the rape and murder of a mother and her young daughter, Rainie becomes obsessed with the case, as well as similar ones. This leads to severe depression and a resumption of her drinking problem after fifteen years of sobriety. Quincy loves his wife, but sometimes love just isn’t enough and he moves out in an effort to shock Rainie into coming to her senses. Now she’s gone and he’ll do anything to get her back.
Neither Quincy nor Rainie have led charmed lives. Both have ghosts and enemies from the past. With the kidnapper continually making impossible demands, Quincy comes to believe it’s not about money, but is personal. Has one of the ghosts from Rainie’s past finally caught up with her and is now seeking revenge?
GONE starts with an interesting premise and the plot moves along pretty well for the most part. I read the book straight through, so it definitely held my interest. This was my first Quincy/Rainie story by Lisa Gardner, but I know there are others featuring this same hero/heroine. Perhaps if I’d read those first, I might have been more sympathetic to their plight. Unfortunately I just couldn’t seem to generate a lot of interest in these two. Rainie seemed more pathetic than courageous and Quincy, although great hero material, was just boring. I guessed the kidnapper’s identity very early on, but that wouldn’t have mattered if I’d cared more about the protagonists.
The story is well written and the suspense fairly high, but I found the characters more boring than interesting and some of the scenes totally unbelievable. When a woman is bound—hands and feet, blindfolded and gagged, it’s just not realistic to believe she could come anywhere near close to besting her attacker. Even for a tough ex-cop, this would be ludicrous, especially after being so apathetic in the beginning. In another scene Rainie moves around and fights like someone in peak fit condition—this after a severe beating, messed up knee, no nourishment for several days and half freezing. Sorry, but I didn’t buy it.
If you love Lisa Gardner and her Quincy/Rainie characters, you’ll probably love this one as well. If you’ve never read any other stories featuring these same people, I suggest you read the other books featuring them before reading this one.