Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Gone' Provides Driving Entertainment

I can't say Lisa Gardner's suspense novel Gone will ever be an addition to the literary canon. It did, however, provide me with hours of entertainment as I drove during the past week. I drive an average of 10-15 hours per week for work, and in the car, I need something to do! While reading as I'm driving isn't a viable option, listening to books IS an option -- one that I don't take advantage of as much as I should. I think you get a few really bad audio books (gratingly annoying voices, English accents reading southern novels, etc.), and you stop trying for a while. Then you are browsing in the book store or library, and one catches your eye.

That's what happened with this novel. I put it in the CD player in my car, and a very pleasant female voice began reading Gone. I can't concentrate on "deep" lit while I'm behind the wheel -- I need something action-driven but fairly light in topic so that it keeps my attention, yet allows me to concentrate on my first priority (arriving safely at my destination).

Gone fit the bill. Gardner is a talented plot writer, and she creates characters you end up rooting for, character flaws and all.

is the story of Rainie Conner, a former Sheriff's deputy who has come to a crucial point in her life. Her alcoholism has come back to haunt her in full force, and her husband -- ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy -- has walked out on their marriage. Rainie goes missing one night soon after their separation, and all of the law enforcement agencies around begin a search for her. To make matters more intense, Rainie has been volunteering as an advocate for a foster child, and young Dougie disappears soon after she does.

With plot twists and turns, Gardner creates a growing sense of suspense which will leave you guessing what happened and who is involved.

Read Chapter One for yourself and get hooked into the mystery.

Apparently Gone is the fifth in a series of Gardner books centered around Rainie Conner at various stages of life, as well as her husband and his daughter. I would usually recommend reading books about a specific character in order; however, this book does work as a stand-alone if you read it first by accident (as I did!). Darn... Now I'll have to go back and read them all in order -- my little touch of OCD won't let me NOT do it!

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