Way back in July a surprise packet arrived in the post and I was thrilled to find a copy of Gone by Leona Deakin inside.
Finally having got around to reading Gone, I can now see the significance of the materials that arrived! My enormous thanks to Hayley Barnes for inviting me to play the game on my first birthday – and you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean!
Published by Transworld/Penguin imprint Black Swan, Gone is available for purchase through these links.
Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:
YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.
DARE TO PLAY?
The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.
And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.
As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.
But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?
My Review of Gone
A dangerous game is being played.
Initially I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy Gone. There seemed to be so much going on and such a wide cast of characters that it took me a while to attune myself to the narrative, but once I had, I was gripped and simply had to know what was happening and how the story might be resolved. I would say that the reader almost has to become part of the story, weeding out red herrings from truth, trying to guess ahead, anticipate and predict the plot and I thoroughly enjoyed this element.
Indeed, Gone is a cleverly constructed narrative that twists and turns. It’s fast paced, surprising and devious – not unlike many of the characters playing the game!
I loved the word play on Seraphina and Augusta’s names. They couldn’t be more cleverly and appropriately named for their characters but it’s too much of a spoiler to explain more. Augusta Bloom’s back story is so interesting that I can’t wait to read more about her in future books. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of all the other characters in Gone either so the potential to discover more is tantalising.
The concept of what makes a psychopath and the nature versus nurture debate that underpins the story is compelling and quite disturbing. Leona Deakin’s research is exemplary so that these aspects of the book are authentic and so too is the exploration of identity. Reading Gone has unsettled my equilibrium, making me question how much I truly know about friends and family and quite how I might behave if I found myself caught up in similar circumstances.
I enjoyed Gone. It’s part detective book, part psychological thriller and although it took me a while to get into, I appreciated the fact that it made me think hard about modern society whilst making my heart beat just that little bit faster than is comfortable. I suggest you read Gone for yourself to uncover what I’ve been hinting at! Let me just say that I’ll be scrutinising my birthday cards very carefully next April – and I won’t be doing any more online quizzes either!
About Leona Deakin
Leona Deakin started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.
You can follow Leona on Twitter @LeonaDeakin1.