This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Gone by Mo Hayder

It's been a long time since I've read a bona fide the whodunnit types. This one was one of those. It is also a serialized novel - a series with Detective Inspector (DI) Jack Caffery.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan of serialized novels. I like some series, like the Harry Potter series, or the Hunger Games' trilogy, or even better, the Song of Ice and Fire but the continual publication of one genre of one guy and different crimes? Yeah, doesn't really do it for me. I used to read James Patterson WAY back in my early 20s and LOVED it but I have no interest anymore...but for whatever reason, Gone made it on my list and I almost put it away when I realized it was the fifth book in the DI Jack Caffery series.

But I also noticed that an author "friend" of mine (I really did meet her and almost had coffee with her :) :)) said that this was one of her FAVORITE books by Mo Hayder, I decided to read it. And it was, yet again, a great summer read. This was a nice break in genre because, as mentioned in the first paragraph, I haven't read a good mystery, crime thriller in a long time.

I also seem to be on a UK kick as this is the third (?) novel set in England that I've read; the fourth outside of the US (the other being in Australia). It doesn't bother me one iota (the landscape, the language, etc.).

This was a great mystery. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a nail-biter but it was a page-turner, keeping me on my 'toes'. I definitely figured out the culprit early on, inadvertently, but talked myself out of it...going back and rereading pages to figure out that I was "wrong".

But I did it again and by then, I was certain I was right and, even though I read something that lead me to believe I could be wrong again, I knew I was not wrong that time. Perhaps the writing was written that way to lead us to figure it out.

The story begins with a woman who gets shoved out of the way of her car in a garage by a man wearing a rubber mask. He throws her on the ground and carjacks her car. Only in the car is her 11 year old daughter Martha.

DI Caffery thinks this is just a carjacking and that once the jacker sees the little girl in the car, he will drop the girl off unharmed and make off with the car. The hours tick by, however, and the girl is not found.

Eventually, evidence of similar jackings surface but the similarities are that little girls are taken, not the cars. Those girls, fortunately, were release within hours; Martha is still missing days later and time is running out. A second girl is taken and now DI Caffery is two steps behind this jacker, who seems to know exactly how to elude the police.

That's one story. The other minor story is Flea Marley, who leads an Underwater Search team. The team's morale has gone down, as well as their performance. It may have something to do with the fact that she's been hiding a dead body. Her brother killed a famous model when he struck and killed her while she walked alongside a road, as he drove home drunk. He placed the body in the trunk and drove it home; Flea hid the body in a cave in the middle of nowhere. DI Caffery saw the hiding of the body and presumed Flea was the responsible hit-and-run killer.

Oh. And apparently, in previous novels, there is sexual tension between Flea and Caffery.

It's a good novel. It won the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

There's a character in this novel, and in others called The Walking Man, which also lends to The Walking Man series. The Walking Man lost his daughter to a pedophile when she was young. Her body was never found so he still searches for her. DI Caffery goes to him - when he can find him, as he seems to be like a homeless man...a vagabond, even though he's wealthy - for advice. He seems to be a man with supernatural abilities but he claims not to be that... But I love this quote and man, I believe this is what we should do to pedophiles *and* rapists. This is what the walking man did to the person who killed his daughter, in the words of DI Caffery:
The walking man had been precise about the injuries he'd inflicted. Evans [the killer] no longer had eyes to watch children nor a penis to rape them with.
So am I into serialized novels again? No.

Would I read I read DI Caffery series of novels? Yes. Most definitely.

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