Thriller: Gone for Good, by Harlan Coben

Gone for GoodMysteries upon mysteries

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gone for Good is one the most complicated crime stories I’ve read in quite a while. Its protagonist is Will Klein, whose older brother Ken vanished eleven years ago, on the night of the brutal murder of Will’s former high school sweetheart. Everyone except his family assumes Ken is guilty, and Will has never been able to believe that his brother is probably dead. As the story opens, their mother has just died, and in her final hours, she revealed that Ken is indeed alive. The funeral is barely over when Will discovers that his current girlfriend, Sheila, whom he hoped to marry, has walked out on him without a word of warning.

From this point forward, Will will be buffeted by one shock after another, most of which are delivered by a childhood acquaintance nicknamed “The Ghost”, who was dangerous back then but is truly deadly now. He knows all about Ken and Sheila, and forces Will to help track his brother down, ostensibly so he can kill him. The Ghost is one of the most diabolical characters ever imagined, and he permeates this story with dark, cold, menace. Will is the narrator, and while he’s not exactly unreliable, what he perceives as the truth is usually anything but, mainly because The Ghost provides him with very little detail. As does the FBI agent who’s never stopped hunting for Ken. Suffice it to say that this is an exciting, intense novel, with so many unforeseen surprises that the tension never abates. Great fun, perfect for summer.

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