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Gone For Good Hardcover – April 30, 2002

765 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

"The ugliest truth, in the end, was still better than the prettiest of lies." So says Will Klein, whose search for his missing and allegedly murderous brother, Ken, leaves him doubting the actions of everybody he's ever loved.

Eleven years ago, Ken fled his family's suburban New Jersey neighborhood after Will's ex-girlfriend, Julie Miller, was raped and strangled. The Kleins eventually convinced themselves that Ken perished on the lam. But as Will discovers, the facts are not so simple. On her deathbed, his mother tells him that Ken is still alive. Then Will's girlfriend and "soul mate" disappears too, only to have her fingerprints turn up at a New Mexico homicide scene. How are these tragedies connected? And what's their relationship to the recent appearance of a contract killer known as the Ghost? With help from an abused ex-hooker, a former white supremacist turned yoga guru, and Julie's younger sister, Will finds himself in a tightly twisted plot that turns on double identities and misplaced trust and that forces him to dig for the courage he was always sure he lacked.

Although the premise sounds much like that of Harlan Coben's last book, the acclaimed Tell No One, and the books' ingenuous protagonists are nearly interchangeable, Gone for Good quickly establishes its separate but equally suspenseful identity. This is a tale of manifold deceptions guaranteed to show its readers up as suckers, and to make them love every moment of the experience. --J. Kingston Pierce

From Publishers Weekly

"We never forget our first love. Mine ended up being murdered." Newcomers and fans alike will know they're deep in Coben country with the author's ninth book, in which a counselor of runaways with his own history of broken hearts and death finds himself caught in a web of lost identities, forgotten nemeses and smoldering grudges. Will Klein was a nice Jewish boy from a nice Jersey suburb until his ex-girlfriend was found strangled next door and his brother became an international fugitive. Eleven years later, as his mother succumbs to cancer, Will gets the deathbed confession that his brother, Ken, is alive; around the same time, his girlfriend, Sheila (herself a runaway with a "murky past"), disappears and a neighborhood psycho called the Ghost resurfaces. Will is yanked into an FBI investigation via his friend Squares (a yogi whose forehead tattoo carries multiple meanings), which jumbles up the aforementioned cast of characters with another mystery occurring in the Midwest. True to form, Coben keeps the plot twists coming fast and furious, and readers will give up trying to guess the outcome quite early on; yet the book's entertainment value lies less in its plot than its characters. From the New York streetwalker Raquel ("Many transvestites are beautiful. Raquel was not. He was black, six-six, and comfortably on the north side of three hundred pounds") to Belmont, Neb.'s Sheriff Bertha Farrow ("Murder scenes were bad, but for overall vomit-inducing, bone-crunching, head-splitting, blood-splattering grossness, it was hard to beat the metal-against-flesh effect of an old-fashioned automobile accident"), this title delivers.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038533558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385335584
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (765 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harlan Coben is the bestselling author of sixteen previous novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers "Long Lost" and "Hold Tight." Winner of the Edgar Award, the Shamus Award, and the Anthony Award, Coben lives in New Jersey with his family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on June 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Harlan Coben makes his second departure from the Bolitar series (please, Harlan, don't forget Myron Bolitar entirely!) to skillfully plot another great thriller about a missing person!
Coben's newest is set in surburban New Jersey and NYC, and his hero is a social worker, Will Klein, whose life is a series of
tragedies. His old girlfriend was brutally murdered, his brother accused and disappeared for the last 11 years, his mother succumbs to cancer, and his girl, Sheila Rogers, disappears and is feared dead. Will enlists the help of his friend, Squares and Katy Miller, his first love's young sister.
He feels compelled to try to unravel what is happening, because the FBI and local law enforcement appear to be involved in a cover-up regarding his brother, Ken.
Squares is an enormously entertaining "yoga master" with a checkered past, and real devotion to his friendship with Will.
Another great character that Coben explores is John Asselta, a sociopathic acquaintance of Will's brother, known as "The Ghost".
All in all, Will encounters a lot of evil events in his search for Ken, a search that ends in a group encounter in the last chapter that has more plot twists and turns than I've ever seen.
Gone for Good is engrossing, well-written, and makes you care about Coben's main characters. The women in the book, unlike many suspense novels, are well-defined, and you care what happens to them. Coben succeeds, where others fail, at defining relationships while he builds suspense.
Don't miss Coben's latest, it looks like it will top the charts for a good long while, and the only thing to criticize is the neon yellow dustjacket....although it is an improvement from "Tell No One's" deer hunter orange jacket!
Get it, and get into it, as soon as you can!
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is exactly the same premise and plot as "Tell No One", complete with the ueber-psycho hit man, a girlfriend who works with the homeless (really!), and a totally benevolent, gotta-love-him main character. Both of them were reasonably enjoyable page turners, but it was hard to enjoy what was essentially the same story. My best advice would be to pick one or the other (and they're both equally implausible, so flip a coin) and then don't read the other one.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Cecetka on May 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One more time, Harlan Coben has written a superb mystery where every page adds another totally unexpected twist. This book didn't have as many extreme plot turns as his last, "Tell No One," but it is really close.
As you have read, the plot revolves around poor Will, who has to be the unluckiest man in love ever. His first love is murdered, his worshipped brother is the suspected killer and has been on the lam for 11 years, his current lover is missing. Can things get much worse? Of course they can because Coben makes up good stuff!! I refuse to say any more about the story because to do so would ruin it for you.
Suffice to say, the different story lines become interwoven, and downright creepy. I have followed Coben's writing since his very first novel and, in my humble opinion, he keeps getting better and better.
If you only read one or two novels a year, this is a don't miss for sure. If you read hundreds of novels a year, this is one you won't forget. "Gone for Good" is a great read, filled with suspense and the knowledge that Coben won't let you figure it out; he always has one more surprise up his sleeve. And the surprises just keep on coming. Buy it, Read it, Relish it. This book is one of the year's best!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Three days before her death, my mother told me-these weren't her last words, but they were pretty close-that my brother was still alive..." So begins Harlan Coben's powerful and harrowing page-turner, Gone For Good. Narrated by Will Klein, the youngest son of a middle class New Jersey family, now working as the Director of Covenant House for runaway teens, he recounts the story of his popular and charismatic brother Ken, who eleven years ago vanished after being charged with the rape and murder of a neighborhood college girl. The Kleins always believed in his innocence, and after so much time passed without a word or clue, had come to the conclusion that Ken must be dead. This all changes when his mother's declaration sends Will on a search of the house where he finds a current picture of his brother hidden in his mother's bedroom. Now with the help of his girlfriend, Sheila, the love of his life, he's determined to find Ken, bring him back home, and clear his name. But his plan soon begins to unravel when Sheila disappears, and her fingerprints are found at a grisly murder scene two thousand miles away in New Mexico. With the help of Covenant House street friends, Will begins to connect the ghosts of the past with the puzzling events of the present, and uncovers secrets, lies, and betrayals that shake the very foundation of his family, and what they thought to be the truth..... Harlan Coben has done it again, written a suspenseful and compelling thriller that grabs you from page one and never lets go. This is a novel that has it intricate story line full of twists, turns, and more than a few unexpected surprises; smart, clever, and eloquent writing with a real ear for dialogue; and intense, riveting, vivid scenes that set you on the edge of your seat and keep you there.Read more ›
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