Customer Reviews: Gone for Good
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VINE VOICEon June 1, 2002
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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on September 24, 2002
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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on May 4, 2002
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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on May 28, 2002
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. But it's Mr Coben's original and marvelously well drawn cast of characters that makes this novel sparkle, and he is able to breathe life into even the most minor figures, and bring them to life on the page. With a stunning climax and very satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends, Gone For Good is a roller coaster ride of a thriller that doesn't disappoint, and should definitely find its place at the top of mystery/thriller lovers "must read" lists.
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on May 4, 2002
I was very upset over the news of Harlan Coben's decision to temporarily shelve the Bolitar series. They were the best of its kind. Two steps above the Parker Spencer series. But all was forgiven after I had read Tell No One. A book the I personally bought 5 copies of just to give to friends. This was simply the best mystery I have every read. Until now. I have just finished Gone for Good; please don't make the mistake of thinking the last few pages of the book just ties up loose ends. From start to finish this book rocks. No longer is Tell No One the best mystery I have ever read, its now second best to Gone for Good. The only problem is I now have to buy a bunch of additional copies for my friends, so they too can read the best mystery author of our times.
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VINE VOICEon November 17, 2008
I can't believe how many great reviews this book got. It's not very good, and rates my second star only because I was curious enough to finish it. The two-dimensional characters and an overly-contrived, twisted plot prove disappointing. Several plot twists are based on the easy, convenient on "Guess what? I lied" - now that's a cheap device, maybe nearly as bad as "it was all a dream."

If you want a great thriller, read Michael Connelly.
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on April 6, 2014
Two stars for pacing. It moves along. Unfortunately , the further you get into it, the less plausible the plot and characters.
Your suspended disbelief crashes around you about halfway into the book. Granted, you will finish it. But wonder why you did.
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on May 28, 2002
This is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read. Character development is too the point and not overdone. The storyline is intriguing and it has normal people responding in normal ways, no superheroes here, nor are their supervillians. And oh did I mention it has the best ending I have ever read. If you like twists, we are talking corkscrew like twists, then this is your book. The Sixth Sense has nothing on this book. Anyone who reads his Myron books, trust me when I tell you, get this book. And anyone who doesn't read his Myron books, trust me when I tell you, get this book. You'll feel the same after having read it. Now if my family would just return my copy, it seems to be making it's rounds. Expect the same from your family, you'll be touting this book to them like it contains the secret to eternal life.......
Review help - I enjoy Robert Crais, Stephen White, John Grisham, Micheal Connelly, and Ridley Pearson. If you enjoy these writers then you will definitely enjoy Coben. If you liked City Of Bones, L.A. Requiem, get Gone For Good. It's better.
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on November 4, 2002
This was my first Coben book, so I can't compare it to "Tell No One." I cannot tell you if it's a rerun of his previous plots. I can tell you that this is a superb thriller.
Part thriller, fully a mystery, "Gone for Good" starts with Will Klein's discovery that his older brother is perhaps still alive. The questions mount: How did his brother die? Was he really guilty of murdering a teenage girl? And the answers come only quick enough to lead to other questions.
When you think there are no more questions, you're wrong.
When you think you have all the answers, you're wrong.
Coben writes with a deceptively easy style. He writes with a quick pace, yet never forgets to give his characters heart. I found myself caring for these people, even feeling emotions in my throat once or twice. He paints with a broad brush, showing rage, love, pain, sorrow, twisted violence, and family concern.
If you haven't read Coben, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. If you're already a fan, then why'd you keep this guy secret for so long?
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Harlan Coben's new novel, "Gone for Good" is about a man named Will Klein who is incredibly unlucky in love. His first girlfriend, Julie, unceremoniously dumped him eleven years ago. Shortly thereafter, Julie was raped and murdered. The prime suspect is Will's brother, Ken, who may be dead, or else he may be a fugitive from justice. Time passes, and Will finally finds another woman whom he loves, named Sheila. One day, Sheila suddenly takes off, and Will has no idea why she left or where she went.
As the drama unfolds, we gradually learn that Will knows little or nothing about what really happened eleven years ago. Figuring prominently in the plot are two malevolent villains, one known as the Ghost and the other a Mafia type named McGuane, both boyhood friends of Ken's. The Ghost and McGuane have agendas of their own, and they are not squeamish about destroying anyone who gets in their way.
"Gone for Good" ultimately does not succeed because the book is too "busy" and plot-driven. The characters are not developed satisfactorily. Coben works so hard trying to surprise the reader with endless twists and turns that he forgets an important element of novel writing. A good thriller appeals not just to the mind, but also to the emotions. "Gone for Good" is a puzzling mystery, but it is emotionally unsatisfying and it ultimately falls flat.
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