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Gone (Jack Caffery Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Mo Hayder
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
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Book Description

Jack Caffery and Flea Marley continue to share the spotlight, with their partnership developing into a sort of Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs relationship (with more sexual tension and as often as not working at cross-purposes). It picks up six months after the conclusion of Skin, with Flea’s team in departmental crosshairs, their bonuses at risk and her leadership in question. She is still covering up the death of Misty Kitson for her brother (Caffery witnessed her disposing of the body, and is keeping his distance), and this backstory is filled in as you go along.

The main plot is about child abduction—a carjacker wearing a Santa Claus mask who steals the car of a vicar’s wife, with her 11 year old daughter in the backseat, from a parking lot. Caffery is called in to investigate and is confident the car was the target and the girl will be returned, until Flea reminds him of two other open cases with similar MO, both with young girls in the cars. Then creepy taunting letters start arriving, presumably from the perpetrator. Caffery consults with the Walking Man, the eccentric homeless billionaire whose daughter was abducted and murdered (with whom Caffery has a special bond because his brother suffered the same fate) who warns him that “this one is cleverer than anyone you’ve ever dealt with.”

When the car from the carjacking turns up, the mud in its tires is mixed with certain metals that suggest it was at a garage or factory, a needle in a haystack but that Flea remembers a factory site her team had searched that matches the specs perfectly. They find tire tracks and footprints and know they are in the right place, but the carjacker has scored through his footprints with something sharp, outwitting forensics, and has deliberately made many different sets of prints leading in all directions into the woods so they won’t know where to search.

Flea realizes belatedly that a piece of nylon rope at the site could easily be a mooring rope and returns to find that just outside the area they’d searched was a disused canal. She gets Caffery and her team out to search it, finding barge-mooring spikes that match the footprints’ score marks. The canal runs partly through an unstable underground tunnel, which is already partly collapsed and threatens to cave in further when a train passes by. Flea puts herself and her number two man at risk to break through a rockfall searching the tunnel but comes up empty. She and Paul Prody (a detective on Caffery’s team) both get reamed out for wasting time and money, and end up bonding at a pub. Coincidentally, Prody was the traffic cop who’d breathalyzed her six months earlier when she pretended to have been driving the car that killed Misty Kitson. Flea confesses to him, finally, that her brother was driving.

Another girl goes missing in a carjacking, and is returned a few hours later. No one can figure out why the carjacker knows where the traffic cameras are, but he and the stolen cars are never caught on film. The first girl’s baby tooth is slipped into an apple pie made for the distraught parents by a neighbor. The family of the second girl is moved to a safe house, but a taunting note at the new location requires them to be moved again. A tracking device on their car explains how the jacker knew where they were—problem is, the car was never out of police custody, so it must be someone with police access. Suspicion centers on a handyman who got the job with a stolen identity and murdered a girl when he was a teenager. Prody’s office was recently painted and the handwriting of a “wet paint” note on his desk matches the carjacker’s taunting letters. In disgrace, Prody is sent to break the news to the family of the second girl.

A storage unit rented by the handyman for the last 11 years connects to a secret passage that contains the body of the girl he murdered y...

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A carjacking goes from bad to horrifying in Hayder's gripping fifth thriller featuring Bristol Det. Insp. Jack Caffery and Sgt. Phoebe "Flea" Marley (after Skin). When Rose Bradley's car is stolen with her 11-year-old daughter, Martha, inside, it appears to be a routine snatch-and-grab. It becomes clear, however, that the carjacker had his sights set on the girl, not the vehicle, when he begins taunting the police, who scramble to find clues to Martha's whereabouts. Jack soon discovers a pattern of similar kidnappings disguised as car thefts, with the level of violence ratcheted up in each case. As Jack tracks the kidnapper above ground, Flea's search takes her below ground and underwater into a decommissioned canal and tunnel, where she fights to save her own life and that of the kidnapped child. Hayder expertly brings to life the claustrophobia of Flea's dives and the emotional burden of the case on Jack. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the fifth riveting entry in the series featuring haunted homicide detective Jack Caffery, his latest case seems to be a routine carjacking. But as the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that the Jacker was really after the 11-year-old girl in the backseat and, what’s more, is taunting police with the threat that he will strike again. He is so far ahead of the unit at every step that the investigation is continually being stymied, and Jack suspects the Jacker is privy to inside information. As the Walking Man, a vagrant with whom Jack has a special connection, tells him, the kidnapper “is cleverer than any of the others you’ve brought to me.” Meanwhile, police diver Flea Marley is recklessly ignoring protocol in her search for the missing girl and finds herself trapped in an underwater cavern. Hayder keeps the tension high as she switches between the distraught parents and the stressed-out investigators. The meticulously crafted plot is heightened by Hayder’s skillful evocation of mood as she summons the specter of a highly intelligent criminal who is taking great satisfaction from every parent’s worst nightmare. A captivating thriller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hayder has been threatening to vault from cult favorite to mainstream smash for a few books now, and this one—aided by a full-dress marketing campaign—may be the one to make the jump. --Joanne Wilkinson

Product Details

  • File Size: 2164 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (February 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L62304
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,695 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the series April 12, 2011
Gone continues a story that spans, now, three novels, and it's much better than the other two (and, fortunately, you don't need them to read it).

Ritual and Skin, along with Pig Island, demonstrate that Mo Hayder is not a very consistent writer. It's hard to believe that the author of Birdman and The Devil of Nanking could have written a book as bad as Pig Island, but there it is. When Hayder is too fixated on what Stephen King calls "the gross out" (and identifies as the last resort of a good horror writer) to devote attention to consistency and coherence, her books are tiresome and embarrassing.

However, when she is good, she is very, very good. Gone comes closer to good than gross-out. Although it proceeds directly from the last page of Ritual, you don't need to know how Flea Marley ended up with something very unfortunate in her trunk, and Jack Caffrey's apparently permanent miseries do not require entire novels of backstory. Their pursuit of a kidnapper of little girls is a page-turner, and the criminal is about as revolting as most of us can imagine (except for an odd twist at the end). Flea's adventure in the tunnel seems to take up half the book, and the pages turn quickly.

I have quibbles -- It's a bit of cheat (you'll see what I mean) that we don't learn the mechanices of how someone gets impaled on a spike, and there is a bit of Hayder's trademark piling on in what happens to Flea (if you think YOU had a bad day...). As with so many of Hayder's books, the weakest link is the conclusion. She is brilliant at getting into fixes, but vague about getting out again.

I read all this, and I wonder why I bothered to give the book four stars.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to her usual standard October 31, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Mo Hayder and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I broke my rule on the maximum I would pay for an ebook prices and handed over the $14.51 for it. Now I wish I had waited. It was just an average police procedural and certainly a let down after her previous books. What happened to her use of the macabre which was the main feature of previous books?

There was no real tension in the book as it was easy to see the twist early on. The Flea Marley character was annoying and well past her use-by date.

I hope Hayder's next book is better. I would hate to think she's already reached the peak of her writing career.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tense thriller that will surprise you to the very end February 23, 2011
Mo Hayder is arguably better known as an author of top-shelf mysteries in her native Great Britain than in the United States. I predict this is about to change. GONE, her latest novel published in America, is one of those books that dares you to put it down once you've started reading and then challenges you to forget it once you have finished.

GONE begins six months after the events of SKIN and is considered to be the third in the Walking Man series. British PI Jack Caffrey and police diver Phoebe "Flea" Marley are prominently featured, with both parties concealing different viewpoints of the same secret, to the detriment of what had been the beginnings of a relationship. Hayder does a wonderful job of bringing new readers up to date while refreshing the memories of those familiar with the series. He pulls this off without missing a step in advancing the story, which is terrifying from the start. The source of the terror is a masked criminal who carjacks a vehicle with an 11-year-old girl in the back seat. At first the kidnapping is thought to be accidental, but then Marley manages to connect the latest incident to two previous cases with startling similarities. Another child is soon abducted during another carjacking, yet is returned shortly thereafter.

When the incidents turn even more bizarre, Caffrey and his team are at a loss. Someone is making a fool of the police inspectors, while young, innocent lives hang in the balance. You've heard of a plot device called "the ticking clock"; GONE feels as if it has a houseful of them, all ready to chime the fateful hour in seconds, as Caffrey and his team are all too well aware that from a statistical standpoint their odds of finding a kidnap victim alive diminish dramatically after 24 hours.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Police Thriller March 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gone, by Mo Hayder, is the fifth book in a series featuring Bristol DI Jack Cafferty, and the first of hers I read. Despite four books of back story, I felt no lack or loss for jumping in at the wrong end, as Hayder gave just enough relevant information to offer a bit of depth and context without flogging a reader with past events.

This book is a harrowing journey down a swift river, and there were several times I got off the ride only to jump back on as soon as I could. Hayder's villain is given a slow reveal, crafted of skillful slight-of-hand and an accumulation of small tells. The danger is real and ever-present, and she never, ever gives you a guarantee of who is going to make it home at the end of the day.

Gone hooked me so thoroughly that I immediately started on Hayder's first book in the series, Birdman. Comparing the two shows just how far Hayder has come as a writer, and effortless her prose seems to be. I plunged through Gone because I felt I must. Not knowing was unthinkable.

If you like police procedurals and thrillers, British or otherwise, read Gone. But make sure you have an open weekend to do so, because you won't want to put it down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best in the series
By far the best in the series, I was gripped and liked the touch of "weird" that typified the early Mo Hayder writing. Brilliant.
Published 6 days ago by Gordon King
4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment
In an interview, Mo Hayder stated that "no male writer would get away with books like mine", meaning the types of violence and cruelty she describes in her books would... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Alfred J. Kwak
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery
Although I guessed who was guilty soon after the beginning this was a good mystery. Near the middle of the book I changed my mind but learned I was right in the beginning. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Penny Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a fan!!!
Very good book. It had a lot of tension, a lot of twists, and a lot of drama. I recommend it! In fact, I'm now looking into other books by this author. Read more
Published 1 month ago by writingdiva
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
Published 1 month ago by Rolls
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone is Great!
I have enjoyed the Jack Caffery series. I just started the 6th book (Poppet). Mo Hayder does a great job keeping you in suspense and wondering who did it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kim V.
1.0 out of 5 stars "Gone" - that's what has happened to Hayder's ability to write a...
Jack Caffery is on the case of a perpetrator who has stolen a vehicle with an 11-year-old girl in the backseat. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mimsy Itonia
5.0 out of 5 stars A more cohesive and mature effort
This fifth installment in the story of Jack Caffery (and Flea Marley, as it turns out) represents, in my opinion, a more mature and focused effort on Ms. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Left me on edge from start to finish.
Published 4 months ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely love this series - Gone is yet another one that you'll struggle to put down.
Published 4 months ago by Fredric J Lebow
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