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Long Gone: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Alafair Burke
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Long Gone is a tremendous novel, and Alafair Burke is one of the finest young crime writers working today.”
--Dennis Lehane, author of Moonlight Mile

Echoing the intensity of Harlan Coben’s Tell No One and the psychological depth of Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know, Alafair Burke’s first stand-alone novel catapults her into the top ranks of modern suspense. In New York City’s cut-throat world of art, appearances can be deceiving—especially when art world newcomer Alice Humphrey becomes a suspect in a gruesome murder at a Chelsea gallery, and is thrown into a treacherous labyrinth of intrigue, crime, and conspiracy. Now, Alice must discover the truth behind the murder before the unsolved mystery claims her as its next victim.

Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.

According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never existed—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.

The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.

When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family… secrets that could cost Alice her life.

Amazon Exclusive: Michael Connelly Reviews Long Gone

Michael Connelly’s Edgar Award-winning first novel, The Black Echo, was published in 1992 and based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles. Since then he has written more than 18 novels, the most recent of which is The Fifth Witness.

You know how the song goes--“If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere.” The anthem for a city and a state of mind, powered by the voice of its own son, Frank Sinatra, even if technically he came from across the river. New York, New York. It is truly the first song on the soundtrack of the city. And it points up the risk and reward of living in the greatest city in the world.

Well, what about the risks and rewards in writing a novel about the greatest city in the world? To me the challenge would be intimidating, even daunting, before I got the first word down on the first page. But not to Alafair Burke. With Long Gone she makes the city her own. She takes New York with a knowing and confident hand, folding its teeming streets into character and plot in a story that is never less than gripping.

At center you have Alice Humphrey. She is the daughter of privilege in a city that doesn’t pay much mind to that privilege. She’s on her own and that is the beating heart of this book. Alice on her own. Burke constructs this book with the precision of a watchmaker. It is a contraption piece that closes tightly around Alice and then we are with her as she investigates the set up and finds her way to safety.

I am familiar with most of Burke’s work and I think Alice is her best heroine yet. She connects with us on so many levels. She is an everywoman cornered by forces she doesn’t recognize or understand in a city with too many back alleys and secrets to ever know. She is from a family that holds secrets from her as well as the world. But no matter. She is relentless in her pursuit of the truth, whichever way it is finally told. And in that we connect to her, admire her, like her. We feel for Alice Humphrey and want to be there when she sees it all through.

That is the writer’s most difficult task, building the bridge of empathy between reader and protagonist. Burke does it here with a character who is persistent in simply refusing to be a victim. Don’t we all wish we were the same.

Though any writer will flat out tell you that the easier it looks the harder it is to get on the page, Alafair Burke makes this one look like a walk in the park. Frank Sinatra would certainly be proud. Start spreading the news.


“Alafair Burke understands the criminal mind. Long Gone is both an education and an entertainment of the first order. This is a very clever and very smart novel by a very clever and smart writer. The dialogue crackles, the plot is intriguing, and the pacing is perfect.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 641 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,806 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Entertaining! May 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Long Gone, Alafair Burke's first stand-alone novel, involves main character, Alice Humphrey, who after a job layoff and months of struggling, lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District. Based on the well-suited corporate rep who hires her, Drew Campbell, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy and eccentric owner. Campbell assures Alice that the owner will be hands-off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends are concerned that the job is too good to be true, but Alice sees it as an opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial filmmaker. Everything is going well for Alice until one morning she arrives at work to find the gallery gone -- the space stripped bare and Drew Campbell's dead body on the floor. From that point on Humphrey's dream job is gone and she becomes the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence.

Long Gone is an entertaining read that is likely to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. To Burke's credit, her main character is well-developed, believable and likable enough to make you really care enough about what happens to her; and her cast of secondary credible characters serve the plot well. Further, the plot is, for the most part, fast-paced, contemporary, suspenseful and provides an above average amount of twists and turns right up until the very end. The book, however, is not without (what I view as) two minor flaws, which resulted in my deducting one star from my rating. One flaw pertains to some dialogue between Alice Humphrey and an operator/admin at a media company in which Alice is provided with some very key confidential information based on a single phone call.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets You Hooked Quickly June 27, 2011
I would have given this novel a rating of 4/5 if only part one of the novel hadn't been so thoroughly confusing. The introduction had so many narrators that I struggled to keep the stories straight, and it wasn't until the pieces came together that I started to enjoy this book. As far as suspense goes, there are many plot lines that get you hooked into the story, and then many twists that you don't see coming. Alice's character learns a lot about herself and her relationships with her family that make you want to know more about how she turns out in the end. I think that any fans of suspense will appreciate the police/lawyer angles in the story, and since I have been watching too much courtroom TV lately I was grateful for the layman's terms that Ms. Burke easily uses to help the reader understand and appreciate these situations in her writing.

Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in Manhattan May 13, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had never read anything by Alafair Burke. She has written two series of three books each. This one is a stand-alone, a suspense novel set in New York City.

The story is about Alice Humphrey, a former child star and daughter of a big name director. She has purposely gone on her own after learning that her father had had affairs, but is having a tough time since she lost her job at a museum. She was an art history major, so she is at the opening of an artist's show when she is approached by a handsome man. They chat and when he learns about her art background, he offers her a job managing a new gallery. He says she would be required to show some "unconventional" photographs done by the owner's boy toy several times a year, but in between she could select the art for the gallery. The job sounds too good to be true, but at the end of the day she desperately needs work and decides to sign on. A few days later her boss, the handsome guy, asks her to meet him early at the gallery. She arrives to find the windows covered with brown paper and the gallery empty except for his quite dead body in a pool of blood. The prime suspect? Alice of course.

I had a problem with the beginning of this book. Several story lines are introduced in separate chapters, none of them seeming to have any relationship to the others. For instance, there is a missing 16 year old girl from New Jersey. What? Then there is Alice's brother who is a recovering drug addict. Several times I had to turn back to read again who a character was and what their story was. Of course everything eventually comes together and once you get into the book it becomes absorbing, if a little confusing.

I don't normally try to solve the mystery in a good book because I enjoy just going along for the ride. Surprise me.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dream job becomes nightmare in this novel June 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After many months of joblessness, Alice attends an opening at a former cutting edge artist in a NY gallery. She meets Drew Campbell, a business recruiter, who is looking for someone to run a contemporary art gallery for his rich closeted friend and after chatting her up, offers her the job she has been dreaming of since she got her MFA and went to work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Things go smoothly securing the gallery space, hanging the show for the consort of said rich closeted friend, making those first sales online until Alice comes in to open one morning and finds Drew sprawled in the middle of the a pool of blood. Suddenly there's a picture of Alice kissing Drew, Alice's name on the gallery lease, and missing gloves with traces of gunshot residue.

While Alice's storyline is the main focus, we have two concurrent plotlines of a seemingly unrelated story of a teenage missing girl, her single mother and the police detective Morhart's investigation and FBI agent's Hank Beckman's trailing of a scuzbag who was involved in his sister's death. The author gradually reveals how these threads intertwine and every chapter has a new reveal.

Tightly written, Long Gone sheds some light on the contemporary art gallery scene to newcomers and gives you better insight to life in the Big Apple without having to endure its noise, dirt and jumbled humanity. While the first third of the book drags a little, once the characters are set up, the story rockets along. You end up cheering for these characters after all the stuff they go through-and that ultimately is the final assessment of the impact of this story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I am not opposed to swear words and There are plenty of good swear...
I did finish this book. The book itself is well written and very interesting. The reason I only gave this a one star rating is because Ms. Read more
Published 20 days ago by S. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great story! suspenseful to the end. Glad to find this author.
Published 22 days ago by Patricia A. Fiasconaro
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not a good story or good writing
Published 1 month ago by Paper Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Total page turner full, of surprises. Sat by ...
Total page turner full,of surprises. Sat by the pool and finished it in two days. Could not put it down!
Published 1 month ago by SLB
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this book very much. Interesting characters and good pacing. Will read more by this writer.
Published 1 month ago by PJL
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read..hard to put down!
Well written and suspenseful. This is my first read of an Alafair Burke book tho Imhave read many of those by James Lee Burke and loved them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Karen B McCreary
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Great mystery and what a twist at the end.
Published 2 months ago by emjayk
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, moves quickly and keeps your interest peeked
Very good read, moves quickly and keeps your interest peeked. Just when you think you have if figured out, the plot takes another twists. Nicely done mystery / thriller! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Secrets and lies...
Sometimes keeping a secret is the only way to save your life. I enjoyed more the second part the book.
Published 2 months ago by Justine Shiraz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was a great book and I was surprised.
Published 2 months ago by Diana
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More About the Author

Alafair Burke is the author of "two power house series" (Sun-Sentinel) that have earned her a reputation for creating strong, believable, and eminently likable female characters, such as NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair's novels grow out of her experience as a prosecutor in America's police precincts and criminal courtrooms, and have been featured by The Today Show, People Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Chicago Sun-Times. Dennis Lehane has called her "one of the finest young crime writers working today."

A graduate of Stanford Law School and a former Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon, Alafair is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure.

She lives in New York City and spends too much time on Facebook and Twitter, but has no plans to quit.

Learn more about Alafair at

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