"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
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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.
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