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Gone Hardcover – February 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews
Book 5 of 5 in the Jack Caffery Series

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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.)
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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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802119646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802119643
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first two in the series, Birdman and The Treatment. I thought The Treatment ventured into territory that can only be described as cruelty (involving children, which made it worse), but I decided to give this one a shot because of the reviews. I stopped about 50 pages toward the end. I probably would've stuck with it had it not been for the Flea elements, which I thought were simply unreadable. Like another reviewer mentioned, I couldn't even tell what was going on, based on the author's descriptions and narrative. The book just came to a screeching halt whenever the narrative switched to that storyline. There are too many far superior crime novelists today for me to spend any more time or money on Ms. Hayder.
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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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