Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | July 2016 | 288 pgs
Source: Library

Eight years ago, Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her own bedroom when she was thirteen years old. Her mother, Anna, was unaware of the kidnapping as she was sleeping downstairs. Jane, who was ten then was the only witness but given her age and her confused state of mind due to shock, it is natural to dismiss what she witnessed as unreliable. Julie is never found and the Whitakers started to move on with their life slowly until one day a young woman knocks on their door. Julie seems to be miraculously alive and is now back home, finally. As Anna tries to reconnect with Julie she begins to find loopholes and her lies. When a former detective turned private eye starts contacting Anna and shares with her some information he has gathered, Anna begins to wonder about Julie's identity and what does she wants from them if she is not their daughter. 

Good as Gone has a great intrigue opening with the fateful night of Julie's kidnapping. The story then progresses with the Whitakers picking up their life and focuses on Anna's sorrow and guilt despite eight years have passed. While Anna's husband, Tom, is ecstatic and his faith in Julie never wavers after they have found her, Anna begins to show signs of doubts and unease. It is this moment when the author begins to play with Anna's mind as well as the readers. Anna's perspective begins to intertwine with a various of flashbacks which would lead readers into wondering if Julie is who she claims she is. Personally I felt it was a good concept but the writing style was a bit tricky but if you break away from the story for a while and think about it, it is not difficult to figure out the whole picture. 

I couldn't say this is a fully suspenseful story though and is more to unlocking-a-mystery kind of story with a family dynamics theme as background. This book will also question readers how well they know their family members and that some things may not seem as what they are. There are some scenarios which I found to be a bit unbelievable, but I presume this was the author's intention to create more intensity and mystery to the storyline. I enjoyed reading the book, but it wasn't enough to captivate me from the suspenseful angle. 

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6 Responses
  1. Iliana Says:

    I was wondering about this one. Enjoyed your review Melody. I don't mind these slower mysteries but it's good to know what to expect. If I was expecting a big thrill ride I might be disappointed.

  2. jenclair Says:

    Often, all I care about is a book that will keep my attention. Good as Gone sounds interesting, even if it wasn't captivating. :) I won't put it at the top of my list, though.

  3. How frightening, to wake up and find your child gone! This sounds like an interesting novel, even if not always the most suspenseful. I found that to be the case last year with a couple of the missing children books I read.

  4. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I was a bit disappointed by this one as I was expecting something else. Nevertheless it was still an intriguing read; just something different, though.

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, it's important that a book has to capture my attention first. I could even oversee that unlikeable characters if the story is good and intriguing. Hopefully the next book will be better.

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes, it always makes me anxious when reading about missing child cases. So many emotions involved and it gets to me if it involves child abuse. :(

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