It’s my stop on the blog tour for Gone by Leona Deakin, and I’m excited to share my thoughts on this debut thriller with you today.
Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:
YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.
DARE TO PLAY?
The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.
And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.
As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.
But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?
I love how original this novel is. With missing person cases in fiction, it’s often a case of the individual(s) having been kidnapped or otherwise forced to leave by the perpetrators. But what if the people who have gone missing have done so voluntarily? What would make someone leave behind everyone and everything they know? Such is the case in Gone. For the families of the missing, this makes things difficult, as the police don’t have time for cases of people who leave willingly, especially as they are all adults. As Dr Augusta Bloom becomes involved, she seeks a common link between those who have gone missing, and while I don’t want to get into the detail at all, it’s an exciting and original concept.
Augusta is an interesting character. A psychologist, she comes across as being somewhat clinical and dispassionate. While she has to be outwardly calm for her career, this did make it a little hard for me to warm to her initially, and I got very little sense of what she was like as a person. I did grow to like her as the novel progressed, however. She is smart and I loved her determination to work out the mystery behind the birthday cards, the game, and those who had gone missing. While Dr Bloom is the main character, her partner (in a work sense), Marcus Jameson, also plays a significant role in this novel, and I liked him immediately. He’s quite different to Augusta, and has a very interesting past. He’s a great character, and I loved the friendly banter between these two colleagues, which comes across as warm and realistic.
Deakin does the psychological elements of the novel brilliantly, which isn’t too surprising given that she is a psychologist herself. Dr Bloom’s character and the profiling of those who have gone missing come across really well, and show Deakin’s expertise without bogging the story down in unnecessary jargon. I did find that I worked out the twists in the novel before they were revealed, but I still found this to be an entertaining read.
Gone by Leona Deakin is published by Black Swan, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in eBook on 9 August, with the paperback release on 3 October. Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me early access to the novel via Netgalley, and to the wonderful Anne Cater for the invitation to join the blog tour.
Make sure you check out the other bloggers taking part in the tour!