Good as Gone

Amy Gentry

PUBLISHED 06.26.2016

READ
01.01.2018 – 01.02.2018

GENRE Mystery

IF YOU LIKED
Gone Girl

TAGS

Another Gone Girl Knockoff

The newest new Gone Girl

Consider this book a low 4 – it probably should be a 3 but it was quick, engaging, and it coincided conveniently with a bout of homesickness on my bus home from a winter break with my family so it made me a little emotional.

As with so many mysteries and thrillers these days, you can see the Gone Girl influence all over the place. The unreliable narrators, the moral ambiguity, the well-done tension and slightly-too-proud-of-itself twist. I might need to revise my party line that I’m “not good at guessing twists,” because I saw this one coming halfway through. But the book kept me wondering how the family would find out, how they would react, and of course how Julie got to where she ended up.

The character drawn the best was Jane, especially seen through her sister’s eyes – accurately, as someone trying to be tougher than they are. Anna was at times a little one-note but I can forgive that, since the entire conceit is that she’s never once moved on from her daughter’s kidnapping. And of course Julie herself is intentionally an enigma, but (despite knowing who she was) as a catalyst rather than a character, effective.

As with so many mysteries and thrillers these days, you can see the Gone Girl influence all over the place.

Contrasted with a book like The Art of Crash Landing (which came to mind while reading Good as Gone though I can’t precisely say why), it’s certainly not cliché and does a lot more work developing familial relationships. If it hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten a little misty eyed about mothers and daughters.

In short – a good mystery, perfect for a beach read or bus ride. I wish it wasn’t subtitled “A Novel of Suspense,” since that brings a tinge of pretentiousness it doesn’t really merit – if you take it a little less seriously, it’s a satisfying page turner, which is probably all it needs to be.