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Johnstone, Doug - 'Gone Again'
Trade Paperback: 256 pages (Mar. 2013) Publisher: Faber and Faber ISBN: 0571296602

Doug Johnstone's books go from strength to strength. His latest novel, GONE AGAIN, is several notches up from his last one, HIT & RUN, and, as that was my Number 1 book choice for 2012, this is really saying something. His talent lies not only in his ability to write an excellent story extremely well, but also in the way he weaves it into your head. The plot taps away at you, urging you to read the next bit as soon as you can and lingering in your thoughts. Long after you have finished the book, it still isn't finished with you.

Once more, Johnstone's novel starts off with a tragic event and then rapidly spirals downwards. This one caught me completely by surprise and niggled away at me today while I was in the Portobello area.

In brief, Mark Douglas is a freelance photographer. He is down on Edinburgh's Portobello beach, taking shots of a pod of whales that are trying to beach themselves, when his phone rings. The call is from his son's school. Nathan's mum Lauren hasn't come to collect him and they want Dad to come along instead. Mark duly heads along to the school to collect Nathan and take him home. But this is just the beginning, as Lauren doesn't show up that evening and doesn't answer her phone either. She still doesn't come back the next day and Mark starts to become really worried as she had disappeared before, when Nathan was a new baby, leaving him all alone. The police don't seem that concerned, although they do eventually start to treat the situation as a missing person case. In sheer desperation, Mark takes things into his own hands and cannot quite believe what he finds…

If you like a disturbing read, that doesn't end the way you think it will and has a habit of staying with you afterwards, then this book is most definitely for you.

Pure Dead Brilliant!

Read another review of GONE AGAIN.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
March 2013

Amanda blogs at Old Dogs and New Tricks.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 10/11/2013 09:24