Five Star, Oct 2009, $25.95
Over twenty-four years ago, Jolene Marie Marshall killed her seven year old son and attempted to murder her daughters, five years old Clare and baby Katie. She shot Clare in the head before the cops broke in and arrested her. Clare survived, but was separated from two years old Katie. Now Clare is an FBI Agent stationed in New York still looking for Kate with no success and the state of Texas has just executed her mom. Clare goes to a convenience store where she runs into a hold-up in which the storeowner is dead and a man has a gun pointed at a woman’s head. Clare kills him.
The grateful woman, Mrs. Sands works at Protective Services; feeling she owes Clare so gives to her a lead to Katie; AKA Beth Linney living in Farley, South Carolina. Taking a leave of absence, Clare heads to Farley where she learns Beth ran away with a trucker. She is unwelcome by the townsfolk because of her resemblance to her sibling, who was married but Beth Ryder dumped the local hero. Finally, in town is her former lover, FBI Agent Jake Sutton who left her when she rejected his efforts for a more permanent relationship; he is the local agent raising his young orphaned niece. Clare’s life has converged in Farley as she makes waves seeking clues to where her sister went, but finds something much more lethal and sinister.
Although the convergence in South Carolina is a credulous coincidence over the top of Sassafras Mountain, GONE is a super thriller. Clare is terrific as a courageous person risking her career and her life to find a sister she has not seen in almost a quarter of a century. Jake is frustrated with her as Clare feels women with her genetics don’t marry and especially do not have kids. Readers will enjoy this exciting tale as the heroine makes tsunami like waves to Farley.