Book Review: Long Gone by Alafair Burke

1 Aug

Genre: Crime fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper)

Pub date: 21 June 2011

Source: Publisher

After months of struggle following a layoff, Alice Humphrey gets an offer that seems too good to be true. She is approached by Drew Campbell who wants to hire her to manage an art gallery for a secretive art connoisseur. Brushing initial doubts aside, Alice takes on the job. The picketing by a religious group the day after the show opens is only the start of her troubles.

This is the first book I’ve read by Alafair Burke and now I wonder how that can be. In this intricately plotted mystery, Burke brings together some very different story-lines.

Alice Humphrey doesn’t know who she works for. She hasn’t even met the artist whose work is being shown in the gallery opening. Her only contact is with the middleman Drew Campbell. In spite of all the red flags, Alice convinces herself that this is a great chance and sets about doing a good job.

But her job and life fall apart when Alice suddenly finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Nothing is as it seems and the deck is stacked against her as the police keep finding clues that point towards Alice. She must uncover and 20 year old secret while her life is threatened. Why has she been set up and who is the redhead in the photograph that the police believe is her?

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Becca has gone missing from her mother’s home. FBI Agent Hank Morhart is trying to track her down while at the same time stalking an old nemesis.

Helped by an obsessed FBI agent, Alice Humphrey digs out the truth and finds that as much as she ran away from her family, some old family secrets are still dogging her.

These two plots and some other characters come together in surprising ways in this fast-paced, intricately plotted mystery filled with satisfying twists and turns.

While dealing with social issues like child pornography, the story also brings to light the pitfalls of our digital social media life.

Definitely recommended for fans of crime fiction. And I will definitely be reading other works by Alafair Burke – the Ellie Hatcher and Samantha Kincaid series

Rating: 4*

*See my Rating policy

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