Gone by Elisabeth Naughton | Rating: ★★★☆☆
A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
Returning to Elisabeth Naughton's Deadly Secrets series, Gone is perhaps the first of Naughton's work that I actually couldn't put down and felt intrigued by. I enjoyed it far more than anything I've read by her thus far. Unlike Repressed, there was this pull in the writing that keeps readers on the edge of their seat in the ever-present mystery. This isn't typically my cup of tea; the way the story unfolded, but I found it much easier to get into than the previous release in the series. I still had my problems with it--which is why the rating stands at only 3 stars--but I appreciate it and thought it was a very solid release.
You do not need to read Repressed to fall in with this story--it's virtually unconnected to it and can be seen as a novel outside of a series.
First of all, oh man, there's just something about Gone that will pull on your heartstrings and will resonate with something in you.
There's this underlying sense of tragedy right from the start; sometimes these wounds never close and will open up again at even the briefest of mentions. It goes without saying that it is impossible to describe the feeling of a pain that radiates from a parent who's lost a child--sadly, cruelly, three years ago, the main characters in Gone lost their one year old daughter.
Somethings you never fully recover from and in this instance, it's quite easy to sympathize with Alec and Reagan, who are now divorced. There's that huge sense of loss that weighs down both of them, and a guilt that cannot be easily rationalized. This makes them very deeply human and fascinating. A lot of novels that deal with the loss of a child--the mystery, the fall out--can't seem to get the emotional aspects down path but Elisabeth Naughton does so with beauty and grace. I found it easy to get invested in these two and that's not an easy task given the topic at hand.
Overall, Gone is passionate and poignant; heartbreaking and dark, it has a little bit of every genre in each chapter and will keep readers questioning what had actually happened. Complex relationships, betrayal and a chilling tone set this novel apart for me and while I am in no hurry to read it again, it's definitely a novel worth a second glance from lovers of the genre.