I love thrillers with great psychological finesse and where you never know what´ll happen on the next page. Good as Gone is such a thriller and turned out to be a real page-turner. And the answer to all the misery that one decision and one thought brought over an entire family was as simple as heartbreaking. It seems that with Amy Gentry and her book I discovered a new thriller author that knows how to catch my attention. Oh yes, this thriller promises a lot – and keeps every single word of it. Read!

Good As Gone*
by Amy Gentry
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on July 26, 2016
Genre Thriller
Pages 288
Format Hardcover
Source Library

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her young sister. Her family was shattered but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie, is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic – but Anna, Julie´s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
The moment Julie walks out of her parent´s house in the middle of the night is the end of her careless childhood and the beginning of a nightmare. Not only for her but for her younger sister and her parents as well. But the real torture starts about eight years later when Julie returns home and tries to connect to a life that´s no longer hers and to a family who has not only tons of questions but to deal with some huge problems she has created when she was taken by the stranger. 

From the very first line, I was haunted and couldn´t stop reading. I simply had to know how things would unfold, and why happened what happened. And the fact, that you get the prolog told from the personal view of the mother, gives you a good insight into how twisted and crazy things will become.

Amy Gentry´s writing style is simple but effective. She uses a clear but direct language which is from the first line to the last sensitive as well as blunt. She tells during the ongoing story some thoughts Julie´s mother Anna has, as well as Julie herself which lets you feel that the answer to all this isn´t quite as nice and easy to understand as you would like it. And to be honest, I was shell shocked when the plot came to that scene and I started to realize that it was only one thought, one feeling a little girl had, that made things worse.

But what impressed me the most was how the author had created this plot. You sense from the beginning that something really bad must have been the reason for all this, that one crazy person is so extremely twisted and nuts to act like a monster and feel good about it at the same time. But when you get to know the real reason behind all this pain and lost years, your stomach and heart get tied up in a knot. Because no child should ever feel that way and should never doubt the love parents give or feel.

There is nothing to say against a nice, loving family with parents who worry all the time about the wellbeing of their children. That is the way how a functional and caring family is supposed to be. But what if one part of that nice to look at family is too shocked, too frightened and way too scared to go and call for help or the long-planned security system didn´t get installed in time to prevent the family from any harm?

Anna feels numb. The fact, that she drives every day through a huge and massive security gate that secures something that´s already lost, is showing her every damn day what she´s lost. She is functioning, but not living. Her subconscious is mad at her younger daughter and makes her responsible for what had happened that night, eight years ago. As a result, Anna decided not to become like other caring mothers who ask their kids all the time where they are going, what they´re planning to do and so forth and so forth. Her thoughts about what she did wrong, why she did the things the way she did them were really exciting to read and shocking at the same time. 

I read this book in one single swoop practically overnight – so haunted by it was I. The style, the words, the psychological finesse, and the pictures the author drew in my mind – holy shit! For fans of this genre a must-read, that is for sure. 

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release by C.Bertelsmann on February 27, 2017.

Amy Gentry
Amy Gentry ©Matt Valentine

Amy Gentry has studied at the University of Chicago, where she made her PhD. She lives in Austin, Texas where she teaches English Literature at a High School. Amy Gentry is a book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune whose work has also appeared in Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Best Food Writing of 2014. Good as Gone is her first novel.  


No comments:

Note: By submitting your commentar, you accept that the comment you write, and the personal information associated with it (e.g. username, email address, linked profile on Google/Wordpress) will be transmitted to Google servers. You can find more information in my privacy policy and in Google´s Privacy Policy.

Hinweis: Mit dem Abschicken deines Kommentars akzeptierst du, dass der von dir geschriebene Kommentar und die personenbezogenen Daten, die damit verbunden sind (z.B. Username, E-Mail-Adresse, verknüpftes Profil auf Google/Wordpress) an Google-Server übermittelt werden. Weitere Informationen dazu findest du in meiner Datenschutzerklärung und in der Datenschutzerklärung von Google.