Published January 2015 – Mulholland Books
250,000 people go missing in the UK every year.
91% of those reported to police are found within 48 hours.
99% of cases are solved within a year.
And 1% stay gone.
Eleven years ago, troubled teenager Emma Thorley went missing. The police assumed she was a runaway. But now a body has been found in woods near Blyth.
DI Michael Gardner knows he didn’t take Emma’s disappearance seriously enough back then, and is determined to make up for it now. But when he and DS Nicola Freeman start to reinvestigate, they discover that nothing is as simple as it seems.
As news of the discovery travels, the past will come back to haunt all those involved. Because there are consequences when good people do bad things, and some secrets cannot stay buried for ever…
Thanks to Mulholland Books and Bookbridgr for my lovely copy of ‘Gone’.
There is something rather fascinating about a missing person case. It is the element of mystery and speculation. And Rebecca Muddiman brings this to life in her new novel.
Rebecca Muddiman explores a missing person investigation, in two time frames. Emma Thorley was a teenager, who disappeared eleven years ago. Emma’s disappearance was not taken that seriously. She was a troubled young teenager and had gone off the rails, after the death of her mother. A body is found and it is assumed that it is Emma. The story alternates between 1999, when we see Emma with her contemporaries and get an insight into what her life was like. In particular, we see the thuggish Lucas, an ex-boyfriend of Emma’s and her drug’s worker Ben. We also have the 2010 present day police investigation run by DS Nicola Freeman, with assistance from DI Michael Gardner. Gradually the pieces of the mystery of what happened to Emma come together.
This is a clever mystery; with some rather interesting and well drawn characters and a strong sense of realism. The characterisation made it work for me and Rebecca Muddiman’s style of writing just draws you into this world of teenage nightmares. I loved the detectives and the 1999 account of Emma’s life and her struggles to get her life back on track. Both Freeman and Gardner, with their own personal stuff going on, were the right balance of quirky and down to earth. I particularly was fond of Nicola Freeman and her dogged determination to find out what has happened to Emma.
And it was lovely to read a crime story set in the North East.
Anyone who can write a good mystery gets the thumbs up from me! I will look out for Rebecca Muddiman again.