Gone – Rebecca Muddiman


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…

My thoughts

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.





About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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11 Responses to Gone – Rebecca Muddiman

  1. crimeworm says:

    I rather fancy this, after reading you and Cleo’s reviews. The author also did a good post on RebeccaBradleyCrime in her First Drafts series. I’m so envious of writers who are able to write a clever plot; my mind doesn’t work like that! (I’d love it if it did!)

    • Christine says:

      I saw both Cleo’s review and Rebecca Bradley’s First Draft one. It must be hard to write a plot over two time frames. I never know how authors manage that. And when I see it done well, I am in awe.

      • crimeworm says:

        Absolutely – all credit to Rebecca Bradley for Shallow Waters. I have ideas, but never the motivation to get them written, although it was what I was best at in school. Sarah Ward of Crimepieces is also a blogger-turned-author – I think her book is out in May. Look forward to reading it, too.

      • Christine says:

        You should get writing. I’d read your book!!!! Ive just followed Sarah Ward on twitter 🙂

      • crimeworm says:

        She’s a really good reviewer too. I’d hoped to meet with her at Bloody Scotland, but my friend decided not to go, and the thought of public transport was just…eurgh! I always think when I read a particularly good book, well what would be the point in me writing when there are writers like this out there? Thought that reading Liam McIlvanney’s All The Colours Of The Town the other night – he’s just exceptional! It must be genetic lol.

      • Christine says:

        You shouldn’t let that put you off. Yes there are some brilliant writers out there. But you could be one too.

        I will read her reviews and see. Have you been to a crime festival?

      • crimeworm says:

        Never – I’d love to go to Bloody Scotland. You should try and come up for that – it’s had a great line-up the last couple of years. I always say I’m going to go to Edinburgh, as I’ve a friend there who’s an absolute book fiend, she will read anything! Harrogate is the best one, imho, but obviously it’s a bit of a trek for me….it’s 2-3 hours just to get to Glasgow (or civilization, as we call it!)

      • Christine says:

        I’m really close to the Harrogate one. My geography of Yorkshire is still rubbish. But I think I am about an hour away at the most. So tempted. And Bloody Scotland can’t be that far away on the train. We have to go. Haha @ civilization.

      • crimeworm says:

        Stirling’s very central – in fact, in the summer there’s a bus to Dundee from here, and it has to go through Stirling. The Edinburgh one may go that way too. BS is in September. And I got an e-mail the other day saying the line up will be announced in June. Stirling’s about 40 mins to an hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh, so it’s v handy. My cousin’s a fireman there (random fact!)

  2. I’m interested in reading this one. It sounds great.

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