Gone (Jack Caffery Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jack Caffery and Flea Marley continue to share the spotlight, with their partnership developing into a sort of Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs relationship (with more sexual tension and as often as not working at cross-purposes). It picks up six months after the conclusion of Skin, with Flea’s team in departmental crosshairs, their bonuses at risk and her leadership in question. She is still covering up the death of Misty Kitson for her brother (Caffery witnessed her disposing of the body, and is keeping his ...
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Gone (Jack Caffery Series #5)

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Overview

Jack Caffery and Flea Marley continue to share the spotlight, with their partnership developing into a sort of Lincoln Rhyme/Amelia Sachs relationship (with more sexual tension and as often as not working at cross-purposes). It picks up six months after the conclusion of Skin, with Flea’s team in departmental crosshairs, their bonuses at risk and her leadership in question. She is still covering up the death of Misty Kitson for her brother (Caffery witnessed her disposing of the body, and is keeping his distance), and this backstory is filled in as you go along.

The main plot is about child abduction—a carjacker wearing a Santa Claus mask who steals the car of a vicar’s wife, with her 11 year old daughter in the backseat, from a parking lot. Caffery is called in to investigate and is confident the car was the target and the girl will be returned, until Flea reminds him of two other open cases with similar MO, both with young girls in the cars. Then creepy taunting letters start arriving, presumably from the perpetrator. Caffery consults with the Walking Man, the eccentric homeless billionaire whose daughter was abducted and murdered (with whom Caffery has a special bond because his brother suffered the same fate) who warns him that “this one is cleverer than anyone you’ve ever dealt with.”

When the car from the carjacking turns up, the mud in its tires is mixed with certain metals that suggest it was at a garage or factory, a needle in a haystack but that Flea remembers a factory site her team had searched that matches the specs perfectly. They find tire tracks and footprints and know they are in the right place, but the carjacker has scored through his footprints with something sharp, outwitting forensics, and has deliberately made many different sets of prints leading in all directions into the woods so they won’t know where to search.

Flea realizes belatedly that a piece of nylon rope at the site could easily be a mooring rope and returns to find that just outside the area they’d searched was a disused canal. She gets Caffery and her team out to search it, finding barge-mooring spikes that match the footprints’ score marks. The canal runs partly through an unstable underground tunnel, which is already partly collapsed and threatens to cave in further when a train passes by. Flea puts herself and her number two man at risk to break through a rockfall searching the tunnel but comes up empty. She and Paul Prody (a detective on Caffery’s team) both get reamed out for wasting time and money, and end up bonding at a pub. Coincidentally, Prody was the traffic cop who’d breathalyzed her six months earlier when she pretended to have been driving the car that killed Misty Kitson. Flea confesses to him, finally, that her brother was driving.

Another girl goes missing in a carjacking, and is returned a few hours later. No one can figure out why the carjacker knows where the traffic cameras are, but he and the stolen cars are never caught on film. The first girl’s baby tooth is slipped into an apple pie made for the distraught parents by a neighbor. The family of the second girl is moved to a safe house, but a taunting note at the new location requires them to be moved again. A tracking device on their car explains how the jacker knew where they were—problem is, the car was never out of police custody, so it must be someone with police access. Suspicion centers on a handyman who got the job with a stolen identity and murdered a girl when he was a teenager. Prody’s office was recently painted and the handwriting of a “wet paint” note on his desk matches the carjacker’s taunting letters. In disgrace, Prody is sent to break the news to the family of the second girl.

A storage unit rented by the handyman for the last 11 years connects to a secret passage that contains the body of the girl he murdered years ago, and Caffery believes it connects to the canal they searched earlier. Meanwhile, Flea, not knowing what Caffery has found, has been going back to investigate the canal herself. One night she realizes that the hidden parts of the tunnel are accessible by the airshafts and, leaving a message for new friend Prody, goes back to check it out. Prody and the family of the second girl are drugged and the girl disappears again. At this point, it’s pretty clear Prody is the carjacker, but the suspense of watching him elude Caffery is terrific. Flea is trapped in a tunnel cave-in, but manages to squeeze through the hatch on a barge into an intact section of the tunnel. She is injured and losing a lot of blood, and the only person who knows where she is Prody, who checks on her and then leaves to “get help.”

In the denouement, the victims’ families and Caffery separately realize what they have in common—they are all connected to Prody’s divorce through his kids’ school (and one of the fathers is having an affair with Prody’s ex-wife). Rather than being a pedophile or child-killer, he is exacting revenge on the parents he blames for ruining his life by enacting their worst fears. Caffery sets up a sting with a cop standing in for the wife’s lawyer and a doll for her newborn, and they follow the car to the tunnel where Prody has trapped Flea inside an inaccessible part of the barge, taunting her through the hatch. Using materials from a chemical explorer’s lamp left to her by her father, Flea blows the hatch open, in the process impaling Prody on the barge hull, just as Caffery’s team arrives. Flea is incoherent from blood loss and hypothermia, Prody is breathing his last, and the girls are still missing. Just as Caffery and his team are decamping to figure out if he’s hidden them in another location, Flea (from a medivac far overhead) telepathically tells Caffery where the girls are. They find the pit Prody created in the canal wall, the two girls hidden inside a storage trunk, terrified but alive. In the final scene, the Walking Man tells Caffery that it was Flea’s brother who hit and killed Misty Kitson, and Caffery heads toward the hospital to reconcile with her, the secret still safe between the two of them.

Winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…[an] artfully constructed procedural…the visceral thrills don't come at the expense of character. By giving her villain the intelligence to inflict as much emotional as physical pain, Hayder makes him less of a monster and more of a terror.
—The New York Times
Maureen Corrigan
In addition to the creepy intellectual satisfactions of Hayder's plot, the setting here is agreeably terrifying…It's a tribute to Hayder's powers as a suspense writer that she completely turns the over-familiar premise of this novel inside out and upside down. The more pages of Gone that we captivated readers turn, the farther away we get from cliched thriller conventions.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
A carjacking goes from bad to horrifying in Hayder's gripping fifth thriller featuring Bristol Det. Insp. Jack Caffery and Sgt. Phoebe "Flea" Marley (after Skin). When Rose Bradley's car is stolen with her 11-year-old daughter, Martha, inside, it appears to be a routine snatch-and-grab. It becomes clear, however, that the carjacker had his sights set on the girl, not the vehicle, when he begins taunting the police, who scramble to find clues to Martha's whereabouts. Jack soon discovers a pattern of similar kidnappings disguised as car thefts, with the level of violence ratcheted up in each case. As Jack tracks the kidnapper above ground, Flea's search takes her below ground and underwater into a decommissioned canal and tunnel, where she fights to save her own life and that of the kidnapped child. Hayder expertly brings to life the claustrophobia of Flea's dives and the emotional burden of the case on Jack. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Starred review. "Riveting... Hayder keeps the tension high... The meticulously crafted plot is heightened by Hayder's skillful evocation of mood as she summons the specter of a highly intelligent criminal who is taking great satisfaction from every parent's worst nightmare. A captivating thriller." - Booklist
"A brilliantly plotted mystery that keeps you guessing not only who the villain is, but what exactly he's after... First-rate mystery that takes full advantage of the wintry, moonlit West Country and the unusual skills of its lady diver." - Kirkus Reviews
"A carjacking goes from bad to horrifying in Hayder's gripping fifth thriller." - Publishers Weekly
"A complex, fast-paced, well-written mystery with interesting characters fighting personal and external demons." - Library Journal
"It's a tribute to Hayder's powers as a suspense writer that she completely turns the over-familiar premise of this novel inside out and upside down. The more pages of Gone that we captivated readers turn, the farther away we get from cliched thriller conventions." - The Washington Post
"Chilling... Shocks are in store." - The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
Jack Caffery and Sgt. Phoebe "Flea" Marley, a police diver, return in Hayder's latest thriller. This is the fifth appearance for Caffery, who debuted in Birdman, and the third for Marley. The events of the previous novel, Skin, have eroded their personal and professional relationship, and Marley and her team are under scrutiny. A new case brings them together, and the two struggle with their partnership and with the brutal criminal they face. What appears to be an accidental kidnapping during a carjacking turns more sinister when the child is not released, a pattern of similar attempted incidents emerges, and they receive a letter from the kidnapper outlining what he's done and what he's planning. VERDICT Readers who can tolerate some graphic descriptions of violence (or skim past them) will be rewarded with a complex, fast-paced, well-written mystery with interesting characters fighting personal and external demons. Recommended for those who enjoy Karin Slaughter and John Connolly.—Beth Blakesley, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
Kirkus Reviews

A carjacker in a clown's mask drives off with an 11-year-old girl in the back seat, drawing DI Jack Caffery of Bristol's major-crime unit into a multilayered plot that also brings back unsteady female police diver Flea Marley.

Hayder's fifth novel to feature Caffery (introduced in Birdman, 1999) tones down the gruesome violence (if not the creepy scenarios), delivering a brilliantly plotted mystery that keeps you guessing not only who the villain is, but what exactly he's after. With his poorly disguised antipathy toward children, Caffery is not the best choice to investigate the disappearance of little girls. But the former Londoner, who's still losing sleep over his brother's childhood disappearance, is comfortable on the missing-person trail. Helped by his unhinged but brilliant street friend, the Walking Man, he is led to a canal with a submerged barge and an odd network of air shafts. That's where Marley (introduced in Ritual, 2008) is on her own mission to make up for a traumatic past—not to mention a recent criminal act in taking responsibility for the death of a woman her drunken brother ran over. The complicated personal history of Caffery and Marley provides a compelling undercurrent, as does Marley's confessed love-hate affair with Caffery and his checkered past. She does something most mystery writers wouldn't with their star protagonist: She has him miss major clues and get outsmarted by the mother of a missing girl. But only, of course, to a point.

First-rate mystery that takes full advantage of the wintry, moonlit West Country and the unusual skills of its lady diver.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802195982
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Jack Caffery Series, #5
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 80,147
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

After leaving school at fifteen, Mo Hayder worked as a barmaid, security guard, filmmaker, hostess in a Tokyo nightclub, and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She now teaches at Bath Spa University. Mo Hayder is also the author of Birdman, The Treatment, The Devil of Nanking, Pig Island, Ritual, and Skin.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good story line

    Det. Jack Caffery is called out for a carjacking case when he discovers there was an eleven year old girl in the car at the time. With very few leads, he and his team are doing everything possible to find young Martha when there's another carjacking and this one also includes a young girl.

    Police diver Flea Marley has had some serious problems which led to an estrangement from Jack. Because of her lack of leadership Flea's group has become disorganized and disjointed. Pulling herself and her team together, they start their own investigation into the carjackings hoping to not only find the missing girls but to also prove their dedication and improve her team's reputation.

    When the "jacker" starts sending notes to the families of the missing girls the police realize this is a much different crime. As they find themselves racing to try to rescue the girls as well as prevent more kidnappings, they realize that the kidnapper knows exactly what they're doing and what their next moves will be. Caffery finds himself even more emotionally involved with the families because of the disappearance of his brother many years ago.

    Since I had never read anything by Ms. Hayder before, it felt like this was a sequel to another of her books and that the background between Jack and Flea was missing. It took quite a while for all of the bits and pieces of the cause of the tension between them to surface, which made the story drag a little.

    I liked this book and I enjoyed reading it but I'd recommend that you start with the previous Mo Hayder book so that you'd have the proper background for the protagonists' relationships. Lynn Kimmerle

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    Ever since Birdman (the first of this series) was available as a

    Ever since Birdman (the first of this series) was available as a Free
    Friday book, I've been reading all the books in this series. This one
    was a little more difficult of a read, but I think that's due to so many
    characters in this one and the increasing complexity of the
    relationships between them. This book definitely builds upon the first
    4 books, where tidbits leading into this book were hidden. I can't wait
    until the next book comes out!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Good...so far

    I read about 12 pages, but so far it's interesting.The only problem is that it's hard to follow.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2014

    WOW!

    Quite a page-turner here. Lots of twists, turns & suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Loved this book

    I have read the previous 4 books in this series and really enjoyed all of them. This one, I think was my favorite. Absolutely couldn't put it down! Can't wait to read the 2 latest ones.

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    Good but wrapped up too quickly

    This was a good book that kept my attention throughout but then wrapped up way too quickly at the end.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    If you enjoy thrillers, then give this one a try.

    This was a fast paced, enjoyable and suspenseful read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2014

    Couldn't put it down!

    First time reading Mo Hayder and the book was absolutely outstanding, a page turner, a who dun-it, and I lost a lot of sleep reading it...I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Gifted author, good "reads."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Never Look Back

    Can't breathe... Drowning... Somebody---save me! I burst through the water, doubling over. I collapsed onto the ground. "Wow. He actually survived. Must be a fish!" I heard laughter all around me. I looked at my attackers. They bullied me since kindergarten to 12th grade. Joseph, the leader, was always harrassing me. "Well too bad we can't eat him!" More laughter. I stood up and weakly walked to where the towels were. I said, "Haha guys. Very funny. I'm going to go now. Bye." They looked at eachother and grinned. Barry, another bully said, "I heard your family was rich. Mind giving your friends some money? Just about only 8 thousand bucks". I felt a rage boil inside of me. This was taking it too far. First they almost kill me, and now they want about "only" 8 thousand bucks. I ignored them and walked away. Before I could reach the exit, I felt a hard thump on my head. I stood there for a couple of seconds. Then I swung back, remembering my boxing lessons. I hit Joseph on the face and he collapsed to the floor. Ashton took a swing at my face, but I easily dodged it and went for an uppercut to his stomach. He doubled over, ramming his side to the wet and hard concrete floor. Chris, who actually did boxing too, went into fighting position. But he probably only did boxing for a coule of months, while I on the other hand, had done boxing for 10 years. He approached slowly, and faked a swing at my head, while actually taking a straight puch to my chest. I dodged the fake and knocked away the real punch. I sidestepped around him and wrapped an arm around his neck. He gasped for air and squirmed, but I didn't let go. Just before he passed out, I let go of my grip. I heard a whistling sound, and a few seconds later, saw stars. I quickly got to feet, and looked around. Oh man, how could I have forgotten about Barry. I saw him running towards me. I tackled him in midair, snapping his head back. He landed with a sickening crunch. I called 911. "Hello? Who is this and what's the problem?" I took a deep breath and replied,"My name is Farren Charleston and I was only just self protecting myself. My bullies are very hurt right now. Please come to Osleton High School at Tarrenton Rd 88262." I grinned before I said the next part,"I guess you could say that I owe them 8 thousand dollars of medical services." The officer replied,"Yup, I guess you could. We'll be there as fast as possible. <br>
    <p> At dinner, my parents weren't even mad at all. Actually, my dad was proud of me. But my mom was sad that I didn't tell her about the bullying. My 13 year old sister was just texting on her phone. "So how much do we have to pay for the medical services?" I asked. My dad said,"Well we are pretty damn rich, but it turns out that THEY owe you, and you can sue them for even more. Becuase of unknown severe harrasment for more than a decade. Worth about 1 million dollars in total, but it's not like we need the money." After I finshed my dinner, I went upstairs and closed the door. I put on some loud music and went to sleep. My last thought was, "How much bullies can chucked by me, if bullies can be chucked:4" It was my parody of "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood." I smiled, knowing that the world wasn't so bad. Not bad at all.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Recommend

    My first book by Mo Hayder, and I was impressed!! This book kept me totally involved....I love her style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Book 2 and Getting Better

    This is the second book I have read from Guy Vanderhaeghe and he is a wonderful storyteller. His prose is magnificent and the story line is just Great! I will read them all very soon.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Great!

    I hope there are more books to come!

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  • Posted January 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Someone described Mo Hayder as "easily today¿s best writer

    Someone described Mo Hayder as &quot;easily today’s best writer of visceral and elemental horror.&quot; I would say without any qualification, that's an absolute UNDERSTATEMENT.

    Her writing style is so easy to ready and the tone, to me at least, is what I can only describe as a bit haunting and comes at me in a way that it's impossible to put her stories down. Her characters and their situations from page to page are so real, so life-like, so believable, that the story surrounds me and takes me in so deeply that I just want to crawl through my Nook and become part of that world and interact with those people.

    This it the fifth of Mo Hayder's books that I have read -- consecutively, by the way (that's how addictive her writing and stories are for me) -- and I look forward to reading everything she's ever written and will continue to write.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    I was unaware this was part of a series however now that I know

    I was unaware this was part of a series however now that I know I need to read the others. I loved this book, it was my first by this author and was very impressed by the storyline, characters and suspense. Highly recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Gone

    Great series, impatiently waiting for the next book to come out :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Loved the Jack Caffery series I have bought them all. This one

    Loved the Jack Caffery series I have bought them all. This one was a very good story, love the way she writes and would recommend it for anyone who likes thrillers, murder mysteries, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Keeps you on your toes

    So many twists and turns, the book keeps you wondering whats going to happen next

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Looks fine...but is it?

    My mom and aunt read this book and both rated it 3 stars. It sounds confusing- and honestly, i would rather read one of Carl Hiaasen's novels.
    Chomp
    Flush
    Hoot
    Scat
    Ever heard of them?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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