And Then You Were Gone: A Novel

And Then You Were Gone: A Novel

by R. J. Jacobs


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For fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica comes a propulsive, twisting psychological thriller that asks, How can you save someone else if you can’t save yourself?

After years of learning how to manage her bipolar disorder, Emily Firestone finally has it under control. Even better, her life is coming together: she’s got a great job, her own place, and a boyfriend, Paolo, who adores her. So when Paolo suggests a weekend sailing trip, Emily agrees—wine, water, and the man she loves? What could be better? But when Emily wakes the morning after they set sail, the boat is still adrift…and Paolo is gone.

A strong swimmer, there’s no way Paolo drowned, but Emily is at a loss for any other explanation. Where else could he have gone? And why? As the hours and days pass by, each moment marking Paolo’s disappearance, Emily’s hard-won stability begins to slip.

But when Emily uncovers evidence suggesting Paolo was murdered, the investigation throws her mania into overdrive, even as she becomes a person of interest in her own personal tragedy. To clear her name, Emily must find the truth—but can she hold onto her own sanity in the process?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683319597
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Series: A Novel
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 286,068
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

R. J. Jacobs is a psychologist in a clinical practice. He also performs PTSD evaluations for veterans. He lives in Nashville with his wife and their two children.

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And Then You Were Gone: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous 27 days ago
Wow, oh WOW! I loved this book. I had a hard time putting this book down. I actually thought I had figured out a different ending. Emily is a child psychologist. She is enjoying time on a boat with her wonderful boyfriend. They spend the night on the boat, and when she wakes up, he is gone. Emily doesn't accept that he drowned, so she searches for answers. Emily becomes a suspect and must clear her name. A great read!
Kristin975 28 days ago
And Then You Were Gone was a wild, crazy ride that I could not put down. Emily and Paolo decide to go for a short trip to a secluded area out on a boat. Emily falls asleep and wakes up to Paolo missing and her begin accused of hurting him by drugging him with her bipolar medications. But when Emily pairs with Paolo's friend Cal, they are taken on a scary journey into the medical background Paolo was working in and all the ways people will do whatever necessary to get what they want. This was a super-quick read that took me on a crazy journey!
Anonymous 5 months ago
This is actually my first-ever NetGalley read! A debut novel from the author, this one drew me in with its premise (and its cover... I am a sucker for the suggestion of underwater mysteries). The narrator, Emily, is a Nashville psychologist who takes an overnight lake boating trip with her researcher boyfriend, to wake up to find him vanished and their boat drifting on the lake. But, the more that the reader discovers about Emily, the more unreliable of a narrator she seems... She battles her own faulty memory of that night - plus her ongoing balance of life with being bipolar. Not only does the book deal with mental illness, but also with contagious diseases as her boyfriend is a researcher into the same virus that killed Emily's father twenty years before the book's opening. This medical angle gives this thriller a fresh angle (though admittedly not the underwater angle I had been hoping for!). It's a solidly entertaining read that keeps the reader's interest despite some uneven pacing. I do wish that I had felt more connected to Emily, but she does feel like a realistic character - almost detrimentally so at times (her cavalier attitude towards her own medication may rub some readers the wrong way - along with some of her relationships). Overall, this is an interesting debut and it will be interesting to see what the author writes next!
Anonymous 6 months ago
My rating 3.5 rounded up to a 4. The writing and use of words throughout this book are amazing. A quote book could definitely be made out of this book. I enjoyed the authors observations on mental illness and his descriptions of it. The plot itself was a pretty straightforward mystery for me. It kept me entertained enough to keep reading, but not on the edge of my seat rushing to finish. Some parts were a little slow. It was hard to connect with Emily as much of her in this book she was described in her manic state. I understand why this was done, but her poor choices had me shaking my head like I was watching a horror movie. The ending didn't add much to the story, it seemed too rushed and open which really didn't fit in with the rest of the book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
There are several good twists of varying degrees I didn’t expect. That’s a talent of this author’s: seamlessly and organically working the twists in, rather than trying to craft a story around them. I read this in two nights ... it was worth losing sleep over! I highly recommend it.
ColoradoGirl71 6 months ago
A thrill ride, this time with a bipolar psychologist in a fight for her life to unravel clues before she's the next to disappear. Set in Nashville, things seem to be great for Emily -- a loving boyfriend and a good job, her bipolar mania managed. Somehow, a magical date with her boyfriend goes all wrong and Emily wakes up with Paolo missing. She becomes a suspect in his case and other mysterious things start happening with the virus research at the lab where Paolo works. Emily teams up with an old friend of Paolo’s, Cal, to try to get to the bottom of the situation, but her mania starts to creep in again. I enjoyed her interactions with Cal, he seemed to be a steady influence for her. I found this an interesting glimpse into the life of mental illness and a fun guessing game for the ultimate bad guys in the book. It was also fascinating to read more about the life of a psychologist. I was not at all close in my hunches with this one. I look forward to future books from R.J. Jacobs.
Amanda_Dickens 6 months ago
I was hooked by the synopsis and disappointed by the book. Just not for me. I all fell flat for me. It felt too unbelievable. The pacing was slow. We were in the head of Emily so much that the storyline started to drag and I lost interest. I never connected to Paolo or any of the other missing/dead characters. By halfway through I just wanted to get to the end to figure out what happened and move on from this book. I also did not like the ending. When I look at others that reviewed this book it appears that I am in the minority with my opinions and I can respect that. Read some other reviews to get other takes because just because I did not enjoy it doesn't mean that you won't either.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I adore this method of storytelling. But I have to admit, it keeps me up very late - I desperately want to know what's going on with each character. And boy, oh boy, does Jacobs ever keep the tension high. Every chapter seems to end on a cliffhanger or a revelation. And you just have to keep turning pages! The who and why become clearer as the book progresses and more is revealed, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
diane92345 6 months ago
And Then You Were Gone is an innovative psychological thriller that includes an inside look at mental illness. Emily is a child psychologist. Paolo is an epidemiologist. They decide to take a weekend vacation on a rental boat. Paolo is an experienced boat captain and swimmer. Emily cannot swim. She takes anti-anxiety medicine for her fear of water. She is also bipolar. Emily and Paolo anchor the boat in a remote part of the lake and drink a couple bottles of wine. The next morning Emily is hungover and Paolo is nowhere to be found. Soon, Emily is the number one suspect. I love the flawed character of Emily. Her anxiety and bipolar diagnosis are innovative and elevate the plot. Her drunken blackout the night of the disappearance makes her an unreliable narrator. And Then You Were Gone is highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers looking for something different. It is a twisty ride! 4 stars. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
SheTreadsSoftly 6 months ago
And Then You Were Gone by R. J. Jacobs is a highly recommended novel of mystery and suspense. Emily Firestone is taking a weekend sailing trip with her boyfriend Paolo. Emily has her bi-polar disorder under control and, although she's panicked over being out on the boat in the lake because she can't swim, she feels like she can keep her panic at bay. Paolo is a strong swimmer and an experienced sailor. He has assured her she will be safe and they will have a lovely weekend. After dinner and drinks on the boat the night before, Emily awakens the next morning on the boat, Paolo is gone, she has a horrible headache, and the boat is drifting around the lake. Emily manages to get back to shore, report Paolo as missing. What could have happened to him? When evidence begins to suggest that something more sinister is afoot and Paolo's disappearance may be due to foul play, Emily begins to forget her meds and is moving into a manic state - or is she just naturally concerned? The more she discovers, the more erratic her behavior becomes. The more erratic she becomes, the less she sleeps. Soon she is high on the police's list of suspects. Emily is an unreliable narrator and trusting what she thinks she knows and believes can be a struggle at times because you don't know what her state of mind is - especially since she mentions frequently as the novel progresses that she's forgot her meds, isn't eating, and she's not sleeping. All of these factors make her incredibly unreliable and untrustworthy as a protagonist. Adding to the mix are other characters who either begin to doubt Emily or are suspicious themselves. While the plot will hold your interest and moves quickly, the narrative flow in this novel can be a bit bumpy at times. Part of this is due to Emily's state, and part to an inconsistency in the narrative. Events do start to collate into some semblance of a timeline, but questions still remain about why Emily is allowed so much freedom to move about considering she's a suspect. If you set aside any little niggling questions about certain details (which could have been handled in final editing) this is an enjoyable mystery with an exciting climax. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crooked Lane Books.
suekitty13 6 months ago
This book was incredibly difficult to put down. I just had to know what happened! I read the entire book in two sittings. If you are thinking of reading this (and you should) stop reading reviews right now! This book is best gone into with no preconceived notions about what you are going to read and spoilers would ruin half the fun! I think you will be surprised at the direction the mystery takes. The main character Emily is presented as a classic unreliable narrator with her bipolar disorder that may or may not be under control with medication. Her condition seemed to throw doubt on her competence with the police but I rarely found her unbalanced. She’s a fairly likable and understandable character. It must be awful always having people doubting your opinions and memories solely due to a mental illness. The story took a turn in direction I was not expecting and I quite liked where it went. It surprised me and I was intrigued when it turned out to be about something much bigger and scarier than I was expecting. I do have to say that despite all the red herrings, I did suspect the “bad guy” so that wasn’t a shocker but the complete picture of what was going on was a bombshell. We got little teases of it as the story progressed but at some point things turned dark real quick! I really enjoyed this thriller and it literally rarely left my hands until I was done. It’s one of those books you need to start on a weekend when you have a clear schedule because once you get into the story it doesn’t let you go! Thank you to Crooked Lane Books for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Actually just 2.75 stars from this reader... here's why The main character is on meds for her bi-polar condition, She agrees to go out on the water on her boyfriend's boat, even though she is deathly afraid of water and can't swim. Her boyfriend is a good swimmer and experienced with boats and water. They make a night of it, sleeping on board the boat drinking a lot of wine. When she wakes up the morning after he is missing, and understandably, she is panicked. Where is he? Why can't she remember what happened the night before? What does she do now? How does she get help? That part of the story got my attention. I was looking forward to a good thriller... but alas, it didn't thrill me quite enough. The plot took some interesting twists, but it was slow getting to them. About 2/3 into the book, it got better. I liked the protagonists determination to get at the truth, even though she struggled through her bipolar disorder to find it. The alliance with her boyfriends best friend, a former military ops guy, was also interesting, and he helps her get some answers. That part was good. When she was racing the clock with her friends child in the car, my heart-rate revved up a notch or two. Putting a child in harm's way will do that to me. Not a bad read. I found it hard to relate or care for the characters, so for me it will be a forgettable read, but it may not be for you. Give it a try. My thanks to the publisher via Net Galley for the opportunity to read and give my opinion on this work.