Lauren Douglas didn’t pick up her son Nathan from school. Her husband Mark is indeed worried but then she’s gone missing before. A bout of post-natal depression made her drop out for a couple weeks but that was years ago and she’s newly pregnant, not a new mother (well, she’s already a mother so…you know what I mean). So when the hours turn into days Mark is thinking maybe her disappearance was not of her choosing this time around
Doug Johnstone has shown in previous novels like Smokeheads and Hit & Run that he knows well the minds of young, hard-partying dudes, but with Gone Again he goes deep into the brain of a responsible husband and father. Mark is a decent guy and truly loves his family, but he is not without his own demons, namely a nasty temper and some truly dark (though disturbingly true-to-life) thoughts. His complex headspace is what pulls us through the paranoid, dread-soaked first two thirds of Gone Again before we reach the hugely violent and exciting finale.
Gone Again is a tight, character-driven thriller with clean prose and genuine emotional stakes. The last act revelations are never too crazy for the realistic world Johnstone has created within the novel and the plot is never overly complicated. This is strong storytelling, dear reader, and you need to get hip to it toot-sweet.