Summary and book reviews of Gone For Good by Harlan Coben

Gone For Good

by Harlan Coben

Gone For Good
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2002, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2003, 352 pages

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Book Summary

Gone for Good is at once a powerhouse of suspense and a haunting tale of love--the love between brothers, between lovers, between family members. It is one of those rare thrillers that not only makes the pulse pound, but stirs the heart as well.

Harlan Coben earned the raves of critics everywhere for his New York Times bestselling thriller, Tell No One, hailed as "pulse-pounding" (People), "compelling and original" (Los Angeles Times), and "a thriller of runaway tension" (Iris Johansen). Now, in a bold new novel, Coben continues to stake out new ground in suspense, unleashing a haunting tale of secrets and betrayal...and of one man's search for his missing brother that spirals into a breakneck hunt for a killer, a victim, and the truth.

As a boy, Will Klein had a hero: his older brother, Ken. Then, on a warm suburban night in the Kleins' affluent New Jersey neighborhood, a young woman--a girl Will had once loved--was found raped and murdered in her family's basement.

The prime suspect: Ken Klein. With the evidence against him overwhelming, Ken simply vanished, spending the next decade as the elusive subject of rumors, speculation, and an international manhunt. When his shattered family never heard from Ken again, they were sure he was gone for good.

Now eleven years have passed. And Will, who always believed in his brother's innocence, has found evidence that Ken is alive--even as he is struck by another act of betrayal. His girlfriend suddenly disappears, leaving behind compelling evidence that she was not the person Will thought she was. As two dark dramas unwind around him, Will is pulled into a violent mystery, haunted by signs that Ken is trying to contact him after all these years. Will can feel himself coming closer and closer to his brother . . . and to a terrible secret that someone will kill to keep buried. And as the lies begin to unravel, Will is uncovering startling truths about his lover, his brother, and even himself. He knows he must press his search all the way to the end. Because the most powerful revelations are yet to come....

Gone for Good is at once a powerhouse of suspense and a haunting tale of love--the love between brothers, between lovers, between family members. It is one of those rare thrillers that not only make the pulse pound, but stir the heart as well.

Chapter 1

Three days before her death, my mother told me--these weren't her last words, but they were pretty close--that my brother was still alive.

That was all she said. She didn't elaborate. She said it only once. And she wasn't doing very well. Morphine had already applied its endgame heart squeeze. Her skin was in that cusp between jaundice and fading summer tan. Her eyes had sunken deep into her skull. She slept most of the time. She would, in fact, have only one more lucid moment--if indeed this had been a lucid moment, which I very much doubted--and that would be a chance for me to tell her that she had been a wonderful mother, that I loved her very much, and good-bye. We never said anything about my brother. That didn't mean we weren't thinking about him as though he were sitting bedside too.

"He's alive."

Those were her exact words. And if they were true, I didn't know if it would be a good thing or bad.

We buried my mother four ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

True to form, Coben keeps the plot twists coming fast and furious, and readers will give up trying to guess the outcome quite early on; yet the book's entertainment value lies less in its plot than its characters.

Kirkus Reviews

Coben dispenses crucial plot twists with an eyedropper, expertly wringing the maximum suspense out of each jaw-dropping surprise. After a while, though, the high-energy revelations begin to sprawl, and this synthetic, highly enjoyable tale ends up stuck between grim realism and the sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy in which nobody, not even the dead, is ever gone for good.

Booklist - Connie Fletcher

Coben delivers far more than an absorbing mystery here. Through Klein, the psychological suspense turns on the question of guilt, surely, but also on the transcendence of familial love and forgiveness.....breathtaking.

Library Journal - Jeff Ayers

Coben has written another winner, guaranteed to keep readers awake all night.....Complex and unpredictable, this is even better than Coben's last novel, Tell No One. Highly recommended.

Reader Reviews

Connie

Gone for Good
Loved it , loved it , loved it. Its the first of Coben's that I have read. (for a library book discussion group) Lots of twists and turns, good characters, evil characters, great ending. Loved the epilogue. I saw on a few web sites that some readers...   Read More

PDXReader

Fun, exciting read
This is the second Harlan Coben novel I've read, but it certainly won’t be the last. I'm finding that he is fast becoming one of my favorite "light" authors. This book, in particular, was intriguing and fast-paced with many unexpected plot twists ...   Read More

Diana Utu

This book has so many twists that your head doesn't know where to turn! Its so incredible. It gave so much descriptive details, that it felt like you were part of the story!

Chris

I truly enjoyed this book, by one of my favorite authors, because when you think you understand Mr. Coben puts in a twist that not even the most intellectual reader could have guessed. The quality that I most enjoyed about the book was the extreme ...   Read More

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