These other two plot lines are, of course, connected to Alice’s story in some way, and it’s the finding out how that keeps the reader turning the pages.

The first question, as far as Alice’s innocence is concerned, comes down to finding out who this Drew Campbell really was since there’s nothing concrete to tie the corpse to the assumed identity. The mobile phone number Alice has been calling links to a disposable phone, the artist whose work she displayed doesn't seem to exist and there’s no way of tracking down the anonymous benefactor who’s been financing the gallery.

And, predictably, the missing teenager’s fingerprints turn up on the premises at the gallery.

As far as the NYPD are concerned, there’s no question about who’s guilty, and as the rest of the story unfolds Alice unravels the details, uncovering carefully staged deceptions, discovering secrets her family would rather forget and learning that those around her aren’t necessarily quite who they appear to be.

Those issues result is an interesting, lively-paced read with some contemporary issues (social media playing a significant part in the plot line) getting an airing. I think I’ve read all of Ms Burke’s previous efforts (even if they’re not reviewed hereabouts) and Long Gone is right up there with the rest of them, to the point where I’ll have the eyes peeled for the return of Ellie Hatcher in the forthcoming Never Tell.

© Ian Hughes 2012