I picked up Gone a few weeks ago at another BPL book sale. Let’s just say (at least for now) I’m glad I only paid $1 for it.
Gone follows Alex Delaware, a police psychologist, and Milo Sturgis, a detective with LAPD, as they attempt to discover who is responsible for the murders of young, aspiring actresses in LA. That’s about all I can tell you because the book barely kept my attention long enough for me to read it.
Kellerman’s prose alternates between long, clunky sentences with misplaced, fancy words and short, choppy fragments that made me want to scream. The writing is in first person, so I guess he was sort of going for a stream-of-consciousness feel, but it doesn’t really work.
Not to mention the story dragged. There were lots of twists and turns, which I usually enjoy, but this just seemed excessive, and it was exhausting. I didn’t really care about any of the characters, and didn’t find myself sympathizing much with the victims.
Also, the summary on the back is misleading. They don’t discover “a host of eerily identical killings” until the endwhen they figure out who did it. They find some similar disappearances, but for a long time they only have solid evidence of two murders.
The only allowance that I am willing to give Gone is that Kellerman apparently has quite a few books about this Alex Delaware guy, and this is one of the much later ones, so I was missing a lot of the backstory. There were a few things about Delaware’s personal life that I obviously wasn’t “in” on, but to be honest, there wasn’t enough backstory that a better understanding on my part would have any real impact on my opinion of the book.
I really don’t have much more to say about this book than this: it was not good. I have no idea how Jonathan Kellerman is anywhere near the New York Times Bestseller List. The fact that he is gives me very little faith in the literary taste of the current population, because Gone is pretty much worthless. The sad thing is that the story would have been at least somewhat entertaining had the prose even approached anything resembling “good.” The bottom line is that this was a decent story wasted on horrible, horrible prose. If I weren’t heartily against throwing books away, this book would be in the trash before you could say “Delaware.”