250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. 91% of those reported to police are found within 48 hours. 99% of cases are solved within a year. And 1% stay gone.
When the remains of a young woman are unearthed , the police investigation leads the assumption that they are those of Emma Thorley , a teenager who went missing more than eleven years ago. However, as the police investigation gets underway, both DS Nicola Freeman and DI Michael Gardner find that there are more questions than answers , and most of the questions, at the heart of the mystery, seem to revolve around Emma's violent past.
What then follows is a dual time detective story, which reveals Emma's story in flashback whilst at the same time, keeping the momentum of the current investigation. There's an awful lot going on in the novel, with a realistic portrayal of life at the dull end of the social spectrum. It's a sad place where drug dealing, prostitution and violence are commonplace and where young lives are seen as nothing more than a commodity to be bought and sold. The police investigative team feels frighteningly realistic, filled with the petty squabbles and hidden nuances of a gritty crime office. The police procedural part of the story is well handled and the officers involved are presented with flaws and foibles of their own, which gives the story an interesting personal edge.
I can well imagine Gone as a gritty TV drama as there are more than enough red herrings in the plot to keep you guessing and the sinister aspect of the story is tight and well controlled. This is now the second book in the DI Michael Gardner series, the first of which Stolen (2013), was this author's talented debut.
I am sure that this exciting series will continue to go from strength to strength and Rebecca Muddiman is certainly a crime novelist to watch....
My thanks to Bookbridgr and Mulholland Books for my copy of this book