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Long Gone [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Alafair Burke , Tamara Marston
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 21 2011
After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District.

According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the owner will be hands off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees a perfect opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never existed—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone.

The artist whose work she displayed doesn’t seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.

When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she’s been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family . . .  secrets that could cost Alice her life.

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Review

“Highly suspenseful and cleverly crafted with a neat twist ending, Long Gone is a solid bet for the summer bestseller lists.”
       —BookPage Magazine

“Fast-paced fun.”
       —People Magazine

“A fine novel of suspense by a powerful new young crime writer . . . brought to life by the audio format.”
       —The Bookwatch

From the Back Cover

How well do you know your boss?

After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking District. According to Drew Campbell, the well-suited corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never been there—and Drew Campbell’s dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice’s dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of a police investigation, with the evidence mounting against her. To prove her innocence and uncover the truth, Alice must undertake a dangerous search for answers that entangles her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and forces her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family . . . secrets that could cost Alice her life.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What if someone set you up.... Aug. 17 2011
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I recently read and reviewed my first Alafair Burke book - 212 - part of a series and really enjoyed it. Long Gone is Burke's latest book and it's a stand alone.

Alice Humphrey is determined not to rely on her father's money to support her any longer. After months of job searching, she jumps at the chance when Drew Campbell offers her a job managing a small art gallery. The owner is a bit eccentric, so she'll have to go with his decisions to show some controversial works. Her friends express doubts, but Alice is determined to make it work.

And it does - until the morning she comes to work and finds the place stripped down. And Drew Campbell dead in the middle of the gallery. Only his name's not Drew...and Alice is fast becoming the prime suspect.

Determined to prove her innocence, Alice sets out to find the real murderer and clear her name. But everywhere she turns, someone else has been there first...

This is the plot line that sucked me in from the beginning. The terror in finding out that someone has set you up. This is the strong suit of Long Gone. Lots of red herrings and questions are raised with Alice's family's past, the assigned FBI agent's dedication (or lack of) to the case and whose interests does the family lawyer really have at heart? However there are two additional stories being told as well - that of a missing teenager and and an FBI agent's quest to find the killer of his sister. I wondered how they would all tie together. The teenager does, but I found the agent's tale a bit of a square peg in a round hole.

Long Gone is a fast paced pager turner with lots of twists and a great ending. Burke has succeeded in stepping out of the series mode to try something different. She's definitely on my must read list.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  188 reviews
89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Entertaining! May 19 2011
By Bobbewig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Long Gone, Alafair Burke's first stand-alone novel, involves main character, Alice Humphrey, who after a job layoff and months of struggling, lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District. Based on the well-suited corporate rep who hires her, Drew Campbell, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy and eccentric owner. Campbell assures Alice that the owner will be hands-off, allowing her to run the gallery on her own. Her friends are concerned that the job is too good to be true, but Alice sees it as an opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial filmmaker. Everything is going well for Alice until one morning she arrives at work to find the gallery gone -- the space stripped bare and Drew Campbell's dead body on the floor. From that point on Humphrey's dream job is gone and she becomes the center of police attention with nothing to prove her innocence.

Long Gone is an entertaining read that is likely to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. To Burke's credit, her main character is well-developed, believable and likable enough to make you really care enough about what happens to her; and her cast of secondary credible characters serve the plot well. Further, the plot is, for the most part, fast-paced, contemporary, suspenseful and provides an above average amount of twists and turns right up until the very end. The book, however, is not without (what I view as) two minor flaws, which resulted in my deducting one star from my rating. One flaw pertains to some dialogue between Alice Humphrey and an operator/admin at a media company in which Alice is provided with some very key confidential information based on a single phone call. For me this just didn't ring true. The second flaw pertains to Burke taking a bit too long to tie together the three seemingly random cases being investigated in the story.

While not a perfect book (but then again, how many are?), Long Gone is a book I'd recommend when you're in the mood for good, light escape reading.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets You Hooked Quickly June 27 2011
By Book Sake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I would have given this novel a rating of 4/5 if only part one of the novel hadn't been so thoroughly confusing. The introduction had so many narrators that I struggled to keep the stories straight, and it wasn't until the pieces came together that I started to enjoy this book. As far as suspense goes, there are many plot lines that get you hooked into the story, and then many twists that you don't see coming. Alice's character learns a lot about herself and her relationships with her family that make you want to know more about how she turns out in the end. I think that any fans of suspense will appreciate the police/lawyer angles in the story, and since I have been watching too much courtroom TV lately I was grateful for the layman's terms that Ms. Burke easily uses to help the reader understand and appreciate these situations in her writing.

Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in Manhattan May 13 2011
By Barbara J. Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I had never read anything by Alafair Burke. She has written two series of three books each. This one is a stand-alone, a suspense novel set in New York City.

The story is about Alice Humphrey, a former child star and daughter of a big name director. She has purposely gone on her own after learning that her father had had affairs, but is having a tough time since she lost her job at a museum. She was an art history major, so she is at the opening of an artist's show when she is approached by a handsome man. They chat and when he learns about her art background, he offers her a job managing a new gallery. He says she would be required to show some "unconventional" photographs done by the owner's boy toy several times a year, but in between she could select the art for the gallery. The job sounds too good to be true, but at the end of the day she desperately needs work and decides to sign on. A few days later her boss, the handsome guy, asks her to meet him early at the gallery. She arrives to find the windows covered with brown paper and the gallery empty except for his quite dead body in a pool of blood. The prime suspect? Alice of course.

I had a problem with the beginning of this book. Several story lines are introduced in separate chapters, none of them seeming to have any relationship to the others. For instance, there is a missing 16 year old girl from New Jersey. What? Then there is Alice's brother who is a recovering drug addict. Several times I had to turn back to read again who a character was and what their story was. Of course everything eventually comes together and once you get into the book it becomes absorbing, if a little confusing.

I don't normally try to solve the mystery in a good book because I enjoy just going along for the ride. Surprise me. In Long Gone I don't think I could have solved it if I had tried. The convoluted twists and turns are beyond my imagination but always make sense. However, I think if I had time I would read the book again to see if my impression that there is a lack of foreshadowing is true. You may be a better puzzle solver than I am, or less gullible, but I would bet everyone will be shocked at the end.

I do recommend this book and this author. Burke has been a prosecutor and a police advisor. She lives in New York. All of this lends itself to sense of actually being in the city. For myself, I intend to find and read her two series, one about a NYPD detective, and the other about a Portland Deputy District Attorney. Happy reading.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dream job becomes nightmare in this novel June 19 2011
By Vermeer fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
After many months of joblessness, Alice attends an opening at a former cutting edge artist in a NY gallery. She meets Drew Campbell, a business recruiter, who is looking for someone to run a contemporary art gallery for his rich closeted friend and after chatting her up, offers her the job she has been dreaming of since she got her MFA and went to work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Things go smoothly securing the gallery space, hanging the show for the consort of said rich closeted friend, making those first sales online until Alice comes in to open one morning and finds Drew sprawled in the middle of the gallery....in a pool of blood. Suddenly there's a picture of Alice kissing Drew, Alice's name on the gallery lease, and missing gloves with traces of gunshot residue.

While Alice's storyline is the main focus, we have two concurrent plotlines of a seemingly unrelated story of a teenage missing girl, her single mother and the police detective Morhart's investigation and FBI agent's Hank Beckman's trailing of a scuzbag who was involved in his sister's death. The author gradually reveals how these threads intertwine and every chapter has a new reveal.

Tightly written, Long Gone sheds some light on the contemporary art gallery scene to newcomers and gives you better insight to life in the Big Apple without having to endure its noise, dirt and jumbled humanity. While the first third of the book drags a little, once the characters are set up, the story rockets along. You end up cheering for these characters after all the stuff they go through-and that ultimately is the final assessment of the impact of this story.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Long Gone is Far Out Aug. 7 2011
By Hildegarde A. Morgan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I ordered Long Gone because the reviews were good and I love a mystery. It sounded intriquing -- the idea that a young woman could be duped into running an art gallery that was a front and then be accused of the murder of the man she worked for. Sounded great.
The problem is that it is a mystery novel entirely without suspense, with shallow characters that it's hard to care about and a plot so predictable that it left me shaking my head in wonder that it was ever published in the first place (or why I finished reading it).
And suffice it to say that it seems to follow Mystery 101 with the revelation of the actual villain in the end. I think I might have made a rude sound when the murderer was revealed -- illogical, out of left field and not believable.
It was dull, lacked suspense and I never cared about a single character.
Put this writier up against the likes of Elizabeth George and she simply disappears!
Sigh.
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