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

Alafair Burke
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

Review

“The type of book that should come with a warning. It’s a compulsively readable, highly addictive story. The ending will leave you breathless.”
      —Karin Slaughter, New York Times-bestselling author of Fallen

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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  147 reviews
74 of 75 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.
27 of 28 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.
13 of 13 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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alafair Burke Has a Winner with First Stand-Alone Novel June 22 2011
By Lisa M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Long Gone started off as what I thought would be a great suspense novel by an author whose work I truly enjoy reading.
Half-way through, I was so drawn in, my head was spinning. By the very end, I was speechless.
The major plot of this novel, which is the first "stand alone" novel by author Alafair Burke, revolves around Alice Humphrey, who having been out of work for a while, lands a dream job managing an art gallery in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.
Alice knows nothing about the gallery owner,but Drew Campbell, the man who offers Alice the job, assures her that the owner prefers to remain anonymous and will let Alice handle running the gallery as if it were her own. It sounds too good to be true, but Alice is excited for the opportunity to not have to look for any financial support from her famous Hollywood director father.
All is working out well with the gallery until the morning after the gallery's opening night,when Alice arrives to find Drew dead and everything missing from the gallery. Police are questioning Alice and she cannot give them any answers. She has never met or even seen a photo of the artist who's work was displayed, she has no idea who the owner is and it turns out the man she knew as Drew Campbell was using fake identity.
Meanwhile, across the Hudson in New Jersey, a young girl is missing and it is looking like there may be links between her and the gallery. Alice begins to see signs that someone is setting her up and as she digs deeper for answers, more and more secrets are revealed, including ones involving Alice's own family.

I have enjoyed Alafair Burke's past novels, and when I found out she was releasing her first stand-alone, I was eager to read it. When an advanced readers copy became available from the Amazon Vine review program, I jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first to read this new suspense novel from what I consider to be one of the finest of today's authors.
This novel not only lived up to my expectations, it exceeded them way beyond what any suspense novel has in recent time. Intertwining murder, a missing girl, and lots of secrets, the twists and turns kept on coming from all directions. It kept me guessing and just when I thought I had it all figured out-another another twist hit me. I was literally gasping out loud!
This may be Alafair Burke's first stand-alone, but I sure hope it's not her last.
8 of 8 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.
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