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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Coben Page-Turner
This is the second Harlan Coben novel I have read. The first was Tell No One, an equally suspenseful tale but I found it had a weak ending.

If you have read Tell No One, you will see the similiarities jump out at you from the first few chapters (girlfriend is missing/murdered, hero works for a charitable organization), but keep reading and the books are quite...
Published on Nov. 27 2006 by R. Hansen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's deja vu all over again
I wish Coben would go back to his Myron Bolitar series. Having read Tell No One and found it passable, I looked forward to Coben's next attempt at non-serial fiction with Gone for Good. However, after reading Gone for Good, I'm wondering if we have another series going here. In Tell No One, the hero's wife disappears...is she dead? Yes? No? Maybe? In Gone for Good,...
Published on May 13 2002


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Coben Page-Turner, Nov. 27 2006
By 
R. Hansen "rob_slick" (Hamilton, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the second Harlan Coben novel I have read. The first was Tell No One, an equally suspenseful tale but I found it had a weak ending.

If you have read Tell No One, you will see the similiarities jump out at you from the first few chapters (girlfriend is missing/murdered, hero works for a charitable organization), but keep reading and the books are quite different.

Coben crafts a fast-moving plot with short chapters that keep me reading through the night, each time. If you enjoy turning the page to discover an unexpected and still believable plot twist, you should be reading Harlan Coben. He twists and turns the story right through to the end.

The end was another disappointment, hence the 4-star review, but was still an improvement over Tell No One. In order to wrap up so many twists, he uses a great deal of exposition and page-long dialogue that reminded me of a mystery whodunit detective explaining the killer's motive at the end.

This is still an amazing book, and I will continue to read more Coben novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's deja vu all over again, May 13 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Gone For Good (Hardcover)
I wish Coben would go back to his Myron Bolitar series. Having read Tell No One and found it passable, I looked forward to Coben's next attempt at non-serial fiction with Gone for Good. However, after reading Gone for Good, I'm wondering if we have another series going here. In Tell No One, the hero's wife disappears...is she dead? Yes? No? Maybe? In Gone for Good, the hero's brother disappears....is he dead? Yes? No? Maybe? Then the dutiful girlfriend disappears...is SHE dead? Yes? No? Maybe? Are the good guys good or bad? Is the FBI good or evil? Yes? No? Maybe? Do you see a trend here? Who will the hero of the third book in the series lose? His beloved dog, Scooter? Will Scooter be dead? Yes, no or maybe? And will the FBI be good or bad, and will the bad guys be truly bad or really kind of nice? Seriously, there was such little difference between this book and Coben's most recent one, Tell No One, that I was amazed that he got away with publishing both. Gone for Good is almost like an outtake reel of the previous book. The two plots are entirely too similar, the characters virtually identical, and the "bad guys" almost laughable. When The Ghost, a deadly assasin, sidled up to the hero at the airport with crumpled autopsy results explaining maternity based on gross anatomy, I had to laugh. I guess he had to get that point in somehow. Oh Myron, where have you gone?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost great, July 3 2004
By 
This review is from: Gone For Good (Hardcover)
This is the third Harlan Coben novel I've read and it is the best so far. Coben's plots have more twists and turns then a roller coaster. There is a surprise literally every few pages.
And that is the problem. Some of the surprises, many of them in fact, are simply jarring. They are clearly dramatic devices intended to move the story forward and the reader is sometimes forced to deliberately invoke their own sense of credulity.
Fortunately Coben's enough of a storyteller to involve the reader to the point of doing just that.
Coben is a powerful writer. His characters, while lacking depth and believability, are engrossing. The good folks are far and few between, the bad guys and dolls are plentiful and you simply can't be sure of where everyone stands.
The ending of "Gone for Good" is disappointing. Coben has to wrap up too many loose ends and it smacks of a 1930s movie with the detective assembling everyone in the drawing room and lecturing each suspect until revealing the perpetrator. Of course, it doesn't help that the "surprise" at the end is simply too surprising.
All that said, Coben is an immensely gifted writer who clearly has not reached his prime. He's entertaining, pulls you from page to page and is very clearly on the verge of breaking through. I'll be reading his five other novels to see if he's made it there yet.
Jerry
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best storytellers on the planet, Feb. 25 2004
By 
Larry (Tampa, Florida) - See all my reviews
I have been avidly following the writing career of Harlan Coben since the early days of the Myron Bolitar paperback originals in the early to mid 90s. It is interesting to note the progression of this writer's developing talent. The early books were relatively lighthearted and, at times, downright hysterical romps around the northern New Jersey and Manhatten area. They were quite evidently reflections of the author's milieu where he grew up. They are filled with much Jewish angst and, overall, they create a very human portrait of Myron Bolitar. As the books progress, they become much darker with deeper meaning . In fact, from lighthearted humor tragedy rears its ugly head. Now, Harlan has left Myron to write stand-alone thrillers that pierce the human psyche. He also is being well compensated for these new books which I hereby entitle "The return of the dead?" in that both TELL NO ONE, as well as, our current consideration, GONE FOR GOOD, have as their central focus a character believed to be dead yet true doubts exist.
Will Klein is told by his mother, on her deathbed, that his brother, Ken, is still alive. Ken disappeared years before after he was accused of raping and murdering a neighbor's daughter. It was assumed that Ken had to be dead in that he would never have had the resources to remain alive. Will currently works for Covenant House in Manhatten with his close friend, Squares, a reformed white supremist. They help abused and runaway children. Unfortunately for Will, soon after his mother's death, his girlfriend, Sheila, the love of his life mysteriously leaves him. He pursues her and looks into his brother's disappearance. He begins to find answers to difficult questions. The answers might very well prove there is much he needs to know about Sheila and Ken. With the new knowledge comes danger.
As a long-time reader of Harlan Coben, it is gratifying to see some brief episodes of humor in the Bolitar vein. Squares very much reminds this reader of a much more human Win, Bolitar's partner and sidekick. Yet there are long passages that exude the true power and beauty of Harlan's writing. The type of writing that forces the eyes backward to fully experience those words again. I almost never quote but this is just one striking example:
"Morty played in Las Vegas, Las Vegas-the real Las Vegas, the city itself, no strip-strolling tourist trade in psuedo-suede and sneakers, no whistling and hollering or squeals of joy, no faux Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower, no Cirque de Soleil, no roller coasters, no 3-D movie rides or gladiator costumes or dancing water fountains or bogus volcanoes or kid appeal arcades. This was downtown Las Vegas. This was where grimy men with barely a mouth of teeth per table, the dust of their pickups still coming off them with each shoulder slump, lost their meager paychecks. The players here were bleary-eyed, exhausted, their faces lined, their hard times baked on by the sun."
Without the constraint of a series, Harlan can feel free enough to take his stories' characters wherever he wants them to go. They explore the very dark faces of society and do so in the confines of a truly gripping thriller where things are never as they seem until the very last page. Harlan Coben today-bestselling author, Edgar winner, writer of rare talent and one of the best storytellers on the planet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pray all copies of this book are not gone for good, Jan. 8 2004
By 
James N Simpson (Gold Coast, QLD Australia) - See all my reviews
Having only discovered Harlan Coben a few weeks ago, I thought nothing could surpass his masterpiece Tell No One but to my surprise and delight this novel Gone For Good actually achieves that. Granted it doesn't grip your immediately from page one as Tell No One does but once you've read a few chapters, like with that brilliant book, you won't be able to put it down until the final page either.
In Gone for Good, Will Klein's mother has just died, telling him on her dieing breath that his brother Ken, who they thought was murdered along with Will's ex girlfriend, is still alive. While going through his mother's possessions with his current girlfriend Sheila, Will comes across a recent photograph of his brother with snow capped mountains in the background, he has aged but it is obviously Ken. The FBI want to know where Ken is, as do some other people who do not have a problem with murder and torture, one of them is known as the ghost and he's a particularly, evil character. When Sheila is murdered it is up to Will and his friend Squares to find his brother before more people die.
If you've never read a Coben book before you are in for a literary treat. If you've only read the Myron Bolitar series books then prepare to read a Coben book of an even higher level. Whilst the Bolitar books are good, you know most about Myron and that ultimately he will survive for another sequel but when Coben writes with fresh new characters the stories are full of mystery and the characters can go anywhere that Coben's imagination takes us. If you like the character Win, from the Bolitar series you'll love Square. He's a more realistic but equally interesting side kick/guardian of the main character. Gone for good is brilliant, it is full of twists and you won't put it down until the final chapter, so make sure there's nothing good on TV before starting, or just buy a blank tape as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, Sept. 12 2003
By 
This review is from: Gone For Good (Hardcover)
Months ago "Gone For Good" by Harlan Coben was paired with my debut novel "Righteous Revenge" by Amazon in a 2 - for a better price deal. At that time I did not realize what a great compliment they paid my novel with the pairing. Curiosity finally won and I ordered Coben's book. "Gone For Good" has turned me into a Harlan Coben fan and I promptly ordered several more Coben novels.
Growing up, Will Klein's hero is his older brother Ken. Now Ken is hiding from the law and Will longs to prove that his brother is not the killer everyone believes. With more curves than a slinky, Coben draws readers into a narrative destined to keep you up until dawn. The author's characters drip with reality, his scenes fill the imagination and readers end up in the midst of an action-packed drama sure to satisfy your appetite for adventure. If you are a fan of well-written adventures you will enjoy "Gone For Good."
Beverly J Scott author of "Righteous Revenge" and "Ruth Fever." Reviewer for Intriguing Authors and Their Books at [...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars High marks for fun reading (mellion108), Aug. 6 2003
By 
mellion108 (Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gone For Good (Hardcover)
Will Klein has lived with shadows for over 11 years. It was that long ago when the girl he loved was viciously raped and murdered. What's worse is that his much idolized older brother Ken fled after being figured as the lead suspect. The Klein family has lived with the shame of not knowing whether or not their older son is innocent, and they have faced the accusing looks of neighbors and reporters for over a decade. Flash forward to the present and Will is working with at-risk kids. He's living with a wonderful, loving woman. His life seems to be fine until his lover disappears just shortly after his dying mother tells him that his brother is alive. From that point forward, Will's life is turned upside-down as he risks his life to find out the truth. He races against an old friend, The Ghost, who has turned into a sociopathic assasin, and he fights to find the woman he loves and to restore some sanity to his broken family.

Yes, Coben seems to be borrowing from his own plots. The assumed-dead and now-alive person is straight out of Tell No One. However, I like the characters, and I like Will's voice throughout the book. This is a fast, fun read that doesn't require a great deal of thinking--it's perfect for the beach or for a lazy weekend. It has mystery, suspense, action, and humor. It may never win a literary prize, but I liked it quite a bit, and I anxiously await my next Coben book.
(reviewer: mellion108 from Michigan)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Marred with a few flaws, July 29 2003
By 
This mystery captures the attention of the reader from the first page and manages to hold it throughout the book despite that annoying habit of jumping from scene to scene with each chapter. The story was allowed to work itself out and it came back on itself in the end - almost like a Mobius strip.
The biggest flaw was a common one in mystery writing - all the assumptions of the characters were proved invalid by events to which the reader had no access. In a sense it reminds one of the Soaps where the problem is resolved by the sudden appearance of the unknown twin who has just woken from a 15 year state of amnesia. This is not quite as bad but [CAUTION: STORY NOTES FOLLOW] when the sister suddenly steps out from behind the bush to tell the world the long-hidden truth and John shows up to add his version of the truth about Carly (it DOES sound like a soap) the reader can rightly call "Foul".
Stories with last page resolutions are a dime a dozen and in this case it's sad. The plot was well-conceived even if the main character was memorable if only for his Mr. Rogers-like manner. He remained a neutral, gray, handicapped figure who just didn't "get it" even when it was as plain as Aunt Sally's dress.
Plot - A
Setting - C
Characters - C (the bad guy ets a B)
Dialogue - B (witty at times)
Resolution - D
Great for a vacation
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3.0 out of 5 stars A few flaws in a good read, July 5 2003
By 
This mystery captures the attention of the reader from the first page and manages to hold it throughout the book despite that annoying habit of jumping from scene to scene with each chapter. The story was allowed to work itself out and it came back on itself in the end - almost like a Mobius strip.
The biggest flaw was a commmon one in mystery writing - all the assumptions of the characters were proved invalid by events to which the reader had no access. In a sense it reminds one of the Soaps where the problem is resolved by the sudden appearance of the unknown twin who has just woken from a 15 year state of amnesia. This is not quite as bad but [CAUTION: STORY NOTES FOLLOW] when the sister suddenly steps out from behind the buses to tell the world the long-hidden truth and John shows up to add his version of the truth about Carly (it DOES sound like a soap) the reader can rightly call "Foul".
Stories with last page resolutions are a dime a dozen and in this case it's sad. The plot was well-conceived even if the main character was memorable if only for his Mr. Rogerslike manner. He remained a neutral, gray, handicapped figure who just didn't "get it" even when it was as plain as Aunt Sally's dress.
Plot - A
Setting - C
Characters - C (the bad guy ets a B)
Dialogue - B (witty at times)
Resolution - D
Great for a vacation
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner, May 17 2003
On her deathbed, Will Klein's mother tells him that his assumed-dead brother is really alive, and from there unfolds an incredibly complex series of events, cover-ups, and moments of violence and mystery that take the reader on quite a ride.
Klein's brother was implicated in the death of Will's ex-girlfriend, and it becomes apparent that he may have been involved in much more than just that - or maybe not. A string of colourful characters passes through the books pages, each one making an impression and playing a role in the complicated mystery. Among the more memorable is Klein's devoted friend Squares who works with runaways, The Ghost who is an incredibly violent and dangerous friend of Klein's brother, and various other people, including a go-getting out of town journalist and a pathetic ex-hooker.
Coban has a great ear for dialogue, and I can only imagine the time it must have taken to plan such a detailed, twisting plot. His ability to bring to life characters that only appear for a short time is something other writers should learn. His plotting and periodic surprises keeps the story moving and always exciting. I don't know if Hollywood will make a movie out of this one, but it would be difficult to capture all that is happening in the story. It's a great read.
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Gone for Good: A Novel
Gone for Good: A Novel by Harlan Coben (Paperback - Oct. 25 2011)
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