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Review: Gone

November 13, 2012

Fishing guide Hannah Smith hails from a long line of strong Florida women.  She’s taken over her late Uncle Jake’s fishing clients but has decided she’s not interested in his detective agency.  That is, until one of her clients makes her an offer she can’t resist.  His wealthy niece has gone missing and he’s afraid she’s been taken by an unstable man.

Hannah’s not sure she can help but quickly discovers a few clues and puts herself in danger as she pursues the case and discovers more than she bargained for.

Gone, by Randy Wayne White is the first book in a new series featuring Hannah Smith.  I’ve heard a lot about White’s work and was excited to get in on the ground floor of a new series, but the book was just okay for me.  I think a lot of the problem for me was the character of Hannah – in some ways she almost came off as a caricature to me.  Her thoughts and actions didn’t ring true for me – it felt pretty obvious that this was a man writing a female character and I found her rather annoying.

The mystery was pretty obvious in this book, although there were some surprises in the way Hannah solved it.  The journey had some interesting twists, but the conclusion was rather anti-climatic.

I listened to the audio version of Gone.  It’s narrated by Renée Raudman and I thought she did an okay job.  My mind did wander a time or two but I think that was more of a reflection of the storyline than her narration.  She won’t go on my list of favorites but I’d more than willing to try another one of the books she’s narrated.  The audio is on 7 CDs and last approximately 9 hours.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2012 4:14 am

    I find it it difficult to read books where a man has written as a woman. I thought her occupation quite strange – not one for me.

  2. November 13, 2012 6:18 am

    Here’s where an audio wouldn’t work for me. At least you could skim if you read the book.

  3. November 13, 2012 6:28 am

    Bummer. I always have trouble connecting when I find the main character too stereotypical.

  4. November 13, 2012 6:31 am

    Haven’t read any Randy Wayne White either, but keep hearing good things about his Doc Ford series. I’m still listening my way through Lee Child’s books, so I guess I’ll stick with Jack Reacher on audio for now, and skip Hannah Smith.

  5. November 13, 2012 7:05 am

    I’ve never tried this one, but I think I should try this author at some point. Sorry it wasn’t 5 stars.

  6. November 13, 2012 7:26 am

    I have this but was waiting for someone to review it! :–) We heard him speak at SIBA and he was such a great speaker. He said he modeled Hannah from a real person.

  7. kaye permalink
    November 13, 2012 7:34 am

    Nothing worse than a main character that annoys you. That’s a lot of time invested in a book that was just “okay”. Hope your next read is stellar!

  8. November 13, 2012 8:51 am

    Nothing is more disappointing in a book than it just being O.K. I always feel cheated, of my time. You’re a good sport to finish it.

  9. November 13, 2012 9:24 am

    I wasn’t crazy about this one either. Way too much sexist dialog and not enough plot. I wasn’t too sure where the author was going with this and I never connected with the characters. I’m giving both of us a gold star for finishing it!

  10. November 13, 2012 9:29 am

    Aw. I’m a little disappointed to hear that! I love mystery books, but I hate it when the ending isn’t climatic and you can figure everything out on your own.

  11. November 13, 2012 10:05 am

    I hate when a man’s version of a woman character turns into a “caricature.” I find this true more often than not. I’m sure there are many exceptions…but obviously not in this case. Too bad, as it could have been an interesting story.

  12. November 13, 2012 12:17 pm

    Kathy, thanks for your honest review about this book. 🙂

  13. bookingmama permalink
    November 13, 2012 2:51 pm

    I’ve heard some good things about this author, so maybe it’s just not a good fit for you?

  14. November 13, 2012 6:22 pm

    Bummer, this sounds like a disappointing one. It’s hard when the character connection isn’t there. Sometimes a good narrator can overcome problems in the book but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here. Hope your next listen is awesome!

  15. Caite permalink
    November 13, 2012 7:16 pm

    Hmm…just ok.
    Shame, because for some reason I love mysteries set in Florida.
    Way more than I cut ally like Florida.

  16. November 13, 2012 7:39 pm

    I have a hard time with books that have characters that are more like caricatures

  17. November 13, 2012 8:16 pm

    Yikes! I need my characters to come off as real unless I know ahead of time that the book is tongue-in-cheek.

  18. Patty permalink
    November 13, 2012 8:38 pm

    I read this and totally agree about her…something was just off!

  19. zibilee permalink
    November 13, 2012 8:39 pm

    It really bothers me when a male writer gets a female character all wrong. It seems to me that with a little observation and a careful hand, this could have been avoided, and the book would have been all the better for it. I can see why this one didn’t really work for you.

  20. November 13, 2012 10:09 pm

    This is an author I want to try but I don’t think I’ll start with this one.

  21. November 14, 2012 10:52 am

    As per my review some weeks ago, I really liked this one, but then I’m a Randy Wayne White fan through and through. I liked Hannah too, thought she was a unique character, if a little naive. Maybe you would have liked the book better in print?

    • November 14, 2012 10:57 am

      I wondered if it would have been better in print too, since the narrator was not great.

      Sent from my iPhone

  22. November 14, 2012 11:45 am

    I think I’ll stay away from this series. I’m not a huge fan of thrillers to begin with, and the sound of this one doesn’t do much for me

  23. November 14, 2012 8:43 pm

    Well I don’t think I need to rush out for this. A good narrator can elevate so so material sometimes but sounds like it didn’t happen for this one.

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