Good as Gone Promises to Impress Fans of Gone Girl, but Falls Short

As a bit of a suspense-junkie, especially when there’s a long car ride or stretch of time to burn immersed in a novel, flipping pages rapidly towards the finale; but with suspense taking an uptick in fame and so many good books waiting to be found, finding a really, truly unique suspense book is a challenge.

So, when the bright yellow cover of Good as Gone by Amy Gentry jumped out at me from the shelves, I was intrigued. Fans of Gone Girl will enjoy, the cover promised and I was sold.

The story is that of a family ripped apart by a kidnapping.

Anna lost her daughter Julie when a kidnapper took her from her own bedroom when she was 13 years old, and the only witness was her other daughter who hid in the closet as her elder sister was led off at knife point.

Then, eight years later, Julie returns.

It seems to good to be true, so… maybe it is?

The story is a bit choppy, with the narrative jumping between Anna, the mother, and a sort of “everyone else” third-person narrator. It attempts to let into the torment of a mother wrestling with what she hoped for finally happening and her doubt that it really has, but it leads to a disjointed novel overall.

The plot is interesting, but a bit basic. The other daughter, the one not kidnapped, is left a bit rebellious as she felt ignored after the attention was poured into his sister’s disappearance. Anna and her husband’s relationship is strained after the loss of their daughter, they grieved in different ways and grew apart. The tropes are rather plentiful, but they do move the story forward towards the ‘twist.’

The twist is fun, it ties up the story with a knot, and finishes it cleanly; but it was just a bit too simple and far-fetched for me. I enjoyed the read, but it wasn’t one I’ll be raving about for years to come.

The hunt for the perfect, gripping suspense novel continues-- maybe hiding in something more obscure than a bright, yellow cover.