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Gone Forever: A True Story of Marriage, Betrayal, and Murder (True Crime (St. Martin's Paperbacks)) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Feb 2006

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reissue edition (7 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312994044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312994044
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jackie sharp on 3 Nov. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
i have just managed to put this book down... and the only reason is that i have finished it! it is superbly written, i feel like i almost know the characters. such a refreshing change after reading the mediocre "officers wife" drivel, penned by the awesomely talentless mr. fleeman. Miss fanning is way up there with ann rule as a truly great true crime writer. however do not be misled by "peter tee",this is not a novel, it is a true story and the reasons why rick mcfarland killed his wife had nothing to do with adultery. he was simply an inadequate little man who could not accept the fact that she was far too good for him. if you have time, read this book.I, as one of your other critics has lamented, can read much faster than ann rule can write, but with diane fanning producing quality like this,it definately helps fill the gaps. well done diane, and i will be staying up many a long night with you in the future!
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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter Tee on 24 May 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Diane is brilliant. A very funny lady and a great writer. I saw her on TV and thought how can a women that good-looking also be so smart.

This is book is proof she has both beauty and brains.

I know from her TV interview that she based this brillant novel on a true story, which means it should carry a Govt Health Warning.

Adultery is OK on TV and in films - but in REAL LIFE - it is REAL people that get hurt.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Bizarre story of marriage and murder 10 Mar. 2006
By BJG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very interesting read about a super smart, driven woman, Susan McFarland, who for reasons unknown to her family and friends marries loser Rick, who can never quite keep it together, can't hold a job, has ADD (but doesn't take his meds), and is a compulsive shopper. Susan has 3 kids with this guy. Rick is a not so great stay at home dad, who by some accounts is abusive and medicates his kids with various adhd meds, when the mood strikes. Finally Susan has had enough. When she starts plotting a divorce, and in turn, Rick starts plotting her murder. The psychology of Rick McFarland is truely mystifying, and this book leaves you asking many questions about this couple. Fanning managed to score interviews with friends and neighbors of the couple, who provide a disturbing look into the marriage of Rick and Susan, and how their 3 young sons fit into the picture. The actual murder of Susan and attempted cover up, left me wondering, is this guy crazy? an idiot? or a combination of both. Strange and intriguing story I recommend to true crime fans.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Why Those With ADHD Should Not Commit Murder 6 Sept. 2006
By Kim Cantrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Diane Fanning just keeps getting better! In this most excellent written piece of true crime, Fanning tells the story of Richard McFarland and how he came to murder his wife, Susan. It is a very sad tale about a man with adult ADHD and other undiagnosed mental difficulties who out of a pure need to control kills his wife Susan, the breadwinner of the McFarland family and dearly loved by friends, in the presence of at least one of their three young boys. What keeps this story really interesting is some of the conversations Richard McFarland has with others during the time they are looking for Susan. Wow! Talk about crazy!

What is probably the most heartwrenching though is the end of the book wherein Ann Carr, sister of Susan, is attempting to find homes for the three boys but no one seems to want these emotionally bruised children. I cannot understand for the life of me why her own family, despite their ages, would not at least make the effort themselves, as would most families.

A very well written story. It is one more story of spousal murder, but it is a very interesting one and well worth reading. The conversations that McFarland has with officers and others alone are what keeps you reading.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
mislead 15 Sept. 2008
By Im April - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
the cover says something to the affect no one knew what happened until he spoke... well he never spoke, i keep waiting and reading and nothing, the book ended and he never admitted anything it leaves you to read between the lines... i was very disappointed... to read the whole book and still not REALLY know what went on...
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
great true crime study 26 Aug. 2006
By S. E. Rowland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent study in human behavior and why people stay in bad marriages. Even when the acts by a spouse are unacceptable, people look the other way or assume that the person is just "weird." People tend to think that there will be a change. As an abuse survivor, I can tell you that most often the bad behavior doesn't change. I'm sorry that Susan did not get out in time. I'm sorry for her children and family. Hats off to those who dared speak up. Fanning's writing is first rate. After I read Gone Forever I delved into her other books. Great job.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 19 July 2007
By Bev Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Good: The author obviously did her homework on this case. It is clear that she obtained in-depth information from all of those closely involved in the case and those that knew and loved Susan McFarland. The story is told in a comprehensive manner, leaving no questions as to what happened in the before, during, and after of the crime.

The Bad: The actual writing is a bit amateurish. The author attempts to end most chapters with a "shocking" cliff-hanger type statement, however, the story is compelling enough on its own to keep the readers turning pages. This use of techique is not warrented and slightly annoying.

The author's use of detailed descriptions of certain buildings, events, people, etc. is somewhat inconsistent and again unnecessary. They happen spottily and are mostly a distraction from the larger story.

The author makes grandiose statements regarding acquaintance's thoughts and feelings, which are rather over-stated and dramatic for drama's sake. They come across as cheesy and really do nothing to enhance an already dramatic story.

Finally, some of the conversations between characters could have been paraphrased for clarity, as they were slightly confusing and hard to understand at times. There are other inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and minor holes that a good editor should have caught before this book went to press.

The Ugly: I was shocked and angered that no one in Rick's or Susan's families took their children in after their horrible experience. This, to me, is almost as bad as the crime itself. Those children will be forever marred by this experience, and I only hope that their adoptive families can somehow help them salvage a somewhat normal life in adulthood.
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