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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 30 April 2017
Long time since I have read any of her books still a satisfying read
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on 6 March 2012
I've just finished reading this book and I have to say it was a really great read. Alafair Burke deserves to be far better known in the UK than she is, as her books are very well written, with great stories and engaging characters. This book is a stand alone thriller about a woman falsely accused of murder. There are so many twists and turns before the end, and so many intriguing tidbits of information throughout that I found it impossible to put down. I'm a big Michael Connelly fan, and Burke is definitely in the same ballpark. Well researched, believable, full of tension and always keeps you guessing. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 25 July 2011
Whilst slow to start once this book gets going it goes with a bang and is a gripping read.

There are so many twists and turns that the ending comes as a shock as you can never quite figure out what is going to happen next.
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"Long Gone" is a new crime novel, her seventh, a standalone suspense/mystery/thriller by Alafair Burke. So far, Burke has been drawing on her legal experience to give us two mystery series, one centering on New York Police Department Detective Ellie Hatcher, and one centering on Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. This is the author's first standalone. It is set, like Burke's Hatcher series, in New York, a bad place to be broke. After being laid off from a great job at the Metropolitan Museum, followed by months of struggle, for she is on her own now, despite her privileged upbringing--the book's protagonist/ narrator Alice Humphrey finally lands what sounds like a dream job. She is to manage a new storefront art gallery in Manhattan's emerging Meatpacking District.

A man who calls himself Drew Campbell, apparently a well-suited, well-fed corporate representative, hires Alice and tells her the gallery is a pet project for its anonymous, wealthy, eccentric owner. Drew assures Alice that the gallery's owner will be hands off, allowing her to run it on her own. Her friends think if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but Alice has spent her adult life hunting for a way to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial film maker, and she's not about to let this chance go by.

Things start off swimmingly, the gallery's opening is successful, and business seemingly is going great guns. Until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery utterly gone--the space stripped bare as if its artistic incarnation had never existed--and the dead body of the man who called himself Drew Campbell on the floor. Overnight, Alice's dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of a police investigation with no way to prove her innocence. Yet things get still worse--the phone number Drew gave Alice is that of a disposable phone. Nobody can find any trace of the artist whose work she displayed at the gallery's opening. The dead man she claims was Drew is identified as someone else. And then police discover ties between the gallery and Becca Stevenson, a missing teenage girl from nearby New Jersey.

It's undoubtedly a clever move on the author's part to characterize Alice as the daughter of a famous, highly-accomplished man, as Alafair Burke is herself the daughter of a famous, highly-accomplished man, the widely-beloved bestselling mystery author James Lee Burke. And I'm sure Alafair doesn't much care to have her work compared to her father's, but here I go. Alafair does OK by her New York background, but I didn't consider her writing in that regard up to either of the two New York-based mystery writers who are considered tops in that area: the prolific Lawrence Block, or Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe series. Her work certainly lacks what famous 20th century Irish poet William Butler Yeats once called "passionate intensity," which James Lee Burke's work certainly has in regard to his home turf, New Orleans, Texas and the Gulf Coast. Nor does Alafair seem to follow James Lee in what appear to be his struggles to find what the French, and perhaps the Louisiana Cajuns, would call "le mot juste." The best word for the job at hand - as Alice at one point calls herself "a loser." I can't remember James Lee Burke ever expressing himself in such a flat-footed way.

The book's plot is reasonably complex, but I had some difficulty getting into it, as the work starts with not much action, while introducing way too many characters at once. And, from mid-book on, I'd pretty much guessed the villains. However, Alafair makes good use of two relatively recent widely-remembered art world scandals. In 1999, the popular Brooklyn Museum enraged some Catholics by showing a Madonna, limned with elephant dung, by Chris Ofili, from the British Saatchi collection. And in 1989, the National Endowment for the Arts was almost closed down by public anger at a piece by Jose Serrano, which showed a figure of Christ bottled in the artist's urine. A lot of language about artistic freedom and freedom of speech was thrown around at that time.

I've previously read and reviewed Alafair's Close Case (Samantha Kincaid Mysteries), which I wasn't crazy about either. But Burke is an intelligent, talented young woman, and I look for better work from her in the future.

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on 14 January 2012
Much to my husbands dismay he lost me for 2 days to this book! I stumbled across it when I noticed it was a bargain and was interested in the write up. I couldn't put it down. Before I had even finished this one I downloaded Alafair's other books to my Kindle. Gripping from start to finish I can't wait to read her other books! My new favourite author.
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on 4 March 2012
Lets face it the 99p books are often that price for a reason . This isn't !!It' a gripping fast paced read, with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end . After redaing it I purchaed all her other books that are available on Kindle and they are just as good. If you like Connelly , Child. You will like her.
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on 31 January 2016
What a truly awful book, so slow and boring and too many disjointed characters in the early chapters. Had trouble picking it up to read, just wanted it over and done with! This is one book I would not recommend. Dont know what the 5 star rating readers have been used to, but they should definitely try other authors if they think this is "a page-turner" and "an exciting read". One of the worst books I have ever read!
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on 7 February 2017
Having been a fan of Mary Higgins Clarke for many years, I have just finished her last book in the series she has been writing with Alafair Burke. Just on a whim, I decided to try a solo book by that author picking a stand-alone rather than one of her series. I seriously could not put it down and read it in less than a day! This book has so many twists and turns. Every time you think you've figured it out,it changes again. As someone who reads a lot of crime fiction/thrillers, I can usually figure out the baddies quite early but this really kept me guessing! I would definitely recommend this to anyone as one of the best and will be reading more from this author very shortly.
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on 22 May 2015
Alafair Burke is always an entertaining and engaging writer, and makes great use of twists and turns within the plot to keep you guessing. I read this on the train and it was a great way to fill the time.
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on 15 December 2012
Alafair Burke writes wonderful novels with excellent story lines. As expected, this book is well worth reading. I bought on Kindle and read within days.
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