[Review] Gone by TJ Brearton: Suspenseful Read That Keeps You Guessing Until After It Ends

Brooke Banks | 6:00 AM | | | | | |
I received a free copy to review from Netgalley. This is the first novel I’ve read of TJ Brearton’s and I’m up for reading more.

Series: NA
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime
Age: Adult
Format: Ebook, 294 pgs.
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3 Stars
Recommendable? Yes
CW: Racism & Ableism

How can an entire family disappear into thin air?
An empty house on the edge of a small town . . . a teddy bear abandoned . . . a half drunk glass of wine . . . the TV left on and all the computer equipment missing. Where have Hutchinson Kemp and his wife and two children gone?

Detective Rondeau doesn't think they left by choice. However he is on the verge of cracking up as he pursues the trail of the film-maker and his family who have disappeared without a trace. Rondeau discovers disturbing evidence that big money and government might have something to do with the chilling crime, but no one seems to believe him anymore. Ignoring his sceptical police colleagues, he puts his life at risk as he races to find the family in this twisting-turning crime thriller. Are the family even still alive, and what are their abductors trying to hide?

You'll be gripped from start to heart-stopping finish in this untputdownable thriller from international best-selling author T.J. Brearton.

Trigger Warning IconAdult IconCrime Icon Suspense/Thriller Icon

Content Warning: Racism and Ableism, the former is handily put down while the latter is parroted by most characters throughout the book though there is a light under the tunnel.

I was sucked in quick in this mystery thriller. I liked the way the house was described in the beginning. Then it hops straight to setting up our characters and the investigation. I liked getting to know them and their community. Small towns are beasts of their own. The setting came to life as they did.

Our protagonist, Rondeau, is particularly compelling throughout his journey.

Peter, the second narrator and patrolman, was on and off. His incessant justification for worrying about the family because the daughter was the same age as his nephew felt redundant. At one point he has an introspective moment and I liked him better as the story moved forward.

The aptly named Athena is Peter’s partner and was mostly a girlfriend. She is capable but seen through Peter’s loving eyes, she’s a goddess, which doesn’t help her character. I understand why but wish she was a bigger part since she is neck deep in everything with Peter.

Beyond that, the plot did built up smoothly. Looking back, I’m sure it’s convoluted as fuck, but it worked. I kept going, guessing and pumped until the end. Halfway through I was sure of where it was headed and anxious for it to move on. But no, it threw me for a loop. I was left wondering WTF was going to happen for the last half.


However, the conclusion I was left with more questions. The family’s story is wrapped up but there’s details I still want to know like…who the hell was the killer? What about the little old lady? Was it an hallucination or more cover up?


The ending was sweet that everyone got their shit together to appreciate Rondeau. It does have the warm and fuzzies. Their change of heart towards him was justified as they realized the full scope of the situation. But the missing answers left it inadequate to cap off Gone.


3 stars for the journey, the twist and the character progression. The convoluted plot worked until it came to the end when it became a liability.

Recommended For: 
For thriller crime fans, especially if you like unreliable characters and twisty government cases.

What you do think about endings that don't answer all the questions? How do you feel about unreliable narrators? 

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