Gone Tonight

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An engaging and suspenseful read, briskly-plotted and hard to put down, with an interesting pair of main protagonists and a clever ending that will not disappoint.

Catherine and her mother Ruth are an odd duo – a mother-daughter couple where it often feels like roles are being switched, back and forth, as the two flip-flop between tender, maternal care for each other, and furtive undertakings compounded by murky mistrust that could be categorized as childish.

As we meet Ruth, a forty-two year old waitress, who struggles to keep afloat financially, it quickly becomes clear that Ruth is hiding secrets. Big ones.

A mother who gave birth in her teens, a runaway and a drifter, Ruth will provide slow and tantalizing glimpses into her past, as her first-person POV narration intersperses current-day happenings with peeks into her long-overdue journaling of life experiences not yet shared.

“If it’s the last thing I do, I will keep Catherine and the horrors of my past apart.”

Catherine, a twenty-four-year-old geriatrics nurse, finished her training and on the cusp of her new career, is “tall, fine-boned and graceful.” And gradually becoming aware, as Ruth’s machinations become somewhat more desperate, that her mother’s claims cannot at all be trusted. Catherine’s first person voice is both bewildered and eerily self-sufficient – one gets the sense that she is as capable of taking care of herself, as she is of caring for her Alzheimer’s-burdened patients.

As the story twists and turns (many of which in ways that defy prediction) the author challenges us to sit back and enjoy the roller-coaster of a ride – and guess, if we can, how this clever plot will play out.

A challenge highlighted of course, by the underlying problem :

Which of the two women, (Or neither? Or both?) can be counted on as a reliable narrator?

Or in other words – who exactly can we trust to tell it like it is (or rather, was, and perhaps, will be)?

A fun read, I enjoyed this fast-paced and somewhat tricky plot, and read it pretty much straight through. Recommended for lovers of thrillers and mysteries, and just about anyone who enjoys character-based drama, with plenty of undercurrents, maneuverings, and “gotchas”.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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