“Read this in an e-galley. Best Randy Wayne White book in a while.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I was hoping to find a great new thriller author and White did have the heart pounding thriller element at the end, but I had to slog through way too much description and sexual angst to make it enjoyable. He has a hangup with sex and I probably will never pick up another title by this author....”see full review » see other reviews »
“I was hoping to find a great new thriller author and White did have the heart pounding thriller element at the end, but I had to slog through way too much description and sexual angst to make it enjoyable. He has a hangup with sex and I probably will never pick up another title by this author. Not what I was looking for.”Carrie F wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read this in an e-galley. Best Randy Wayne White book in a while.”Forrest Link wrote this review Thursday, February 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is an attenuated, plain-text version of the review. If you want to see just the formatting, but not spoilers, view it on my blog. If you want to see the full thing and find out what's under the spoiler tags, you can find that version on Goodreads.
Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of thriller/mystery/suspense novels with a truly strong woman, not just a "spunky", stubborn, and usually actually fairly silly woman.
Trigger Warnings: (implied) rape, bully, sexual predator
My Thoughts: I've been trying to collect the Doc Ford books for awhile, but as luck would have it, this new book in his new Hannah Smith series is the one I've had the chance to read first. Now I'm more determined than ever to read the Doc Ford novels (once I actually have them), because this author is a real hoot. He has a comedic gift that started me giggling about 6 pages in and just kept me going. For instance:
Speaking of something her mother, Loretta (who is brain damaged due to a stroke, and therefore likely to say and do whatever strikes her fancy), did early on in the book, Hannah says, "Some of the words she wrote were so foul, they had never even passed my lips--not louder than a whisper, anyway--let alone would I use Day-Glo orange to write them in cursive, exclamation points dotted, t's [sic] neatly crossed, for all the world to see."
"Hippie food, I guessed, was anything that didn't produce grease for gravy or a good old-fashioned heart attack."
Hannah's voice is wry, self-deprecating without being self-denying or self-hating, and I love the way she views the world around her, as well as her zany family. I really had no idea what to expect, since this is the first book by this author I've read, so this was a really joyous discovery.
The next paragraph is about some of the characters, some of which I cannot discuss without spoilers, so will only be posted in its entirety on sites like Goodreads where I can place them under a spoiler tag. Other sites will have an attenuated version, which I have tried to set up so that it will still make sense, just without the spoilerish bits.
The villain of the piece(view spoiler) is a nasty piece of work, and there's no doubt about that. I think he's the only character in the entire book that freaks Hannah out, and I had to laugh over how she dealt with that fear. (view spoiler) He's a sexual predator and a bully, a murderer and a rapist, and very dangerous. I had to admit, he scared me too. I loved the memories that Hannah (also known as Hannah Four) has of her aunt Hannah(view spoiler). (view spoiler) Doc Ford makes a cameo, although we don't actually see him, only hear about him through memories and recounting of "out-of-scene" action. In fact, all the characters are really well done, described just enough without overdescribing, and carefully differentiated with their way of speaking and interacting with others, like Nathan, Darren, Mrs. Whitney, Olivia, Lawrence Seasons, and Martha, to name a few.
Hannah is a truly strong woman, strong within and without, and I really enjoyed learning about her, "meeting" her, and reading this really excellent story. All this has made me that much more excited about finding the rest of the Doc Ford books and reading them, because Randy Wayne White is a very good writer. Technically speaking, the book I read is not perfect, because it is an ARC, but I imagine the final copy will have the last of the typos removed. R.W.W. does an excellent job of "showing not telling." In the scenes where, for example, Hannah is scared, I felt tense too.
If you enjoy reading books with female protagonists, but are becoming irritated with the too-stupid-to-live silliness that is being presented as "spunky" but just comes off as stupidly stubborn, then you really will find this book a breath of fresh air. Highest recommendation from me.
Disclosure: I received an ARC via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Back Cover Copy: Hannah Smith: a tall, strong, formidable Florida woman, the descendant of generations of strong Florida women. She makes her living as a fishing guide, but her friends, neighbors, and clients also know her as an uncommonly resourceful woman with a strong sense of justice, and they have taken to coming to her with their problems.
Her methods can be unorthodox, though, and those on the receiving end of them often wind up unhappy, sometimes forcibly so. And when a girl goes missing, and Hannah is asked to find her, that is exactly what happens.”
“Slow and forgettable.”James W wrote this review Thursday, December 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“New Book, October 2012”Whitaker Library wrote this review Tuesday, October 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Gone by Randy Wayne White introduces a new protagonist, Hannah Smith. While the plot is mildly interesting, but not overly exciting, and a quick read, the poor characterization is the book’s ultimate undoing.
It’s not the the characters are caricatures, but they are sort of franken-caricatures. Parts of different cut-out characters stitched together in a way that make no sense. Since most of the unraveling of the mystery here involves long conversations, sometimes oddly recounted after the fact, I spent most of the time frustrated with the stupid or bizarre actions of the characters.
The main character, Hannah Smith, is a pretty girl, who doesn’t think she is, but sort of knows she is, who doesn’t look pretty, except she does, in a certain light, or after a couple of drinks, in a mannish but totally feminine way. I was confused too. Her best friend is a muscle bound gay dude who is terribly shy, but can have a temper, except he just wants to be friends and is willing to play the muscle, but kind of wants to run away from any social situations.
None of the characters in the end did I really care about. And the ones that Hannah felt sympathy for, I’d have rather she just slapped. They were too irritating to inspire real sympathy.
The solution to the “mystery” is pretty much a foregone conclusion almost from the moment it’s presented, with only how the final confrontation would play out really at issue. I may have found that confrontation a little more interesting if I’d cared more about the characters.
I haven’t read White’s Doc Ford books, and maybe he has a better handle on those characters. There’s enough writing skill here for me to check them out. There are too many other better books similar to this one to recommend Gone, though. I received an advance copy of this book.”
“Hannah Smith is a fishing guide in Florida. She inherited the business and a home from her uncle, Doc. Ford. He was the father she never had and she was the son that Doc never had.
Things are tight financially in the fishing guide business. It's the end of the fishing season and she knows that she'll have to get some kind of part time job to pay the bills.
One of her wealthy fishing clients asks her if she'd help locate his niece- who wasn't exactly missing but might be being held under the influence of an unscrupulous man.
Hannah had also helped Doc Ford with his investigations so she accepts this offer.
The narrative displays Hannah's growth as a new investigator and cries out in protest because people don't think she can do the job, either because she's a woman or because she's not adequately educated.
There's good dialogue, lots of action and a picturesque setting on the Florida Gulf Coast. Hannah is a protagonist with a strong ethical standard who will speak out to the reader.
This is a good addition to the Doc Ford series, taken to the next generation.”
“Waste of time”ross l, gilbert, arizona wrote this review Tuesday, September 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was horrible. The story was stupid and the fact that the character was written by a middle-age man with a bunch of juvenile fantasies grossed me out. I'm definitely not a prude, but I was over having to read about the lurid descriptions of breasts of the character and all the other women in the book, including the old woman's. ”N C wrote this review Monday, September 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No