In Gone Again by James Grippando, we are taken on a journey of fear and doubt. When Sashi Burgette vanished several years previously on her way to school, her family was shocked. Later the same evening when the police pick up Dylan Kyle for drunk driving, they found a piece of her clothing in his truck. His explanation proves unbelievable and he suddenly found himself the only suspect in her murder. With his execution set for just days away, Jack Swyteck , a pro bono lawyer from the Freedom institute, is pulled into the case.
Sashi’s mother has contacted him. She is convinced that her daughter is alive; she has just heard from her again, and she wants to make sure an innocent man is not killed. She has gone to the police over the years but they feel that the calls she has received, one each birthday, is a mean hoax. The state attorney will not consider further evidence and the governor has signed the death warrant. Sashi’s mom is worried that an innocent man may be executed, unless Dylan’s attorneys can find Sashi–alive.
What Jack finds is that nothing is what it appears: not her parents, the victim, or even the alleged killer himself. Can he find the answers to his concerns before it is too late? Finding the truth appears even more difficult than finding the missing girl.
Grippando takes us on a journey into the court system at a breakneck speed. With only days before an execution, his protagonist has very little time to find the answers. He creates a scenario that is both elusive and yet visual and he fills the pages with characters that range from solid and believable to creepy and desperate. Through it all the clock is ticking ever closer to an execution, so there is a tenseness that overrides all, keeping you at the edge of your seat.
If you enjoy murder mysteries, courtroom drama, and fast action you will find this to be a great addition to your library. Grippando takes us on a wild ride, with ups and downs, red herrings, and a sense of dread as we follow the clues to a seemingly hopeless situation.
This would be a great work for a reading or discussion group with nuances that would create a great deal of dialogue and thought.