Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2013
James Patterson's GONE stars Michael Bennett, former NYPD Detective now attached to the FBI. Mexican Cartel boss, Manuel Perrine, a very evil man, has been on a killing campaign directed not only at rival drug gangs in southern California but also the brutal termination of law enforcement officials. Bennett captured Perrine once before but he escaped while in his custody. Perrine publically threatened annihilation of Michael Bennett and his ten-member extended family. This resulted in Bennett and his family being placed in the witness protection program and secretly ensconced on a ranch in an isolated area of northern California.
The president declared Perrine the number one security threat to the United States. Michael Bennett is reluctantly dragged back into active service with the FBI to join the chase to bring Perrine to justice, thus leaving his family alone and vulnerable to Perrine's henchmen. The newly formed task force includes the FBI, CIA, NSA, and military special ops units from the three services.
The story bounces back-and-forth from tactics of the operational chase, to Bennett's family who are still in hiding, and to Perrine's personal and murderous activities in southern California and Mexico. Bennett's FBI partner, Emily Parker, seems to stay on the sidelines. Her character was never fully developed. I think she would have enhanced the story as a love interest. In fact many characters seem to make brief appearances and are never heard from again. The story seems to have no central theme and little spark.
The novel, co-authored by Michael Ledwidge, who I assume did most if not all the writing, is not one of Patterson's best--actually far from it.
I rate the novel a moderate 3.