Then She Was Gone, by Luca Veste, is a crime thriller set in Liverpool, England. It starts with a father walking his baby daughter through a park where he is attacked and the child taken. At first the police are sympathetic, as you would expect under the circumstances, but when their investigations uncover apparent inconsistencies in the man’s story suspicions turn towards him.
A year later and two detectives from the Major Crimes Unit, Murphy and Rossi, are asked to look into the disappearance of a local man, Sam Bryne. They are to do what they can to keep their enquiries from the press due to Sam’s profile. He is a prospective MP, wealthy and privileged, and there are aspects of his life that his well connected family do not wish to share.
Murphy and Rossi question Sam’s staff, visit his house and talk to his parents. They discover the uncomfortable truth of what is being left unsaid. When a body is found, and then another, the full extent of Sam’s proclivities are revealed.
I found the writing a little simplistic at first but the structure and plot soon drew me in. There are chapters written from the point of view of the killer and the timeline goes back to explain why they seek revenge. The attitudes of many of the characters are depressing in their realism. There is casual racism, an inbred sense of exclusive entitlement, and an attitude towards women that is rarely acknowledged in such a blatant way.
This is the fourth novel in the author’s Murphy and Rossi series although the first that I have read. There are references to their past adventures but the story works standalone.
An engaging read with some satisfying twists. For fans of crime fiction, this one is for you.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Simon & Schuster.