It’s difficult to write a review of Gone Again without giving the plot away. Cut from the same cloth as the thriller genre this novel starts and ends around the potential beaching of whales on Portobello Beach in Edinburgh. The protagonist is a photographer for an Edinburgh newspaper who needs to cut short his attempt to capture the whales in distress because he receives a phonecall telling him his wife hasn’t turned up to pick up his young son from school.
What follows is either an exploration of the father/son bond in trying circumstances or a thriller which picks up the pace as the story progresses depending on your point of view.
The story flip-flops between exploring a marriage which may or may not be in difficulty and examining a man who seems to be in control until the pressures on him build up to an explosive conclusion. The son seems improbably bright, the father annoyingly reckless and the police spectacularly inept as we make our way towards the beach in the final reel – and I say that as I think this has been written with one eye on a future screening.
Considering the writer has a PhD and has worked with Irvine Welsh, I expected more. It is certainly compact and a page turner so as a book to take on a train journey it is ideal. However for me there were too many bits where I needed to suspend my disbelief for it to work fully.