Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: He's Gone by Deb Caletti

He’s Gone is a mystery buried under a character study – or a relationship study. For me, it was too much analysis and not enough mystery.

Dani wakes up one morning on their Seattle houseboat to find her husband is gone. He’s Gone takes place over the next several weeks as Dani, her family and friends, and the police try to figure out what happened to Ian.

Dani had taken pills and was drunk that night, so she doesn’t remember parts. She does begin to remember things – but she’s also having recurring dreams – so are they real? Dani is desperate and begins to imagine the worst.

They make very little progress in the investigation. There’s no “step by step, the pieces come together.” No one knows anything about his disappearance. So what fills up the pages are Dani’s thoughts on her relationship, her husband’s strengths and faults, her ex-husband and the problems with their marriage. Also, Ian’s first wife, their break up, and the fact that his kids still hate Dani.

I’m sorry, but I can only read about what a perfectionist Ian is so many times. Caletti has a beautiful way with words, and each description of Ian’s need for perfection was so lyrical – but still – it’s not new information and I want to know what happened to the guy! I got so tired of reading the back story and the past episodes in their lives that I started skimming those parts.

The mystery is solved quickly and easily in the last few pages. I kind of expected it would be this way –because after reading, I realized He’s Gone isn’t really a mystery. It’s the story of Dani’s life, through her eyes.

I would not recommend reading He’s Gone if you are in the mood for a great mystery story. If you enjoy deep characters and getting inside someone’s head – He’s Gone would be your book. This is Caletti’s first adult novel. I’ve read a few of her YA books, and I think I’ll stick to those.

Published by Bantam, May 14, 2013
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
352 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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