The novel we discussed this evening was "Gone" by Randy Wayne White. The reaction to this book was varied, but the final score by Whodunit members was 6.4 out of a possible 10 points, with half of the members present saying they would read another book by this author.
The first in a series featuring fishing guide Hannah Smith, the book was said to be 'predictable' and 'a quick and light read'. We discussed how it seemed obvious that the novel was written with a male perspective even though the protagonist was female.
Most members said that they quite liked Hannah, a thirty-one year old fishing guide/private investigator. She seemed resourceful and confident in some respects, though she had little self-confidence in other aspects of her life. She is hired to find a missing heiress with whom she identifies on some level. The woman, Olivia Seasons, was presumed to have been manipulated/taken by a vicious predator, Ricky Meeks. He has a history for preying on rich yet emotionally vulnerable women.
Because the reader knows from the outset what has happened to Olivia Seasons, this book is not really a mystery. It is a crime thriller describing the methods Hannah takes to bring Olivia home.
The setting of Florida's Gulf Coast was well rendered due to the fact that this is where the author lives and works. The peripheral characters were interesting and it was suggested more than once that it would have been interesting to know more about them.
The author, Randy Wayne White has successfully authored a quite lengthy series (24 titles) featuring biologist/intelligence agent Doc Ford. The Doc Ford character played a very minor role in "Gone" and it was hinted at that he might be a 'romantic interest' for Hannah's character.
My personal review of "Gone" can be found on my blog: Fictionophile.
About the author
The lucky winners of the book giveaways for the month of November are:
Our next Whodunit meeting will be held on January 31, 2017 when we will discuss "A siege of bitterns" by Steve Burrows.