Review by Gregg E. Brickman

Alafair Burke’s first stand alone, Long Gone, infuses suspense with greed, revenge, and family.

Alice Humphrey rejects her filmmaker father’s help to make it on her own, but she doesn’t suspect he had been subsidizing her job as a publicist at the Met.  When her father’s donations stop, she loses her position.  Then after almost a year of unemployment, A change of circumstances appears in the form of the smooth and cultured Drew Campbell, who offers her an exciting position opening a new art gallery.

Though the arrangement seemed unusual–an elderly, closeted, very rich gentleman wants to open the gallery to showcase his artist lover’s work–she sees potential in the position and accepts the job.  The artist refuses to meet her in person and even refuses to attend his opening show, saying his unavailability will add to the mystic of his art.

Her fortunes turn bad when she discovers the work borders on bad porn, and religious zealots picket the gallery.  An onslaught of media follows.  The next day she arrives to find the gallery bare and Campbell’s body on the floor in a pool of blood.  When she tries to explain, she learns the owner doesn’t exist, the artist is gone, and  she has nothing to prove her innocence.  The police turn their attention to Alice.

Long Gone’s fast action and intricate plot create an exciting story, one that is hard to set aside until the last page