February 5, 2016

Once Gone by Blake Pierce

Title:  Once Gone
Author:  Blake Pierce
Pages:  204
Genre:  Thriller
Publisher:  Author-Published E-Book, 2015
Series:  Riley Page Mystery, Book 1

Synopsis:  Women are turning up dead in the rural outskirts of Virginia, killed in grotesque ways, and when the FBI is called in, they are stumped. A serial killer is out there, his frequency increasing, and they know there is only one agent good enough to crack this case: Special Agent Riley Paige.

Riley is on paid leave herself, recovering from her encounter with her last serial killer, and, fragile as she is, the FBI is reluctant to tap her brilliant mind. Yet Riley, needing to battle her own demons, comes on board, and her hunt leads her through the disturbing subculture of doll collectors, into the homes of broken families, and into the darkest canals of the killer’s mind. As Riley peels back the layers, she realizes she is up against a killer more twisted than she could have imagined. In a frantic race against time, she finds herself pushed to her limit, her job on the line, her own family in danger, and her fragile psyche collapsing.

Yet once Riley Paige takes on a case, she will not quit. It obsesses her, leading her to the darkest corners of her own mind, blurring the lines between hunter and hunted. After a series of unexpected twists, her instincts lead her to a shocking climax that even Riley could not have imagined.

A dark psychological thriller with heart-pounding suspense, ONCE GONE marks the debut of a riveting new series—and a beloved new character—that will leave you turning pages late into the night.

Review:  This was a really good first novel.  I stayed up far too late last night reading it.  Riley Paige and her partner, Bill Jeffreys, are both good characters.  The opening drags you right into the serial killer's playground and never lets you go after that.  I found one mistake, but it didn't take away from the story.

While I enjoyed the tale, I didn't enjoy the whole e-book experience all that much.  I've read a few e-books, but not many, and each time I miss the whole 'having a book in my hand' feeling.  Maybe I'm just old-fashioned and set in my ways, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to read too many more in this format.  It just isn't the same for me.

But, this is a darn good novel and well worth reading.  I notice the sequel is available in e-book format for a very reasonable price.  I'll probably give it a try down the road.

Rating:  6 / 10


  1. It was hard for me to get into eBooks at first too, but I have now totally embraced them. I can't only do eBooks - but when traveling, it's so helpful to not have to carry a ton of books with me.

    Tanya Patrice

    1. I've realized the same thing. My iPad weighs far less than the pile of books I usually take on trips. I guess I need to learn to love eBooks too =)


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