Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.
Propulsive and suspenseful,
Good as Gone will appeal to fans of
Gone Girl and
The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages.
The worst nightmare of every parent comes true for Anna and Tom when a stranger snatches their thirteen-year-old daughter, Julie, from her bedroom at knife point. No evidence has been found to prove her alive or dead, but Anna knows deep inside that Julie was murdered. Now, eight years later, a girl who looks like Julie shows up on their doorstep, similar in many ways to the daughter they loved and in other ways completely different. Is it really Julie? Amy Gentry doesn’t pull her emotional punches as the chapters oscillate between maybe-Julie and Anna, and it’s soon clear that the truth is not what it seems. But the truth might not be what
you think it is either. This thriller pierces into the darkest corners of the heart where both love and fear reside, escalating the suspense to deliver a gut-plunging finale.
--Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
A New York Times Book Review "Editors'' Choice"
An Entertainment Weekly "Must List" Pick
A Refinery 29 "Suspense Thriller You''ll Love"
A "Skimm Reads" Pick
"[One] of the most anticipated summer thrillers...Gentry''s novel isn''t primarily about the version of the self that comes from a name and a family of origin; instead, it draws our attention to the self that''s forged from sheer survival, and from the clarifying call to vengeance." —
The New York Times Book Review
"Gentry’s debut novel is more than worthy of the analogy [to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 smash,
Gone Girl]…it’s so gripping you might start to question your own family’s past." —
"So much about this novel is fresh and insightful and decidedly
not like every other thriller…
Good as Gone ranks as an outstanding debut, well worth reading. This is no mere
Gone Girl wannabe.”
—The Dallas Morning News
“A mother, a daughter, a zealot, an investigator, a family, a stripper, and more than a few survivors lay the riveting groundwork, but it''s Amy Gentry''s realistic portrayals of victims and their families that set
Good as Gone apart from other page-turning crime dramas...The end result is a true ‘novel of suspense’: a book that''s hard to put down not only because of our investment in the plot, but also because of our investment in the lives of the complicated characters.”
—The Austin Chronicle
"Compelling and emotionally nuanced."
—The Seattle Times
"This smart, crisply written thriller begins with a ‘ripped from the headlines’ premise, but broadens to explore themes ranging from the mothering of daughters to the inwardness of suburban life and the lure of the megachurch in an era of consumerism.”
—The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Both a mother-daughter and a family-under-fire story,
Good as Gone is laden with confused identities and a thrumming plot. Amy Gentry''s debut also holds a mirror up to the myriad ways rape culture is perpetuated.”
Good as Gone…confirms the entrance of a powerful new voice in the world of crime fiction—Gentry knows crime fiction as a critic and as a writer, and brings her experiences with her for a novel that is as playful and self-aware in its structure as it is responsible in its themes.”
"If you love a measured and thought-provoking novel of suspense, with one eye on character study and one eye on a city’s conflicted culture, this might just be the next book for you.” —
Crime by the Book
"Debut novelist Gentry delivers on genre expectations with crisp, unobtrusive writing and well-executed plot twists."
"Clever perspective changes give Gentry''s debut building suspense...Fans of Paula Hawkin''s
The Girl on the Train will enjoy the shifting points of view and the complex female characters, and those who liked Samantha Hunt''s
Mr. Splitfoot will appreciate the seedy characters and haunting theme of childhood vulnerability...Gentry''s depiction of a family working through immense suffering will connect with many readers."
"Gentry’s treatment is effective, with a swift-moving narrative and an interesting backstory for Julie and engrossing insight into Anna’s ambivalence and grief...A good pick for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and family drama."
“Amy Gentry has burst out of the gate with a monumentally intelligent, wily thriller about identity, vengeance, and homecoming that introduces readers to some of the most badass female characters on the shelf.
Good as Gone is a river that shoots the reader deftly through rapids, over cliffs, past eerie vistas to a shocking, elegant and well-earned ending. Do yourself a favor: jump in.“
—Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under
“A bracing, scarily honest look at what it means to be female—and to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother—wrapped up in a vicious thriller. Gentry''s ambitious debut will satisfy fans of
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and
—Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back
“Unreliability sets the tone for this page-turner as it begins with a kidnapping where the only witness is the victim''s a ten-year-old sister. Pitting innocence and earnestness against criminality and manipulation, this novel, with its deft twists and turns, will leave you haunted long after the final page...You need to read this book. Like a literary James Patterson, this is a not-to-miss debut.”
—Steph Opitz, book reviewer, Marie Claire
AMY GENTRY is the author of
Good as Gone, a
New York Times Notable Book, and
Last Woman Standing. She is also a book reviewer and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the
Chicago Tribune, Salon, the
Paris Review, the
Los Angeles Review of Books, and the
Austin Chronicle. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago and lives in Austin, Texas.