It is a dark and stormy night in Oregon when former law officer Rainie Connor disappears. Her car is found, engine running in the middle of the road in a heavy downpour. Connor's husband, former FBI Special Agent Pierce Quincy is summoned to the scene and after being briefly considered a suspect, ends up working with the local police to solve the mystery of his wife's disappearance. He also calls in his own FBI agent daughter, Kimberly and her lover, a Georgia based investigator to help.
It soon becomes clear that Rainie has been kidnapped, but no-one is sure if she is a planned target or just a random victim. Rainie definitely has problems of her own - she drinks too much and has never recovered from a case that she and Quincy investigated years ago. Quincy remains haunted by the death of his first wife and elder daughter. Rainie and Quincy's own marriage is in trouble - joint causes of drinking and disappointment when an adoption falls through. Rainie has also been very involved in the life of a young boy, a victim of family violence and step-family roundabouts.
Lisa Gardner is also known for writing romance fiction and GONE definitely includes a lot of personal angst, complicated personal relationships and difficult pasts to go with the crime.
There is a very complicated, multi-faceted plot that keeps the pace moving. The central characters are certainly up to their elbows in more than their fair share of personal trauma and this, and the way that it doesn't seem to matter how often the investigation goes awry, they are still on the trail of their man, get a little unbelievable after a while. It seems to the reader that Gardner has devoted some good research into covering proper Police Procedure for this book, although some suspension of disbelief will be required as close family members of Rainie battle the kidnapper until the very end. The ending of GONE ties off all the main plot threads neatly, leaving a slightly unrealistic and unsatisfactory ending given the complications of the lives that Gardner's characters lead.