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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

‘You Were Gone’ by Tim Weaver


Published by Michael Joseph,
17 May 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-71818900-6

For me, one of the joys of a really good psychological thriller is the question it poses right at the start, the question you want the answer to through the whole of the book, and the answer has to be totally satisfying. And my goodness me, You Were Gone by Tim Weaver, his ninth book featuring missing persons investigator David Raker, poses at least one really great question.

Three days after Christmas a woman with no ID turns up at a police station and tells officers she is Raker’s wife. When Raker arrives at the station he is stunned. The woman is the spitting image of his wife. She knows about their marriage, their history, she can even quote conversations they have had. There’s just one problem ­– Raker’s wife, Derryn, has been dead for eight years.

Now, those of you who have read all of Tim Weaver’s books ­– and I am among you – will know that the death of Raker’s wife at the beginning of Weaver’s first (Chasing The Dead), affected Raker deeply and has formed so much of his character over the series… Derryn has always been a part of who he is. The mystery deepens pretty quickly when the woman tells the police Raker has had a breakdown, and a respected doctor backs up her account. So here is the question, or the questions. Is the woman really Derryn Raker? Is Raker delusional? The thing is, having read the whole series, I wouldn’t put it past Tim Weaver to throw us such a curveball as all his books have complex, twisty plots.

Suffice it to say, You Were Gone flies along with Raker doubting everyone and everything around him, but, as usual, he is going to get to the truth, no matter what, no matter what it might cost him. And my goodness, does Tim Reaver put his protagonist through the wringer! Once again, as a reader you are right there with Raker, with every twist and turn, every up and down. And yes, the questions asked at the beginning of the book are answered in a wholly satisfying way… and yet, and yet…that ending…

You Were Gone is another masterclass in plotting and writing and characterisation from Tim Weaver, another engrossing and excellent book in this long-running series.
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Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Tim Weaver is the bestselling author of Chasing the Dead, The Dead Tracks, Vanished, the Richard and Judy Book Club selection Never Coming Back, and most recently Fall from Grace. All his thrillers feature missing persons investigator David Raker. Weaver has been nominated for a National Book Award and shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library, which considers an author's entire body of work. A former journalist and magazine editor, he lives near Bath with his wife and daughter.


Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter, when she was eight. When she grew up she had to earn a living and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing crime thrillers drawing on her experiences in journalism. Her third book set in East Anglia and featuring investigative journalist Alex.  Dark Waters was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads in March 2018.

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