Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Review of "Going Gone" by Laura Crum

I was never very good at book reports in school, but when Laura mentioned she had a new book out this month, I knew I had to volunteer to review it. I love Laura's books. After reading this one, I realize I'm a few books behind in the series. I've missed the entire courtship and marriage of Gail. You can be sure, I'll be looking on Barnes and Noble and Amazon to find them.

Going , Gone by Laura Crum

A Gail McCarthy Mystery
Published by Perserverance Press 2010
Buy Link:  From Perseverance
From Amazon
From Barnes and Noble

The Horse Vet Rides Again--Into Danger

“Bringing back Lonny and Bret in this long-running series is just what fans want. A good murder mystery that packs quite a wallop.” —Library Journal (3/1/10)

Veteran author Laura Crum has pulled together threads from the earlier books in her Gail McCarthy series, as an old boyfriend and a childhood friend re-enter Gail’s life in Going, Gone. Lonny Peterson, Gail’s significant other in the first few books, is now ranching in the Sierra foothills. And her longtime friend, former ne’er-do-well Bret Boncantini, is now a sheriff’s deputy in the same town—and has the painful duty of arresting Lonny on a murder charge. Of course the intrepid horse vet can’t let this situation lie, and she begins to investigate. Faithful readers of the series will be pleased at the return of these former characters, and those newly encountering Gail’s world will be hooked by the horsewoman’s courage in the face of danger.

Time has brought changes to Gail’s life. Bringing up her six-year-old son is now her main priority, which she does with the support of her husband. When a ruthless murderer kills four people, and Gail’s old friend is accused of the crimes, how can Gail explain such evil to her innocent and vulnerable child? A thoughtful meditation on life and death, as well as evocative writing on the solace of nature, the book will delight old and new fans. Culminating in a thrilling horseback chase through the coastal hills, Going, Gone features all the elements that Laura Crum is known for: fine writing about beautiful landscapes and authentic horse lore, as well as an exciting mystery. And for the first time in the series, this book offers illustrations by well-known equine artist/blogger Janet Huntington—an extra for readers.

I dived into this story while my husband and I were on a weekend vacation in Port Townsend. A fast read, it didn't take me long to finish it, despite my limited time. Going, Gone is a can't-put-down book, which is typical of Laura Crum's writing. If you haven't picked up her books yet, you're going to be pleasantly surprised when you do.

Laura's descriptions of riding through the Sierra foothills and the California coast make you feel as if you're there. I've never been to either place, but I could picture them vividly in my mind. In fact, I wished I could ride there with Gail. I guess in a way I did because the descriptions were so vivid. You felt Gail's joy as she rode through the hills, you also felt her anxiety as she rode near the mansion, whose absent owner was recently murdered.

You'll fall in love with her little horse, Sunny, who is introduced in Going, Gone. I want a Sunny in my life. ;)

Nestled nicely between the vibrant imagery of a vacation in a bucolic setting is the on-going mystery in which Laura's long-time friend, Lonny, is accused of murder. It's a setup, and you'll be surprised to find out the actual perpetrator of the crimes. You'll hold your breath as Gail investigates the murders and discovers evidence to clear Lonny.

This book even has a chase scene (on horseback, of course). You'll be hanging onto Sunny's back along with Gail as her little horse pounds along the ground in a desparate attempt to escape danger.

All in all, this next installment in the Gail McCarthy series by Laura Crum re-confirms her status as a leading author of horse mysteries.


Laura Crum said...

Thanks, Jami, for a very nice and insightful review of my new book. For those who are interested, the book where Gail meets her future husband is number five in the series, titled "Slickrock". This book is a big reader favorite, so I'm told. I'm really glad you enjoyed "Going, Gone"--I very much enjoyed writing it and tried to include my own insights into horses, nature, and mortality, as you so correctly observed, as well as turn out an exciting mystery. Thank you so much for reviewing it here.

Shanster said...

AAK! I can't read this post! (picture my eyes squinted shut and my fingers in my ears saying LA LA LA LA) I have this book at home and I haven't read it yet... it's calling my name and I'll read it soon!

Laura Crum said...

Oops--sorry Shanster. I always forget that those who are reading the series in order don't want to know what happens next.