AND THEN SHE WAS GONE
by Christopher Greyson
Greyson Media | 2016
Paperback: 328 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery
Prequel to Jack Stratton Series
#1 Girl Jacked
#2 Jack Knifed
#3 Jacks Are Wild
#4 Jack and The Giant Killer
#5 Data Jack
Review Source: ARC ebook from Netgalley and Greyson Media Associates in exchange for an unbiased review.
Excerpt From Publisher’s Blurb….
A hometown hero with a heart of gold, Jack Stratton was raised in a whorehouse by his prostitute mother. Jack seemed destined to become another statistic, but now his life has taken a turn for the better. Determined to escape his past, he’s headed for a career in law enforcement. When his foster mother asks him to look into the girl’s disappearance, Jack quickly gets drawn into a baffling mystery. As Jack digs deeper, everyone becomes a suspect—including himself. Caught between the criminals and the cops, can Jack discover the truth in time to save the girl? Or will he become the next victim?
I am at a disadvantage beginning my exposure to the Jack Stratton mystery series with this prequel. Having said that, I did do a little scouting about the books and learned that Jack, as an adult, obviously achieved his dream of becoming an ace detective. His path to detective, however, appears strewn with tragedy and emotional baggage that began in childhood and followed him into his future. And Then She Was Gone scours the character list of the other books and gives a back story to those playing integral roles in Jack’s life and career.
We meet Jack Statton shortly before his eighteen birthday. Jack and his best friend, Cameron, have decided to enlist in the military after graduation in order to become eligible for the GI bill. For Jack, the military will be used as a stepping stone toward becoming a police detective. Unfortunately, Jack can’t seem to remember to stay out of trouble. He is fixated on trying to solve the world’s problems and not heeding the advice of the adults in his life.
Like a bloodhound on a scent, Jack plunges recklessly after clues to a recent murder. Tasked by his foster mother in clearing one of her children as a suspect, Jack gets in over his head and nearly derails the police investigation. He tramples crime scenes. confronts gang members in dark alleys, defies authorities, ignores his parents advice…in other words…acts like any normal teenager. Immortal and invincible and always right.
My overall feeling started as confusion. Was the series aimed at a young adult audience? There was something in the dialogue that sounded forced. An author trying to make an adult character become a teenager but not quite getting there. The adults, including the police, the murderer and the victim felt like characters in a Charley Brown cartoon going waa waa waa in the background. Additionally, the author tossed in the kitchen sink covering everything from prostitution to drugs; racial relations to adolescent hormonal overload; homelessness to bullying… a few less hot topics and deeper character and story development would have improved things.
It just seemed to lack that special magic that makes you flip the pages so fast you lose yourself in the story. Just rated …okay.