Gone (FBI Profiler Series #5)

Gone (FBI Profiler Series #5)

by Lisa Gardner

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Overview

From the bestselling author of Alone and The Killing Hour comes a thriller that goes from heartbreaking to heartstopping in the blink of an eye.…

When someone you love vanishes without a trace, how far would you go to get them back?

For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it’s the beginning of his worst nightmare: a car abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, purse on the driver’s seat. And his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, gone, leaving no clue to her fate.

Did one of the ghosts from Rainie’s troubled past finally catch up with her? Or could her disappearance be the result of one of the cases they’d been working– a particularly vicious double homicide or the possible abuse of a deeply disturbed child Rainie took too close to heart?  Together with his daughter, FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Pierce is battling the local authorities, racing against time, and frantically searching for answers to all the questions he’s been afraid to ask.

One man knows what happened that night. Adopting the alias of a killer caught eighty years before, he has already contacted the press. His terms are clear: he wants money, he wants power, he wants celebrity. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good.

Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, it’s still not enough.

As the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Pierce plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a lethal truth, and for the love of his life, who may forever be…gone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553588071
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/26/2006
Series: FBI Profiler Series , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 51,438
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.89(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Live to Tell, Hide, Alone, and The Neighbor, winner of the International Thriller Writers’ Award. Her FBI Profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives with her family in New England.

Read an Excerpt

Gone


By Lisa Gardner

Random House

Lisa Gardner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553902288


Chapter One

1.

Tuesday, 12:24 a.m. PST

She is dreaming again. She doesn't want to. She wrestles with the sheets, tosses her head, tries to keep the dream version of herself from walking up those stairs, from opening that door, from entering the gloom.

She wakes up stuffing the scream back into her throat, eyes bulging and still seeing things she doesn't want to see. Reality returns in slow degrees, as she registers the gray-washed walls, the dark-eyed windows, the empty side of the bed.

She heads for the bathroom, sticking her head under the faucet and gulping mouthfuls of lukewarm water. She can still hear the rain thundering outside. It seems like it has been raining forever this November, but maybe that's only her state of mind.

She goes into the kitchen. Note's still on the table. Seven days later, she doesn't read it anymore, but can't quite bring herself to throw it away.

Refrigerator inventory time: yogurt, tuna fish, pineapple, eggs. She grabs the eggs, then realizes they expired two weeks ago.

Screw it, she goes back to bed.

Same dream, same images, same visceral scream.

One a.m., she gets up for good. She showers, scrounges for clean clothes, then stares at her gaunt reflection in the mirror.

"How do you spell fuckup? R-A-I-N-I-E."

She goes for a drive.

Tuesday, 2:47 a.m. PST
"Baby's crying," he mumbled.

"Wake up."

"Mmmm, honey, it's your turn to get the kid."

"Carl, for God's sake. It's the phone, not the baby, and it's for you. Snap out of it."

Carlton Kincaid's wife, Tina, elbowed him in the ribs. Then she tossed him the phone and burrowed back under the covers, pulling the down comforter over her mocha-colored head. Tina wasn't a middle-of-the-night sort of person.

Unfortunately, neither was Kincaid. Sergeant Detective, Major Crimes, Portland office of the Oregon State Police, he was supposed to be prepared for these sort of calls. Sound intelligent. Commanding even. Kincaid hadn't gotten a good night's sleep in nearly eight months now, however, and was feeling it. He stared sulkily at the phone, and thought it had better be damn good.

Kincaid sat up straight and attempted to sound chipper. "Hell-oh."
A trooper was on the other end of the line. Had gotten called out by a local deputy to the scene of an abandoned vehicle on the side of a rural road in Tillamook County. So far no sign of the owner at the vehicle's site or at the owner's legal address.

Kincaid had one question. "Is the vehicle on public or private property?"

"Dunno."

"Well, figure it out, 'cause if it's private, we're gonna need consent to search the grounds. You'll also need to contact the local DA for a warrant to search the vehicle. So get the DA rolling, buckle up the scene, and I'll be there in"--Kincaid glanced at his watch-- "fifty-five minutes."

"Yes, sir."

The trooper hung up; Kincaid got moving. Kincaid had been with the OSP for the past twelve years. He'd started as a trooper, spent some time on a gang task force, then transferred to Major Crimes. Along the way, he'd acquired a beautiful wife, a big black mutt, and as of eight months ago, a bouncing baby boy. Life was going according to plan, if you included in that plan that neither he nor his wife had slept or chewed their food in over half a year.

Kids kept you hopping. So did Major Crimes.

He could hear the rain coming down in sheets off the roof. What a bitch of a night to be pulled out of bed. He kept two changes of clothes in the trunk of his take-home car. Night like this, that'd get him through the first half hour. Shit. He looked back at the bed with a pang and wished it'd been the baby crying after all.

Moving on autopilot, he dug through the dresser and started pulling on clothes. He was just buttoning up his shirt when his wife sighed and sat up.

"Bad one?" she whispered softly.

"Don't know. Abandoned vehicle over in Bakersville."

"Baby, what's that got to do with you?"

"Driver's-side door's open, engine's still running, and purse is sitting in the passenger's seat."
She frowned. "That's weird."

"Yeah."

"Baby, I hate the weird cases."

Kincaid pulled on his sports coat, crossed to his wife and planted a big one on her cheek. "Go back to sleep, honey. Love you."

Tuesday, 1:14 a.m. PST
She can't see a damn thing. Her wipers are on high speed, flailing violently across her windshield. It makes no difference. The rain comes and comes and comes. Bend in the road. She takes the turn a little too late and promptly hydroplanes.

She is breathing hard now. Hiccupping. Is she crying? It's hard to tell, but she's grateful to be alone in the dark.

Easing off the gas, she steers carefully back into the proper lane. There are advantages to being out this late at night. No one else on the road to be punished by her mistakes.

She knows where she is going without ever telling herself. If she thought about it, then it would be a conscious decision, which would underline the fact she has a problem. Far easier to simply discover herself pulling into the parking lot of the Toasted Lab Tavern. Half a dozen other vehicles are sprinkled across the graveled lot, mostly wide-cab pickup trucks.

The hard-core drinkers, she thinks. You have to be hard-core to be out on a night like this.

What is she doing here?

She sits in her car, gripping the steering wheel hard. She can feel herself starting to shake. Her mouth is filling with saliva. She is already anticipating that first long, cold sip of beer.

For one moment, she hangs on the precipice.

Go home, Rainie. Go to bed, watch TV, read a book. Do something, do anything but this.

She is shaking harder, her entire body convulsing as she hunches over the wheel.

If she goes home, she will fall asleep. And if she falls asleep . . .

DO NOT climb those stairs. DO NOT open that door. DO NOT peer into the gloom.

There is so much darkness inside of her. She wants to be a real person. She wants to be strong, resolute, and sane. But mostly she feels the darkness move inside her head. It started four months ago, the first few tendrils fingering the corners of her mind. Now it consumes her. She has fallen into an abyss and she can no longer see the light.

Rainie hears a noise.

Her head comes up.

She sees a large figure loom ahead suddenly in the pouring rain. She doesn't scream. She grabs her gun.

The drunken cowboy lurches past, never knowing how close he came to losing his ass.

Rainie sets her Glock back down in the passenger seat. She is no longer trembling. She's wide-eyed. Grim-faced. A stone-cold sort of crazy, which is far, far worse.

She puts her car into gear and heads back into the night.

Tuesday, 3:35 a.m. PST
Bakersville, Oregon, was a small coastal town smack dab in the middle of Tillamook County. Nestled in the shadows of the towering coastal range inside Tillamook County. It featured endless acres of verdant dairy farms, miles of rocky beach, and from a detective's point of view, a growing methamphetamine problem. Pretty place to live if you were into honky-tonks and cheese. Not much else to do if you weren't, and didn't the local kids know it.

It should've taken Kincaid fifty minutes to hit Bakersville. On a night like this, with zero visibility, slick mountain passes, and driving sheets of rain, it took Kincaid an hour fifteen. He pulled onto the lit-up site, breathing hard and already feeling behind the eight ball.

In the good-news department, the first responders had done their job. Three strategically placed spotlights glared into the night, high-powered beams slicing through the ribbons of rain. Yellow crime scene tape roped off a decent-sized perimeter, outside of which the vehicles were starting to pile up.

Kincaid noted a deputy's truck, then the sheriff's, then a slick black SUV with all the bells and whistles, which he figured belonged to the Tillamook County DA. They would need more bodies if they decided to launch a full-scale search, and they would need the forensic lab and Latent Prints to process the scene, but those would be his calls to make.

An hour and forty minutes after the first call out, they were still covering the basics: Did they, or did they not, have a crime? Most taxpayers probably liked to think the police went into these situations full bore. Notify the crime lab, bring in the National Guard, call in the choppers. Yeah, well, those same taxpayers kept hacking away at the OSP's budget, until Kincaid now had three and a half detectives working for him instead of the original fourteen. Real-world policing meant all decisions came attached to dollar signs. For better or for worse, these days he was operating on the cheap.

Kincaid pulled in behind the monstrous black Chevy Tahoe and cut his engine. No way around it. He opened his door and stepped out into the deluge.

The rain nailed him square on the forehead. For a moment, he paused, steeling himself against the onslaught. Then, his hair was soaked, the water trickled beneath the collar of his Columbia raincoat, and the worst of it was over. He no longer had to worry about getting muddy and wet; he was already there.

Kincaid trudged around to the trunk of his Chevy Impala, pulled out the giant plastic bin containing his crime scene kit, and ducked beneath the tape.

Trooper Blaney trotted over, black Danner boots splashing through the muck. A good doobie, he was wearing full department-issued rain gear, including a black-and-blue OSP jacket that looked like a biker coat gone bad. No one really liked the jacket. Kincaid kept his stashed in the trunk for the rare occasions the press was around--or a superior officer.

Blaney had obviously been standing outside awhile; his coat looked slick as glass beneath the high-powered lights, while beneath the cover of his wide-brim hat, the water ran in rivulets down his square-jawed face and dripped off the end of his nose. Blaney stuck out his hand; Kincaid returned the favor.

"Trooper."

"Sergeant."

The Tillamook County sheriff and a deputy had followed in the trooper's wake. Blaney made the introductions as they all stood in a rain-soaked huddle, teeth chattering, arms tight against their sides for warmth.

Deputy Dan Mitchell had been the first responder. Kid was young, farming stock, but trying hard. He didn't like the look of things--the open door, headlights on, engine running. Seemed kind of Hollywood to him. So he'd called Sheriff Atkins, who hadn't been wild to be pulled out of bed on such a night, but had headed down.

The sheriff was a bit of a surprise. For one thing, he was a she--that would be Sheriff Shelly Atkins to you. For another, she had a firm handshake, a no-nonsense stare, and apparently didn't feel like beating around the bush.

"Look," she interjected halfway through her deputy's energetic spiel, "Tom's waiting"--she jerked her head toward the DA, who Kincaid now saw was tucked back inside his SUV. "We got a search warrant for the car and, per your trooper's instructions, we've confirmed this is public land. Now, I don't know what the hell happened here, but someone left that car in a hurry, and that's a source of concern for me. So let's get this ball rolling, or there won't be anything left to find but a bunch of soggy police reports."

No one could argue with that logic, so their little scrum moved toward the car, edging carefully toward the open door.

Vehicle was a late-model Toyota Camry, white exterior, blue cloth interior. Nice, but nothing fancy. The driver had pulled well over, conscientiously trying to get off the road. To the left of the
driver's door was the winding backwoods lane. To the right was a steep embankment leading up into a heavily shrouded forest.

As the trooper had reported by phone, the driver's-side door was slung wide open, tip of the door scraping the edge of the asphalt. Kincaid's first thought was that most people didn't open their doors that far. Maybe if they had really long legs. Or maybe if they were loading something in and out of the car.

Something to think about.

From this angle, Kincaid could make out the shape of a brown leather handbag sitting in the passenger's seat.

"Did you check the purse?" he asked no one in particular.

"I picked it up," Deputy Mitchell reported, already sounding defensive. "To check for ID, you know. I mean, it just seemed strange to find the car, lights on, engine running, door open wide as day. I had to start somewhere."

"Did you find a wallet?"

"No, sir. But then I opened the glove compartment and found the vehicle registration. I pulled the name off that."

"Purse was empty?"

"No, sir. Lots of stuff in the purse--cosmetics, pens, PDA, etc. But I didn't see anything that looked like a wallet. I placed the purse back just how I found it. Swear to God I touched nothing else."

"Except the glove compartment," Kincaid said mildly, but he wasn't really angry. The deputy was right--you had to start somewhere.

The car's engine had been turned off; the trooper had done it to preserve the tank of gas. Always useful when you found an abandoned vehicle, to see how much gas was left in the tank. But the engine had been running fine when Deputy Mitchell had arrived, and at a glance, there was nothing wrong with the tires. Seemed to rule out pulling over due to mechanical problems.

Kincaid walked to the rear of the Camry, eyeing the fender. No sign of dents or scrapes, though it was hard to tell with everything so wet. He made a halfhearted attempt to look for other tire tracks or footprints. The driving rain had destroyed the ground, leaving nothing but shallow pools of muddy water. Sheriff Atkins's warning had been on the money, but a dime too late.

He moved to the interior of the vehicle, careful not to touch.
"Owner a woman?" he asked.

"According to the registration," Trooper Blaney supplied, "name is Lorraine Conner from Bakersville. Sheriff Atkins sent a deputy to the address. No one answered.&

Continues...


Excerpted from Gone by Lisa Gardner Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Gone 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 268 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say I started this book about 4 years ago around the time I was due to have my child, unfortunately I picked it up off & on again but never really had time to finish it until recently. Once I really took time to actually read it I found myself wrapped back in another good book of Lisa Gardner's that I really enjoyed. I have read all of Gardner's book up to this one and just like all others I really enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to see who the villian was. I really like how Gardner brings characters from her other books together, it makes them real. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy a good thriller or are a fan of Lisa Gardner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Lisa Gardner's unique writing style and 'Gone' is no exception. I enjoyed the fast paced action and the subtle yet revealing dialogue. After reading all of her books I feel as if I know Quincy, Rainie, Kimberly and Mac. I had no choice but to read the book in one night, but now I'm disappointed since it'll be another year before Gardner's next book comes out. I recommend reading the books in order. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of Lisa Gardners best efforts to date. She hooks you at the beginning and does no let go. When Loraine is Depressed you can feel her pain. Dougie you know from the beginning, this child is trouble, and when it comes to him your anger flairs up. Mistreatment of a child just never to be tolerated I can't say enough about this book, it is great. There are also shocks along the way. I thought twice I knew who the kidnapper was, wrong.
Binker More than 1 year ago
This is one of my standard authors, I always expect to come away from the book feeling saited. Some of her books blow my hair back, this one not so much but I would recommend it anyway. I encourage you to browse her offerings. You may end up needing a hairbrush at some point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I happened on this at the bookstore and had never read anything by this author before, so gave it a try. What a well written, cohesive book! Exciting and compelling, it kept me reading whenever I had a free minute. Even though this is the last in a series of books involving the same cast, it did not affect my understanding or enjoyment of the book. I plan to read all of Lisa Gardner's books. Hooray!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a huge fan of mystery novels -- but this one was truly wonderful. Realistic and was SO well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good story line, I believe Lisa Gardner has another winner here. Fast paced, she hooks you from the first page. Very hard to put down once you start. Highly recommend this book, it is a good read. -
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lisa Gardner is back! I was hooked from the beginning of this book. Great descriptions, you can almost feel some of the things that are being done to Raine. Scary plot, flows very well, and keeps you guessing. Everything I like in a mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book started my love of Lisa Gardner
swl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first LG I've read. I generally stay away from women mystery writers who've come out of the romance genre. (This is not a slight either mystery or romance; I enjoy both.)The thing that annoyed me most about this book was the dialog. People simply don't talk this way. 1. e.g.: here's the panicked husband/profiler considering a drop spot: "The upper-level loft supplies a bird's-eye view of the lower floor, rendering it useless." 2. LG uses distracting/puzzling dialog tags: people deadpan, quip, muse, boom, etc. 3. Motivation issues: this terrified husband takes the time to joke with his SIL, and have a testosterone-driven competetive relationship with the lead investigator, then be amused when he trips up. The emotions I expect (panic, fury, grief, confusion etc.) do not come through. Also: why is the SIL detached and jokey? Why is the profiler so glib and sexy? (um, hated the description of her as belonging on a runway...Why???)Finally, I'm not a crime writer so I have no idea how things should go, but there seems to be a lot of expository stuff at an uninterestingly low level. Like the profiler giving a vanilla report that nonetheless floors the negotiator. Or tension between departments working on the case that seems forced and irrelevant.So on to my favorite test...in another writer's hands, could this have been successful? I like the setup of a PTSD heroine fighting an addiction, becoming a victim herself. I also like the little firebug as a sympathetic character. If the good guys had actual personalities, and more urgency were built, sure.Finally, I don't know if these are characters in a series...they read that way. I don't want to check until I'm done with the book though, because it should be able to stand alone even if party of a series.I doubt I'll pick up another LG soon.
NovelBookworm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gone by Lisa Gardner is another well done suspense novel by this author. I was pretty sure I had figured out "whodunit" about halfway through, and it wasn't until the last chapter that I discovered how completely wrong I was. Good read, definitely worth the time!
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again, I¿ve inadvertently jumped into a series, but this stood pretty well on its own. You find out there¿s a bunch of backstory, but it¿s really not needed. It was a good, suspense-filled story with just the right amount of red herrings and wrong turns.
mazda502001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love Lisa Gardner's books. Real page-turners - a good tense thriller.Back Cover Blurb:For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it's the beginning of his worst nightmare. A car has just been found abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, a woman's purse on the drivers seat. And the driver of that car, his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, has vanished without a trace.Did one of the ghosts from Rainie's troubled past catch up with her? Or could her disappearance be connected to a vicious double homicide they'd been investigating? One man knows what happened that night. And if he doesn't get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good. Now, as a terrifying deadline nears, Pierce plunges into the most desperate hunt of his life, in search of a killer, a lethal truth, and the love of his life. But getting back what he 's lost may be murder.
susiesharp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-read this one. This was the book that got me hooked on Lisa Gardner and I liked it just as much the second time around.
JeanneMarkert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy's wife Rainie is kidnapped on a loney stretch of road a the Oregon coast highway. Good mystery. Fast read
caroren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A terrifying woman-in-jeopardy plot propels Gardner's latest thriller, in which child advocate and PI Lorraine "Rainie" Conner's fate hangs in the balance. Rainie, a recovering alcoholic with a painful past (who previously appeared in Gardner's The Third Victim, The Next Accident and The Killing Hour) is kidnapped from her parked car one night in coastal Oregon. The key players converge on the town of Bakersville to solve the mystery of her disappearance: Rainie's husband, Quincy, a semiretired FBI profiler whose anguish over Rainie undercuts his high-level experience with kidnappers; Quincy's daughter, Kimberley, a rising star in the FBI who flies in from Atlanta; Oregon State Police Sgt. Det. Carlton Kincaid; local sheriff Shelly Atkins; and abrasive federal agent Candi Rodriguez, who specializes in hostage negotiation. Gardner suspensefully intercuts the complicated maneuvering of this bickering team with graphic scenes of Rainie bravely struggling with her violent, sadistic captor. When the rescuers make a misstep, he raises the stakes by snatching a troubled seven-year-old foster child named Dougie, who's one of Rainie's cases. The cat-and-mouse intensifies, as does the mystery of the kidnapper's identity. Sympathetic characters, a strong sense of place and terrific plotting distinguish Gardner's new thriller.
LisMB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another good book by Gardner. I've enjoyed this mystery/thriller. Good to add to your must read list.
lgoetzelman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rainie is kidnapped and Quincy teams up with law enforcement to find her. A little slow start, but picks up and keeps you going.
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