Today I’m really excited to be the next stop on the He’s Gone by Alex Clare blog tour, and today just happens to be publication day, to celebrate I have a signed copy of He’s gone to giveaway, so don’t forget to enter further down the page. If you are a fan of crime fiction and you love an origional protaganist I would highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this highly original crime thriller.
How do you find a missing child when his mother doesn’t believe you have the right to even exist? When Detective Inspector Roger Bailley returns to work as Robyn, all she wants is to get on with the job she loves while finally being herself.
When toddler Ben Chivers is snatched from a shopping centre on her first day back at work, Robyn has to find Ben and herself as she deals with the reactions of her police colleagues, the media and her own daughter.
He’s Gone is an ambitious, and gripping novel. The author has created a very original protagonist in the shape of Robyn Bailley who has a condition called gender dysphoria. when I first picked up He’s Gone I did feel slightly uncomfortable not because of the subject matter, but I had concerns the author was breaking away from the usual DI mould for the sake of causing some controversy, but boy was I wrong. The author shows great sensitivity and understanding of the subject, and has created a unique character. The story opens with Roger returning to the police force as Robyn, and before long she finds herself investigating the disappearance of a child. Almost from the start Robyn is under close scrutiny by both the media and those around her, who question her ability to do the job, now she has decided to live life as a woman, still adjusting to living her life as Robyn, and with numerous issues to contend with, the author has created not only a very original character but a very complex one
Robyn is certainly an unique character, like many DI’s she’s driven and determined but she has an air of vulnerability, and I found myself rooting for her as she faced prejudice at every turn both in her work and private life, working in a very “macho” environment the author describes the misconceptions and embarrassing moments that Robyn encounters with a great deal of empathy. By the time I reached the end of He’s Gone I felt like I had been on the journey with Robyn. Robyn’s relationship with her team was also an interesting one, as you can imagine there were plenty of awkward moments as she presents herself to her team as a woman for the first time, but with gentle humour and very realistic dialogue between the members of the team it certainly made for an intriguing read.
I would hate for you to get the wrong impression and think this novel is is all about gender dysphoria, it’s so much more. It’s a gripping novel with an intriguing plot, it’s taut, it’s tense and there are plenty of twist and turns to keep even the most hardened crime fan reading late into the night. I like Alex Clare’s style of writing it’s clear and direct with a gentle dose of wit thrown in. I did wonder where a couple of plots in the novel were leading, but the author pulled them all together in ways I wasn’t expecting, and this made for a very engrossing read. With a contemporary and intriguing protagonist I’m hoping He’s Gone is the beginning of new crime series. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of crime fiction without hesitation
4.5 out of 5
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Impress Books (1 Aug. 2016)
About the author
After nearly twenty years of being a committed corporate person, Alex Clare was made redundant. She had always enjoyed writing, studying fiction part-time through the Open University and managing to complete a novel in her commuting time, though no one had ever read it. Now, with lots more time on her hands, there was the opportunity to take writing more seriously. She began to enter competitions and joined a writing group, which encouraged her to try out new genres and styles. After a period focusing on short stories, she wanted to try another novel. Inspiration came from watching Parliament debate the Equal Marriage Act in 2013. Astounded by the intensity of feeling generated, she created a fictional world to explore some of the issues and attitudes. Now working again she is working on her second novel, in her usual place, on a London commuter train
To win a signed ARC paperback copy of He’s Gone please enter via the link below. Sorry but this giveaway is only open to UK entrants. Winner will be notified within 24 hours of winning. Competition ends at midnight on the 5th of August 2016