Anne Bonny #BookReview You were Gone by @TimWeaverBooks 5* Genius #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #DavidRaker @PenguinUKBooks ‘A story of secrets and obsession. Denial and delusions’

You Were Gone by Tim Weaver
Review copy

I buried you.
I mourned you . . .
But now you’re back.

A woman walks into a police station.
She has no phone and no ID, just a piece of paper that reads ‘David Raker’.
She says she’s his wife.
She looks just like her.
She knows everything about him.
But David buried his wife eight years ago.

Is this really the woman he loved?
Did he really say goodbye?
Or is he losing his mind?

My Review:

I have to say, I am a huge fan of Tim Weaver and the David Raker series.
I think this is the best one yet!!!!!
The case has to be the most personal and we learn the most intimate details of Raker and his life with his now deceased wife (or is she?) Derryn. The twists and turns kept me guessing and at one point, I decided I didn’t even trust Raker anymore!!!!!
There is a brilliant bread crumb trail of clues, cleverly woven through each chapter of the novel. I was engrossed and stayed up until 4am to finish the book!

The novel opens with Raker spending the Christmas period at his daughter Annabel’s, in Devon. On the 28th December he receives a shocking phone call from DS Catherine Field, that shakes him to his core.
‘She says she’s your wife’
Raker is informed that a distressed young woman entered Charing Cross police station claiming to be lost. With her she carried a note with Raker’s name on it and asked the desk Sgt for help. The only issue with this woman’s story is that Raker’s wife Derryn has been dead 8yrs. So, who is this mystery woman? And why is she claiming to be Derryn?

‘It wasn’t Derryn
It wasn’t my wife’ – Raker

When Raker arrives at the police station, he is ushered into a separate room. The woman is bearing an injury and the police are reluctant to allow the two to physically meet just yet. Raker is allowed to watch the woman via CCTV cameras and he is baffled. She looks like Derryn, she talks like Derryn and she has all the shared memories. Yet he knows in his heart of hearts, this woman is not his wife.

Due to the nature of the woman’s claims, Raker is forced to relive his wife’s last few days as he painfully watched her pass away from breast cancer. He recites this to DS Field, who appears moved by his circumstances, but she can’t help wonder why someone would claim to be his dead wife.

‘I’d never loved another woman like I’d loved Derryn’ – Raker

As the conversation progresses, The woman claiming to be Derryn becomes more and more convincing, Raker realises he is now a potential suspect in the eyes of the law.

The woman insists she wants Raker to take her to their home, she refers to him as Derryn once did calling him ‘D’. Raker questions her mental health and urges DS Field to find one piece of evidence to back up this woman’s claims. We also become aware Derryn’s parents have since passed away and her brother died in Basra in 2004. There is no immediate family to back-up Raker’s Claims either.

“That woman in there, she’s a fantasist, or she’s ill, or she’s just a pathological liar. She’s not Derryn” – Raker

On 26th November 2009 Derryn passed away at home after a lengthy battle with cancer. Raker was present with her during her final months/weeks and even at the time of her passing. He watched her body be taken from the house. Yet still this woman persists.

‘All I know for sure is that one of you is lying to me’ – DS Field

Not only does this woman claim to be Derryn but she also claims Raker is the one that is mentally unstable. Citing a Dr Erik McMillan who can back up her claims. Which he does, leaving Raker questioning his own sanity. . .

‘My emotional state would make me easy to manipulate’ – Raker

Having lost some one I know and love through cancer. I know what an emotionally and physically draining time it can be. It also leaves permanent scars on your memory and the emotional pain can be felt for many years later. I really empathised with Raker’s character. I imagined myself in his position, trying to convince people who weren’t there, that I know what I saw etc. I knew that at times like this the person telling the truth, can appear the liar, as they desperately try to convince people of the truth.

DS Field warns Raker not to investigate further, to leave this to the police to deal with. But the Raker we all know, and love is never going to sit idlily by as his life is torn apart. He begins his own investigations into not only this mystery woman, but his own life. What follows is a case full of twists and turns.

The clues unravel slow and steady, to reveal a story of secrets and obsession. Denial and delusions. But who is in denial? Who has secrets? And who is suffering delusions?
That is what makes this a great edition to the Raker series.
5* Genius

Tim Weaver

My review and Q&A of, I Am Missing, also by Tim Weaver