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.
Alex Clare has done a tremendous job of writing a debut novel that is so different from the rest. Introducing the subject of transgender with the detailed focus on how Roger has become Robyn gives a whole new spin on a classic whodunit psychological thriller.
The characters in this story are very complex individuals, some you will warm to and others you wont, I found myself increasingly angry with Ms. Chivers and her reaction to the situation of her missing two year old son. Although I wasn’t fond of this character and didn’t connect with all I admit that the writing by Clare was cleverly done giving each character their own personal traits and unique personalities, which felt very real indeed. Alas we cannot like everyone in the world and don’t necessarily believe in every way they behave.
There are many relationships within He’s Gone all of different strengths and levels, there are shifts and changes in how people react and manage the transition from Roger to Robyn and how Robyn herself controls the changes towards her with the public, police force and his family. I liked her character, a lot. The relationships are key and the writing and ideas beautifully executed to feel seamless, as unbelievable as we may have thought it could have been.
He’s Gone, as the title of the book, has two meanings for me. It is the story of a transgender experience of a man changing into a woman and the story of the missing toddler.
I never saw the twist coming, I heard a faint alarm bell in the beginning of the novel but never envisaged how the plot would pan out.
I read this book in paperback as part of the blog book tour and will be passing it to a friend who not normally reading fiction, has taken a keen interest in reading. I must say though that the font was very small.
It has been a pleasure featuring as part of this book blog tour. Check out all of the ones featured and yet to come. Alex Clare’s book will be available to buy in August 2016