Karen Fenech's "Gone" is One of November's Must Reads!

11/05/2010 Posted by Admin

Looking for a good book? Hell, looking for a great book? I've read Karen Fenech's suspense-thriller "Gone" and I'm highly recommending it to my readers, so much so that I'm promoting it on the site.  Check out the book blurb below, and then you must read the first chapter, which comes after the book blurb.

Karen is a real talent--I love her spare, intense style of writing.  I admire how she drives her plot forward with admirable leanness and believable characters.  It's a fast, compelling read.

You can purchase her book here on Amazon.  It's just $2.99!

Karen has another book called "Betrayal," which you can buy on Amazon here.

Here is the book blurb for GONE:

FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall was separated from her sister Beth in childhood when their mother tried to kill them. Now Clare learns that Beth lives in the small town of Farley, South Carolina, but when she goes there to reunite with Beth, Clare discovers her sister is missing and that someone in the town is responsible for her disappearance.

Clare receives an offer to help with the search from fellow FBI Special Agent Jake Sutton. The offer is too good to refuse, though that is exactly what Clare wants to do. Jake is Clare's former lover, a man she cannot forget, and who has an agenda of his own.

Now while Clare tracks her sister, someone is tracking Clare, and finding her sister may cost Clare her life.


Now, read the first chapter and see why I'm recommending it.

Chapter One

   In seven minutes, her mother was being executed.
   FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall watched the clock mounted on the wall above her cubicle in the New York City Bureau office. After twenty-four years, three months and four days on death row, the state of Texas had grown tired of providing her mother, convicted murderer Jolene Marie Marshall, with room and board and was going to enact the death sentence handed down almost a quarter of a century earlier. Jolene would die by lethal injection at ten a.m. this July morning.
   . . . in six minutes.
   Clare had been five when her mother pointed a gun at her head and fired.
   Though Clare couldn’t recall it, she’d landed on top of the body of her older brother, Owen. Mama had shot seven-year-old Owen first. She would have shot the baby, Katie, too, if police hadn’t broken down the front door of their government-subsidized apartment before she could.
   . . . three minutes.
   Sweat broke out on Clare’s upper lip and along her hairline. Her heart pounded.
   Someone in the outer office laughed. A phone rang.
   The clock now read ten a.m.
   Clare pushed her chair back from her desk with a screech. The air conditioner kicked on, blowing a gust of cool air down on her, yet the office felt stifling. Her chest felt weighted down. It was hard to breathe.
   She had to get out.
   She stumbled to her feet and staggered out of her cubicle.
   “Clare . . .”
   It was her team member, Benita Sanchez, calling out to her. Dimly, Clare recalled they had a meeting to go to. Clare ignored Benny and brushed by a trio of her colleagues grouped in the carpeted hall, waiting for an elevator. The stairs would be the quicker way down. Clare took them at a run. Her heels tapped against the tile in a staccato beat that echoed in the stairwell.
   At the bottom, she headed for a rear exit—away from the smokers who gathered out front to enjoy a cigarette on the lawn.
   She shoved the door open and charged into the alley beyond. Hazy sunlight beat down on the cracked asphalt and the faded brick of the old building. Clare squinted in the sudden brightness.
   Fetid fumes from the overflowing dumpster wafted on a slight breeze. Clare didn’t care about the stench. She inhaled deeply, filling her lungs. In. Out. In. Out. When her breathing was regular again, she leaned back against the building. Her white jacket fell open, and a ray of sunlight glinted off the gun in her shoulder holster.
   She’d just had what the psychologists who’d treated her in childhood called an “anxiety attack.” Though she hadn’t had one since her teen years, she hadn’t forgotten the symptoms, or what brought them on: vivid thoughts of the day her mother shot her.
   The psychologists she’d spoken with over the years had blamed the attacks on fear. She’d certainly been terrified when Mama pointed the gun at her. But it wasn’t fear that triggered her panic, it was the awful emptiness of being completely alone in the world.
   Her hands were almost steady now and she pushed damp strands of brown hair back from her face. Her first attack had come on when she awakened in a hospital bed weeks after her mother shot her and was told that her brother was dead, and that she couldn’t see her sister again. Katie had gone to live with a new family forever. At two years old, the baby had been promptly adopted.
   The only thing that had calmed Clare was knowing that Mama was in prison. The officials from Child Welfare Services who spoke with Clare believed it was the reassurance that her mother would not be able to hurt her again that had given Clare ease, but they’d been wrong. Clare had been comforted knowing where her mother was—knowing where she could find her.
   In the twenty-five years since the shooting, Clare had never gone to the prison to visit her mother, had never written, had never called. What her mother had done was horrific and Clare had not forgotten, yet . . . yet Jolene was her mother. The one person she belonged to and who belonged to her.
Now Jolene was gone and Clare was truly alone. She felt abandoned by the mother who’d tried to kill her. What did that say about her?
   She closed her eyes, tight, tighter. Tears trickled from between her lids.
   A sound—like the clang of cymbals—drew Clare’s attention.
   She opened her eyes.
   A convenience store was located behind the FBI office, separated by the alley between the two buildings. The door of the store was flung open. A gangly man, dragging a sobbing woman by her black curls, charged out. The woman wore a sleeveless yellow dress, but despite the heat, Clare could see she was trembling. The man held the barrel of a .45 to the woman’s head.
   His acne-scarred face glistened with sweat that trickled from his hairline. His tiny eyes were glassy and glossy—hard and bright as diamonds. His pupils were dilated to the size of dimes. He was high on something. Damn.
   His gaze met Clare’s and he swung the gun away from his hostage and fired a round at her. Clare dove behind the dumpster as the bullet pinged against the metal receptacle. She drew her gun.
She peered around the dumpster, looking for a safe shot, but the man had crouched behind his hostage, using her as a shield.
   Clare shouted: “Federal Agent. Drop the gun and step back from the woman. Now!”
   The man scuttled back against the wall of the convenience store. He ground the gun against the woman’s temple and she cried out. He hooked his arm under his hostage’s neck and jerked her back against his skinny frame. The woman’s tanned hands sprang up and she began clawing at her captor’s grip. She was sucking in air through her open mouth, gulping and gasping. Her eyes were beginning to bulge. Clare pressed her lips tightly together. If he didn’t relax his hold on her soon, he’d crush the woman’s windpipe.
   The man tilted his head and peeked at Clare. His gaze locked on hers, staring without blinking. His lips curved in a small smile.
   “Say bye-bye to the Federal Agent, pretty lady,” he called out in a sing song voice. “Bye-bye, Federal Agent.”
   He was going to do it. Dammit, he was going to kill the woman right before Clare’s eyes.
She leveled her gun on the six inches of space between his head and the woman’s and fired.
   The man jerked back, then just dropped. Clare didn’t doubt that she’d killed him. Her bullet had made a hole in his forehead.
   The woman plopped forward onto her hands and knees. Her head was bowed. Her captor’s blood splattered her dark hair. She was whimpering.
   Clare raced to the woman and crouched in front of her. “Are you hurt?”
   The woman didn’t respond. An ambulance siren wailed, followed by a screech of tires Clare found reassuring. Someone had summoned help and it had arrived.
   “Drop your gun!”
   A uniformed cop with a sparse red moustache shouted the command from beside the dumpster that had shielded Clare.
   “I’m a federal agent.” Clare held the gun by the trigger guard and let it fall onto the stained asphalt.  She raised her arms at her sides. “My ID is in my jacket. Right outer pocket.”
   He crossed the distance to her and retrieved her weapon and identification. More police and paramedics swarmed the alley. While the mustached officer glanced at her ID, Clare rose to her feet to make way for a burly paramedic bearing an oxygen tank.
   “Can you tell us what happened here, Agent Marshall?” The officer handed back Clare’s ID and dug out a small notebook from his pocket.
   Clare faced the policeman and began her statement.

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  1. Ann said...

    This sounds good! Is it available on paperback? I want a Kindle for Christmas, so I might have to wait.

  2. Karen Fenech said...

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks so much for your interest in GONE. The publisher orginally released GONE in hardcover. It's not available in paperback. The book is now available for Kindle for 99 cents for a very limited time. Amazon has software available for free download if you'd like to read the book on your pc, iphone, blackberry or a host of other devices. Here's a link to the free software for pc, from which you can navigate to the other software downloads. I hope you enjoy reading GONE! : )


  3. Bill said...

    Loved the first chapter. I'm going to download a sample. Thanks for posting this, Christopher.

  4. Karen Fenech said...

    Hi Bill,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the first chapter of GONE. Thank you for your interest in this book. If you haven't had a chance to download the sample, Christopher will be posting chapter two soon. : )

  5. Bill said...

    I bought it! I'll be reading it in the next week or so. Great to hear from the author on this site. Very cool.


  6. Karen Fenech said...

    Hi Bill,

    Thank you for getting back in touch here, and for your purchase of GONE. I appreciate it very much and I hope you enjoy the book.

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