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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 4 star ratings
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    Really great edge-of-your-seat read!

    “Joan Hall Hovey is well named as Canada’s Mistress of Suspense with And Then He Was Gone. In typical Hall Hovey fashion, And Then He Was Gone is an edge-of-your-seat read, a well-written book that’s impossible to put down. Oh and make sure you have a sweater handy for the inevitable chills. Add unsettling elements of the supernatural and this book is just plain scary. Joan Hall Hovey is a consummate storyteller, a master of vivid imagery - and she knows how to spin a dark tale. You’ll cheer for the heroine, a strong woman victimized by fate, and be truly afraid of the evil predator set loose in the pages of And Then He Was Gone. This book will keep you reading into the wee small hours – and then you’ll have to turn out the light….”
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    Creepy at its Darkest Level

    And Then He Was Gone Joan Hall Hovey There are very few authors who do suspense as well as Joan Hall Hovey and, oh boy, she’s right on target with And Then He Was Gone. The title gives you a pretty good idea of what this book is about but that person who’s missing is only the core of the story. The very first pages were enough to make chills go down my spine and, although it’s clear in that early scene what kind of person we might be dealing with later in the tale, Ms. Hovey weaves a tangle of story lines that, on the surface, have nothing to do with each other…and, yet, perhaps they do. The two characters who have lost the most, Julie and David, know nothing of each other beyond what they see and hear on the news and to tie a missing, probably dead, man with a young man awakening from a 19-year coma seems the height of speculation. Julie and David each have their own crosses to bear and accompanying them on their respective journeys cemented my interest in this book. Julie, of course, is trying to cope with the disappearance of her husband and the knowledge that some are sure she had something to do with it. David, on the other hand, is slowly learning to live again as well as trying to remember things that matter a great deal. Then there’s that darkness that connects the two and watching a man’s psychosis descend into even deeper evil is what drives the tension and it’s what kept me reading long past bedtime. What that man is capable of is not beyond belief—we’ve seen and heard of it in real life much too often—but observing how a person’s mind can begin to crumble at a very early age and then he can maintain an aura of respectability for years before the evil begins to control him is creepy at its darkest level. And this is why I love Joan Hall Hovey‘s books—she makes me love her characters while I shiver in the night Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2017.
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    The town was small and the list o suspects was her

    and then he was Gone By Joan Hall Hovey Book Review Impressions This author superbly captures the reader’s imagination with how a surrealism of fear grips a small town. It’s a time when the realization comes that one of their own is a monster on an elusive rampage. This reading reminds me of old movies about times when bay horses and yellow surreys was part of this community and where some still prefer to read a book on lazy afternoons. We find these elements in small towns where master carpenters create woodworking genius. They use the elegant simplicity of doweling for seamless joinery. The precision of marrying wood joints with varying sizes of wooden biscuits delivers lasting beauty. Much like the passages in this story where nuances of remembered moments from childhood, the scents, and flavors of cherished recipes, all joined together to tell a compelling mystery. Because we already know that in tightly knit communities, when cold-blooded murder comes to visit the list of suspects is short. I found a growing admiration for the heroine. Effortlessly transitioning scenes from one tragedy to another, the author created a brave Julie Raynes. Like sliding fingers over woodwork and feeling the sensual velvety touch of sanded silk. The precision of seamless story weaving tells of disparate events that evolve into an enjoyable whodunit. I began to understand how death becomes a gruesome trail of breadcrumbs bringing Julie to each painful realization. I felt the isolation and emerging rage of the widow Julie Raynes. Story/Plot/Conflict She fought back the accusations that her husband had disappeared into another woman’s arms. There was bad rain the night Julie Raynes’ husband didn’t return home. It was her birthday and he had promised dinner out. She knew only that something awful happened preventing him from returning home from his woodworking shop. As the months passed, Adam Raynes remained missing. The list of suspects, according to the local Detective Kevin Regan, narrowed to Julie. A dying aunt’s revelations of a ghostly visitation brought to stark reality that her carpenter husband Jeff had been murdered. Heeding her Aunt Alice’s dire warnings Julie returns home with Endora the cat to begin her own crusade to find her husband’s killer. Like the smooth joinery of carpentry, she must figure out how all the seemingly disjointed clues must come together. At the whirr of the can-opener, Endora sat on her haunches and waited patiently, “When all this is settled” she said“, I’ll make us a tuna casserole, just like Aunt Alice’s.” As Endora daintily ate her meal, Julie put on a pot of coffee. She was getting the mug out of the cupboard when something Mrs. Olstein’s said came back to her. “You can barely tell where one thing fit on to another”. - And then he was Gone Main Characterizations Julie Raynes her husband Adam’s sudden disappearance left an unfillable hole in her life….in her soul. Suddenly she becomes a murder suspect. Just as sudden Julie realizes she must become her own hero. Detective Kevin Regan didn’t believe her at first. He had seen too much and known too many bitter surprises. But time will out as his heart softens for the lovely brave widow Julie. Critiques This is a good read. You take the book to bed before sleep…or on cozy rainy afternoons curled in a favorite reading nook. I rate it 4 stars Genre: Paranormal Mystery
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