Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: August 1st, 2023

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Adult, Contemporary, Adult Fiction

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.

First Line:

My mother walks from her bedroom through our tiny living room, her eyes sweeping over our old blue couch and coffee table, before she briefly disappears into the galley kitchen.

Gone Tonight by Sarak Pekkanen

Catherine is ready to leave her mother and start on her own. But, when Ruth develops signs of early Alzheimer’s, Catherine stays home to care for her. She also wants to know more about Ruth’s background. So she starts digging into Ruth’s past. Meanwhile, Ruth is desperate to keep Catherine by her side. To do that, she will do anything to keep her there, including lie. But, as Catherine unearths more of her mother’s past and Ruth tries desperately to keep the truth from her, things start to come apart. What is Ruth hiding from Catherine?

When I read the blurb for Gone Tonight, I knew this was a book that I needed to read. I am a big fan of Sarah Pekkanen and love psychological thrillers. I went into this book with high expectations. I ended the book slightly confused. I don’t know if it was the author’s intention, but I didn’t like it.

Gone Tonight is a fast-paced book. For the most part, the pacing of the book suited the storyline. But there were times during the book when I wished it had slowed down. There was also some lag in the middle of the book.

The main storyline in Gone Tonight focuses on Ruth, her lies, her relationship with Catherine, and Catherine’s investigation into her mother’s past. The main storyline was well-written, and the plotline had a few exciting twists.

The characters in Gone Tonight didn’t impress me. Ruth came across as extremely smothering and a pathological liar. She pushed Catherine into investigating her past. Catherine didn’t impress me, either, but I understood why she did the things she did. All she wanted was answers, and she did get them but at a cost.

The mystery angle of the book was interesting. I liked how the author gave out Ruth’s back story. But, at the same time, I didn’t quite believe it (she’s a known liar). There were a few twists in this angle that did surprise me. There is also the mystery of Catherine and how her mother views her. It is at odds with the Catherine shown, and I did think that maybe Ruth was overthinking things until the end of the book and when Catherine did something that surprised me.

The thriller angle of the book was well written. I was kept on edge by everything that Catherine uncovered, even though Ruth had admitted to it earlier in her journal.

The end of Gone Tonight left me confused. I couldn’t quite figure out what Ruth meant by what she said and what that meant for Catherine. The main storyline was wrapped up, but there was that last comment. Did it mean what I think it means? Or does it mean something else?

I recommend Gone Tonight to anyone over 21. There is violence, language, and fade to black sexual situations.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley, and Sarah Pekkanen for allowing me to read and review Gone Tonight. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Gone Tonight, then you will enjoy these books:

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2 thoughts on “Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

  1. I find that a lot of thrillers have unlikable characters, so I’m not surprised to hear you say that. Nice review, Jolie.

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