Dead Gone raises a bit of a question in my mind (yes this is another of my preambles before I actually 'talk' about the book). So, the weekend before last, I'd wandered into my local branch of WHSmith, I think because we were running early for my daughter's dance class for once, rather than because I was looking for something in particular. Anyway, over by the pen counter there were 3 or 4 crates stacked up, each filled with discounted books. Not like £1 to clear, these were 50p each. 50p for a book; I think I even used to pay more than that when I was young!

So here is the question - what makes a book end up in a 50p clearance? There was nothing to single this one out against the hundreds of other full-price offerings on the shelves. It would, in fact, have passed my spine/cover test at any price. I'm just interested. I thought maybe it was going to be rubbish - but then there's a quote from Mark Billingham on the front, so that discredits that theory as well. If there is anyone that know the answer, I am genuinely interested. Question over!

I liked Dead Gone a lot. About 20 pages in I was struggling for some reason; maybe I was tired I dunno, by 50 pages in I didn't want to put it down. This is a serial killer hunt coupled with some quite disturbing psychological experimentation case studies. It was a bit dark, but ooh so good.

It had me guessing throughout - and yes I changed my mind several times as to who the killer was, but also yes, I did know as soon as they were introduced. But fair play, Veste did make me doubt myself.

Detective Inspector David Murphy had the pre-requisite dark past that quite a few 'detective in charge of a murder spree' seem destined to have in crime novels. You know, the triumphant return against the odds thing. It might be nice every now and again not to have to cope with their tortured past, but I have to say that here it at least serves to move the story along. Anyway, Murphy seems like a nice enough chap that I would be interested enough to read more of. It wasn't until towards the end of the novel that I gelled with the relationship between Murphy and Laura Rossi, it just didn't click before for whatever reason. I can't tell you why now I've finished, any more than I could whilst I was reading it. I did however, get the very definite impression that DS Tony Brannon was a knobhead; even in the very small part he played in Dead Gone!There are lots of good, rounded characters here that make me definitely want to read more from Luca Veste.

The psychology aspect of the novel was, as I've already said, quite dark, but inherently very interesting too. I did enjoy reading the psychology behind it all, and indeed at times it was this and Experiment 2, that kept drawing me back to the book. That makes me sound terrible doesn't it? Oh well, it's said now!

Having spent a bit of my twenties quite near to Liverpool, it was good to have my memories of the city recalled. Certainly I remember clearly all the potholes on the old dock road - fondly of course. It certainly adds an extra element of enjoyment though when you can picture some of the places being described, though they are brought quite eloquently to life even if you're unlucky enough never to have stepped foot in Liverpool.

Dead Gone is expertly crafted so it had me on the edge of my seat more than once, and I caught myself holding my breath on many an occasion too!

There was no way this deserved to be on clearance, but I'm so glad it gave me the opportunity to find this gem - I'm off to have a look if Veste has published any more now!