I have a feeling, judging by some of the books I've reviewed in the last couple of months, that I'm probably going to be out on my own when I say I didn't really like this.

It's a shame because I actually enjoyed the story itself, it was an interesting perspective that was twisty and turny enough. But I just could not get to grips at all with the actual storytelling, it was all over the place.

The first thing that irritated me was the senseless brand names dropping; first a Hobbs suit and a Mulberry bag, and then Vera Wang glasses and Polo aftershave. It was all so needless, I'm not sure what the purpose of it was - it added nothing to the story or the characters.

But the worst part for me were the scene changes, they were just so random that at times I felt I was reading planning notes rather than the actual story. There was lots of trouble at work but we're not actually told about it, it's just referenced to as almost an inconsequential event - it was bizarre. Surely we could have had more evidence of what was happening rather than it being the next Saturday in the blink of an eye? I'm not sure I could actually keep up with how much time had lapsed, but it seemed to be about 2 months before Hannah had done anything about the total disappearance of Matt. I don't know why we had such a huge timeline anyway, it arguably might have been much easier to condense it instead of the fleeting mentions as to what was supposedly happening.

This lack of continuity then extended to the characters who were as fleeting as the events. Hannah herself was okay I suppose, but the people surrounding her suffered from a lack of fleshing out. It's fair enough giving characteristics to a persona but at least make it sort of consistent. There isn't always a benefit to twists and turns if they're not at least hinted at previously; you can't make a person out to be a neurotic mess for instance if they don't display any signs of it in the preceding hundred or so pages (and that's an example rather than what happens in Gone Without a Trace before I'm accused of spoiling it). I suppose what I'm trying to say is, don't just try and force twists into a story thinking that is essential; I don't buy a book because it's got a twist at the end, or in the middle for that case, I'd much rather be reading an ending (or middle) that I could see as plausible. It all just seems so formulaic and I don't know when this trend started.

And that's what Gone Without A Trace felt like for me, it was almost as if I was reading a checklist for a creative writing course. Don't just say knives - say what kind of knives; tell the reader how the character shows she's upset - rather than just describing it as a natural plotline.

Rant, rant, rant. Sorry! It just feels like some books are trying to be the next bloomin' Girl on a Train, or whichever sticker/tagline is emblazoning so many books. Stop trying to be the next and just write the story how you want to write it, in your own unique way, it'd be much better.

Having gone off at a rude tangent, I'll end by writing what I'm guessing you already know: I didn't like this. I felt like giving up so many times and that feeling wasn't dissipated at all by the big ending. I will say though that I did think the actual end sentence was great, terrific in fact, I just wish the rest of the book shared the same properties.