Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Gathering & Long Time Gone


Welcome to another edition of Thriller Thursday with Sharon. I hope everyone is doing well, enjoying their summer, and getting great reads in. I certainly am.   🙂   This week I happy to share my thoughts on another couple of great books I have read. C.J. Tudor’s, The Gathering, and Charlie Donlea’s, Long Time Gone. I highly recommend both of these books and authors.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Gathering & Long Time GoneThe Gathering Goodreads

Author: C.J. Tudor

Publication Date: April 9, 2024

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Can C.J. Tudor write a bad book? In my opinion, the answer would be a big NO. Her latest book The Gathering will definitely be in my top five 2024 reads.

In the small town of Deadhart Alaska a fifteen-year-old boy is found dead with his throat ripped out. The citizens of the town are all on edge, they have not seen a killing like this in twenty-five years.  They know the vampyr colony living at the old mining settlement deep in the woods is responsible and they want a cull (authorization from the police to kill all vampyrs in the colony). Detective Barbara Atkins is a forensic detective who specializes in vampyr killings, and she has been brought in to determine if the Colony is responsible and authorize a cull. Barbara enlists the help of Deadhart’s former sheriff, Jenson Tucker, to help with her investigation. Tucker was the sheriff twenty-five years ago when the last killing took place, and he knows the Colony better than anyone.  As they dive into their investigation and the history of the town, they uncover dark secrets.  When more bodies turn up dead, the citizens of Deadhart are growing restless and time is running out for Barbara and Tucker. They need to figure out who is responsible for the murders before there is an all-out war between the citizens of Deadhart and the Vampyr Colony.

While I loved all the characters in this book, Barbara Akins was my favorite. She was one bad ass lady. She did not take her job lightly and even though she was getting pressure from her boss as well as the town to authorize a cull, she was not going to do that until she had all the facts.

I also loved the setting Tudor created. It is Alaska in the winter, so it is cold and dark. That just intensified the creepiness and supernatural feel of the book.  I also loved how Tudor redefined the vampyr stereotype. They don’t have a weakness for holy water or garlic and the sun does not burn them up. They can actually have children as well, with another vampyr or even a human. While some vampyrs do go rogue, most just want to live their life in their colony.

I loved everything about this book. C.J. Tudor did an amazing job of creating it all.  There were so many twists and turns. There was never a dull moment, and I was hooked from the very first page to the very last. And WOW! what an ending The Gathering had. I so hope there will be a sequel in the works soon.  4 ½ stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: The Gathering & Long Time GoneLong Time Gone Goodreads

Author: Charlie Donlea

Publication Date: May 21, 2024

Publisher: Kensington

Long Time Gone is the third book I have read by Charlie Donlea, and he is now on my must-read author list.

Dr. Sloan Hastings is a forensic scientist. Sloan has always known she was adopted and has never had any interest in searching for her biological parents, but in order to complete a research assignment she submits her DNA to an online genealogy site and the results turn Sloan’s world upside down and opens a thirty-year-old missing person’s case.  Thirty years ago, in the small town of Cedar Creek, Nevada, Charlotte Margolis, aka “Baby Charlotte” disappeared along with her parents. The results of Sloan’s DNA test confirms that she is Baby Charlotte. If Sloan is Baby Charlotte, then what happened to her biological parents? Sloan travels to Cedar Creek to meet the Margolis family and try and get answers on what happened to her parents. But those answers could put Sloan’s life in danger.

The story is told in a dual timeline. In the present timeline we follow Sloan as she tries to find the answers on what happened to her parents and why she was put up for adoption thirty years ago. And we also follow the story in the days leading up to the day Baby Charlotte and her parents went missing in July 1995.

Sloan teams up with the local sheriff, Eric Stamos, whose father was the sheriff back in 1995 and was investigating the disappearance until he died under suspicious circumstances a week after Baby Charlotte and her parents went missing.  I loved following Sloan and Eric as they worked to uncover what happened in 1995. Both being in law enforcement gave them information that would probably not be available to just anyone.  They need to tread lightly though because the Margolis family controls the town and Sloan and Eric need to make sure that the Margolis’ do not find out they are working together. Eric is sure that the information his father found out about the disappearance is the reason he died. And as information is uncovered, it looks like someone in the Margolis family knows more than they are saying.

I loved following the events in 1995 as well. For the most part we get the POV of Eric’s father as he is investigating the disappearance. But we also get the POV of Baby Charlotte’s mother. And by the end of the book when it was revealed what happened, I wanted to cry.

Long Time Gone was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. And what an end it was! I was on the edge of my seat; the tension was so high.  Charlie Donlea has once again delivered an amazing mystery.  I definitely recommend reading Long Time Gone, as well as his other books.  4 ½ stars 

2 replies
  1. Lark@LarkWrites
    Lark@LarkWrites says:

    I want to read both of these! I’ve liked other books by both of these authors, and am so glad to hear how much you liked these new books. Can’t wait to check them out! 😀


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