Wish You Were Gone
reviewed by Fiona Cook
James Walsh is dead – an alcoholic who drove his car into the garage of his family home, leaving his wife and two children to grieve and shattering their perfect family image. But there’s more to this even than meets the eye – and Kieran Scott has woven a complex and gripping story from the aftermath of one tragic night.
Told in alternating viewpoints from a wide cast of the friends and family of the deceased, Wish You Were Gone is a domestic thriller that deservedly stands out from its genre. Too many of these books are a race to find out what happened, but I enjoyed the journey of this novel at least as much as I wanted to find out the destination of the reveal. I did lose track of which character I was following in a chapter once or twice, but overall, I appreciated having more viewpoints into such a twisty story – the different perspectives gave the storyline a depth that allowed the author to explore the situation with more nuanced and layering than a lot of thrillers achieve.
That was something else that really stood Wish You Were Gone apart from the herd, to me – alcoholics can be hard on their families, but are frequently very much still loved by them. This father and husband was one who caused his family pain and suffering, and yet knew how to light up a room when he was ‘on’. The mix of grief, relief, and guilt that they felt on his death was presented realistically without bogging down the thriller side of the story, and with a hopeful note; I thought it struck a really delicate balance perfectly.
So, in short, Kieran Scott has written a book that’s intriguing, entertaining, and a real joy to read, despite the heavy topics it deals with. Thriller lovers who appreciate a captivating mystery with plenty of depth will find themselves very happy indeed.