Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher

Posted 23 March, 2024 by Heather in Audiobook, Blog, Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review / 0 Comments

Good Half Gone by Tarryn FisherGood Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher
Published by Harlequin on March 19, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Domestic, Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 317

"The ending shattered me in a way only Tarryn Fisher can!” —Colleen Hoover

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Never Never

Iris Walsh saw her twin sister get kidnapped—so why does no one believe her?

Iris narrowly escaped her twin sister’s fate as a teen: abducted in broad daylight and long gone before she could convince the cops there was anything to investigate. With Piper presumed a runaway and no evidence to go on but Iris’s scattered memories, the case quickly goes cold.

Ever since that terrible day, Iris’ search for Piper has bordered on obsession. Chasing leads across years and following clues that all seem to point to a single name, Iris does everything she can to get close to the only person who might know the answer to the question that still haunts her: where did Piper go? And if the police still won’t help, she’ll just have to find the answer herself--using her criminal psychology degree to intern at the isolated psychiatric hospital on Shoal Island, where secrets lurk in the shadows and are kept under lock and key. But Iris soon realizes that something even more sinister is simmering beneath the surface of the Shoal, and that the patients aren’t the only ones being observed…

Looking for more captivating reads by Tarryn Fisher? Don't miss:

  • Never Never
  • The Wives
  • The Wrong Family
  • An Honest Lie

This week’s listen was a mystery/suspense by Tarryn Fisher called GOOD HALF GONE. In this book, a woman is searching for answers in her twin’s kidnapping and disappearance a decade ago. Here’s an excerpt and my review is at the end.

911, WHAT IS your emergency?” 

“Hello? Help me, please! They took my sister! Please hurry, I don’t know where they are. I can’t find them.” *rustling noise* *yells something* “Oh my god—oh my god. Piper!” 

“Ma’am, I need you to calm down so that I can understand you.” 

“Okay…” *crying* 

“Who took your sister?” 

“I don’t know! I don’t know them. Two guys. Dupont knows them, I—” 

“Miss, what is the address? Where are you?” 

“The theater on Pike, the Five Dollar…” *crying* “They took my phone, I’m calling from inside the theater.” 

“Wait right where you are, someone is going to be there to help shortly. Can you tell me what your name is?” 


“What is your name? Hello…?” 

*crying, indecipherable noises* 

“Can you tell me your name?” 


“What is your sister’s name, Iris? And how old is she?”

“Piper. She’s fifteen.” 

“Is she your older sister or younger sister… Iris, can you hear me?” 

“We’re twins. They just put her in a car and drove away. Please hurry.” 

“Can you tell me what kind of vehicle they were driving?” 

“I don’t know…” 

“—a van, or a sedan—?” 

“It was blue and long. I can’t remember.” 

“Did it have four doors or two… Iris?” 


“And how many men were there?” 


“I’m going to stay on the line with you until the officers get there.”

He leans forward, rouses the mouse, and turns off the audio on his computer. Click click clack. I was referred to Dr. Stanford a year ago when my long-term therapist retired. I had the option of finding a new therapist on my own or being assigned someone in the practice. Of course I considered breaking up with therapy all together, but after eight years it felt unnatural not to go. But I was a drinker of therapy sauce: a true believer in the art of feelings. I imagined people felt that way about church. At the end of the day, I told myself that a weird therapist was better than no therapist. 

I disliked Allen Stanford on sight. Grubby. He is the grownup version of the kindergarten booger eater. A mouth breather with a slow, stiff smile. I was hoping he’d grow on me. 

Dr. Stanford clears his throat. 

“That’s hard to listen to for me, so I can only imagine how you must feel.” 

Every year, on the anniversary of Piper’s kidnapping, I listen to the recording of the 911 call I made from the lobby of the Five Dollar. When I close my eyes, I can still see the blue diamond carpet and the blinking neon popcorn sign. 

“Do you want to take a break?”

“A break from what?” 

“It must be hard for you to hear that even now…” 

That is true, reliving the worst day of my life never gets easier. The smell of popcorn is attached to the memory, and I feel nauseated. A cold chill sweeps over me. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I nod once. 

“What happened after you hung up the phone?” 

“I waited…what else could I do? I was afraid they were outside waiting to take me too. My brain hadn’t fully caught up to what was happening. I felt like I was dreaming.” 

My voice is weighed down with shame; in the moments after my twin was taken, I was thinking of my own safety, worried that her kidnappers would come back. Why hadn’t I chased the car down the street, or at least paid attention to the license plate so I could give it to the cops? Hindsight was a sore throat. 

“I wanted to call Gran.” I shake my head. “I thought I was crazy because I’d dialed her number hundreds of times and I just… I forgot. I had to wait for the cops.” 

My lungs feel like they’re compressing. I force a deep breath. 

“I guess it took five minutes for the cops to get there, but if you asked me that day, I would have said it took an hour.” 

When I close my eyes, I can still see the city block in detail— smell the fry oil drifting across the street from the McDonald’s. 

“The cops parked their cruiser on the street in front of the theater,” I continue. “I was afraid of them. My mother was an addict—she hated cops. To certain people, cops only show up to take things away, you know?” 

He nods like he knows, and maybe he does, maybe he had a mom like mine, but for the last twenty years, he’s been going to Disney World—according to the photos on his desk—and that somehow disqualifies him in my mind as a person who’s had things taken away from him. 

I take another sip of water, the memories rushing back. I close my eyes, wanting to remember, but not wanting to feel— a fine line. 

I was shaking when I stumbled out of the theater and ran toward the cop car, drunk with shock, the syrupy soda pooling in my belly. My toe hit a crack in the asphalt and I rolled my ankle, scraping it along the side of the curb. I made it to them, staggering and crying, scared out of my mind—and that’s when things had gone from bad to worse. 

“Tell me about your exchange with the police,” he prompts. “What, if anything, did they do to help you in that moment?” 

The antiquated anger begins festering now, my hands fisting into rocks. “Nothing. They arrived already not believing me. The first thing they asked was if I had taken any drugs. Then they wanted to know if Piper did drugs.” 

The one with the watery eyes—I remember him having a lot of hair. It poked out the top of his shirt, tufted out of his ears. The guy whose glasses I could see my face in—he had no hair. But what they had both worn that day was the same bored, cynical expression. I sigh. “To them, teenagers who looked like me did drugs. They saw a tweaker, not a panicked, traumatized, teenage girl.”

“What was your response?” 

“I denied it—said no way. For the last six months, my sister had been hanging with a church crowd. She spent weekends going to youth group and Bible study. If anyone was going to do drugs at that point, it would have been me.” 

He writes something down on his notepad. Later I’ll try to imagine what it was, but for now I am focused. 

“They thought I was lying—I don’t even know about what, just lying. The manager of the theater came outside to see what was going on, and he brought one of his employees out to confirm to the police that I had indeed come in with a girl who looked just like me, and three men. I asked if I could call my gran, who had custody of us.” 

“Did they let you?” 

“Not at first. They ignored me and just kept asking questions. The bald one asked if I lived with her, but before I could answer his question, the other one was asking me which way the car went. It was like being shot at from two different directions.” I lean forward in my seat to stretch my back. I’m so emotionally spiked, both of my legs are bouncing. I can’t make eye contact with him; I’m trapped in my own story—helpless and fifteen. 

“The men who took my sister—they took my phone. The cops wanted to know how I called 911. I told them the manager let me use the phone inside the theater. They were stuck on the phone thing. They wanted to know why the men would take my phone. I screamed, ‘I have no idea. Why would they take my sister?’”

“They weren’t hearing you,” he interjects. 

I stare at him. I want to say No shit, Sherlock, but I don’t. Shrinks are here to edit your emotions with adjectives in order to create a TV Guide synopsis of your issues. Today on an episode of Iris in Therapy, we discover she has never felt heard! 

“I was hysterical by the time they put me in the cruiser to take me to the station. Being in the back of that car after just seeing Piper get kidnapped—it was like I could feel her panic. Her need to get away. They drove me to the station…” I pause to remember the order of how things happened. 

“They let me call my grandmother, and then they put me in a room alone to wait. It was horrible—all the waiting. Every minute of that day felt like ten hours.” 

“Trauma often feels that way.” 

“It certainly does,” I say. “Have you ever been in a situation that makes you feel that way—like every minute is an hour?” I lean forward, wanting a real answer. Seconds tick by as he considers me from behind his desk. Therapists don’t like to answer questions. I find it hypocritical. I try to ask as many as I can just to make it fair.

Excerpt from Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher. Copyright © 2024 by Tarryn Fisher. Published by Graydon House.


My Thoughts:

I was excited to listen to Tarryn Fisher’s new novel, GOOD HALF GONE. The return to cold, dark, and rainy weather had me in the mood for a dark mystery/suspense read, and this one sure fit the bill. Iris’ twin was kidnapped right in front of her when they were sixteen years old, but no one believed Iris. The authorities thought Piper just ran away. Since the teens were being raised by their grandmother because their mother had addiction issues, people thought the twins would be just the same.

Now Iris is in her mid-twenties with an eight year old child, she’s never given up hope in finding what happened to Piper. She has one lead to go on and she’s honed in on what education she’d need to get access to the place she believes her sister’s killer resides. Getting an internship at Shoal Island Hospital is her ticket in to seeing the monster, and she’s willing to do anything to get close to the violent patients that are imprisoned there.

Bouncing back and forth between the past and present in Iris’ point of view, we get glimpses of Piper–or at least Iris’ idea of who Piper was. Their lives weren’t easy, but their grandmother made sure they were taken care of and loved. I enjoyed their grandmother’s character very much. She had such a colorful set of past careers was such a strong woman who held everything together for the twins.

I give GOOD HALF GONE a 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook that I bought on Audible, but the story wasn’t that suspenseful until the last 25% of the book. Iris is a complex character who’s love for her sister never wains, but her understanding and liking of her sister definitely go back and forth across timelines. The characters never felt completely fleshed out. There were several plot twists along the way that changed the trajectory of this book, and I did enjoy the twists and turns. The final twist I didn’t expect, although you get a very uneasy feeling that ramps up during the last third of the book. And that was were the suspense really kicked in. This book was a very slow burn bouncing back and forth in time, then the suspense just kicks in and builds. It was just a bit too slow and disconnected at times for me to enjoy to the fullest.



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About Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington, with her children, husband, and psychotic husky. She loves connecting with her readers on Instagram.

Find Tarryn Fisher

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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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