Here and Gone
by Haylen Beck
Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.
This was devastatingly heart breaking and heart pounding. The kind of thriller and mystery and suspense that would grip your heart, make you sweat out of fear and tremble during sleepless nights, be shocked how something as trivial as missing kids could wreak havoc to your way of thinking. That was everything I felt while reading Here and Gone. I thought I wouldn’t wake up from a nightmare.
One moment I was here with my Kindle, sipping coffee and tipping my eyeglasses up on my nose and before I knew it, my mind had gone astray and my heart stopped for this woman who only wanted nothing more than finding her kids who were stolen from her after a car arrest.
The characters, distraught mother Audra Kinney who escaped New York with her children, Sean and Louise, had captivated my heart. They’d been tangled up in a web of conspiracy and sick people who would do unimaginable evil. When she was arrested for possible drug possession, her kids were taken away from her and were deemed missing the moment she was “jailed” by Officer Whiteside. And so began her long insufferable journey to finding Sean and Louise and proving to everybody that she was perfectly sane and harmless. Something that only Danny the Knife Boy believed.
The story had been a roller-coaster one, gripping, terrifying, eye-popping. I couldn’t stop until it was finished. And when I got hold of my sane self, I almost choked out of breath and never wished to experience those moments again. My eyes cried out for Audra and my heart bled for her kids. That’s how emotional and intense this story had been.
All hail Haylen Beck for a remarkable first novel! A definite heart-stopping one from beginning to end!
NOTE: I received this ARC courtesy of Crown Publishing through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.