Title: Here and Gone
Author: 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.
Here and Gone by Haylen Beck is a gripping thriller about a woman who becomes wrapped up in the terrors of the Dark Web. After being pulled over in a small town, Audra has her children stolen and is blamed for their absence. Throughout the novel, Audra fights to prove that her children were captured when no one else will believe her.
I love thrillers that grip your throat and won’t let go, but I found Here and Gone to be too intense at times. Audra’s circumstances were unfair, and the different twists and turns that came her way infuriated me; however, creating such emotions in myself as a reader is the true mark of an excellent author.
Beck writes with a knowledgeable hand. He clearly did his research on his novel in terms of the Dark Web and police procedurals in small towns before writing this book. As an author who is not from America, or Arizona – the setting of Here and Gone – I was amazed by his descriptions and story development. Having lived in the same location where this book takes place – close to Flagstaff, Arizona – I enjoyed visiting that setting again. It was impossible for me to put this book down with the quick chapters and story development, and I enjoyed rooting for Audra as she pushed back her oppressive past and fought for her children. Despite the frustrating circumstances of having her children kidnapped to be sold on the Dark Web, Audra fought back against the officer who took advantage of her and she did get her justice in the end.
Beck did well with creating a vast array of characters in such a short novel, and I felt that he evolved them well enough so that they didn’t get muddied in the heated storyline. Here and Gone is a fast paced novel that pushes past filler and delivers a killer storyline. If you love thrillers that will hold you enough to be consumed in one sitting, then Here and Gone is a perfect match!
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