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.
What a book! As soon as I read the book synopsis, I knew this would be a great book. I just didn't know how good it would be!
I loved the world building in Here and Gone. Haylen Beck does a great job in making everything feel real. I felt like I was actually in the small town of Silver Falls, Arizona. I could even picture the small police station.
The pacing was fantastic! I was immersed in the story right away. Here and Gone's action takes place within the first few chapters. After that, this book is hard to put down. The chapters are very short, so it's easy to say "just one more chapter" before realizing that you've read the whole book!
The plot was believable and written very well. A woman on the run from her abusive husband gets stopped by a police officer is a small town. The cop finds a bag of marijuana, and he places her under arrest. He calls for another police officer to take the woman's children to a safe place. However, when the woman and police officer arrive at the police station, the police officer acts as if she never had any children. Yes, there have been similar plots, but this one was very interesting, and it is something that could and probably does happen.
The characters were very well written. I felt Audra's pain and fear. I couldn't even imagine if someone took my kids from me. Audra was such a great character. I really admired her strength. I also loved the character of Danny. He was such a tough guy, but I loved his story and felt bad for him too. I hated Officer Whiteside, not because he was a badly written character. Quite the opposite. Whiteside was written so well. I wanted to see Whiteside hurt. He was such a horrible man. Officer Collins was also written well. There were times I did feel bad for her though. Mitchell was also a fantastic character. She was one of my favorites even if she wasn't a main character. Sean and Louise were well written characters too. I loved Sean's brave spirit and how protective he was in regards to his sister.
There are themes of violence, death, alcohol and drugs within this book. There's also some bad language. However, I think all of these things fit the book appropriately.
I would definitely recommend Here and Gone by Haylen Beck to others. This is one of these books where the writing is done perfectly, and the story line draws you in right away. I would love to see Here and Now become a film. I think it would be excellent. Definitely give this book a read as soon as you can. You won't regret it!
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