Title: Here and Gone
Author: Haylen Beck
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to Penguin Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Imagine if your children were kidnapped by the people who were supposed to protect them. Who can you turn to, if not the police?
Eighteen months ago, Audra Kinney fled from her abusive husband, Patrick, with her two children, Sean and Louise. Patrick has since enlisted the help of Child Services in an attempt to gain custody of both Sean and Louise, and Audra is forced to take them and run. Her nervousness at being caught and shipped back to her husband has forced her to take back roads through small towns in order to avoid law enforcement.
However, on a desolate Arizona road, Audra is followed and pulled over by Sheriff Robert Whiteside. He states that her car is overloaded, which may cause problems for her on the bumpy road, and insists upon carrying some of her possessions in his cruiser to the nearby town of Silver Water. While transferring boxes, he “finds” a bag of marijuana in her trunk and arrests her for possession. He radios Deputy Mary Collins to watch Sean and Louise while things are being sorted out, all the while assuring Audra that everything will be okay. Upon being booked at the police station, Audra asks after her children; Sheriff Whiteside responds “What children?” Her nightmare has begun.
From continual false accusations to manufactured evidence, Audra is fighting an uphill battle against law enforcement. She is vilified by the media and her husband, both of whom use her troubled past as motive for murder. Audra has no one to turn to, no one who believes her story. All the while, time is running out for Sean and Louise, who are being auctioned off to the highest bidder…
With a realistic plot line and alternating POV chapters, this story is not for the faint of heart. I flew through this book in a matter of hours, and I think it would make a great beach read. The ending was a little dissatisfying and the story did not have much depth to it, but it was endlessly entertaining. I can definitely see this being turned into a film in the future. Haylen Beck has created an intense, fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Catch it when it comes out on June 20th 2017.