Here and Gone by Haylen Beck: A Review

Audra has been clean for awhile now but her abusive husband has convinced child services that she is not in order to gain custody of the children after Audra left him.  Audra is worried that her husband will be awarded custody in court so she decides to take the children to California after her friend offers her a place to stay.  As she is driving through Arizona, Audra is stopped by a police officer who finds marijuana in her car but there is something very fishy about the stop.  Audra hasn't smoked marijuana in years and doesn't know where it could have come from.  She is detained at the jail and her children are taken by another police officer but when she inquires where the children are taken to, the police refuse to give her answers.  The police state that they never saw any children in the car and accuse Audra of being the cause of the missing children.  Nobody seems to believe Audra except for Danny, a man who has experienced a similar fate.  Danny and Audra must work together to find the children before something really bad happens to them.

Since the second chapter, I could feel my heart start to beat a little bit faster and felt myself rushing to finish the page so that I could get to the next one and find out what was going to happen to Audra and the children.  This story, featuring missing persons cases and dangers of the Dark Web, is truly terrifying.  What happens to Audra is a nightmare for any parent.  This book reads very quickly and I finished it in one sitting, staying up all night to finish it.  The one criticism that I would have with this book is that the characters don't really have different voices and are not very complex.  They are somewhat predictable and all sound the same.  The small town sheriff is the typical bigot and Danny is a typical tough guy.  It is very unlikely that a six-year-old child would ask, "You nearly done?" as a detective would.  The ten-year-old seems to think and speak like a miniature adult, also, as he talks his mother into leaving his abusive father and believes that his father's money comes more from his grandmother than his father's hard work.   The cliched and unrealistic characters are made up for by the excitement that the book offers, though.  This psychological thriller will more than satisfy fans of Mary Kubica and Gillian Flynn.  I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more by Beck in the future.    

My rating:
★★★★☆

Reviews of books like this one:
The Child by Fiona Barton
Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica
Little Deaths by Emma Flint

This book will be available on June 20, 2017 and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read program.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind. 


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