Here and Gone

Here and Gone: A Novel - Haylen Beck

She’s headed to California with her two young kids in the backseat, taking the backroads so she doesn’t get stopped. She’s almost there but she promised Sean a stop in the next town and like the good mother she is, she pulls in and shuts the car off even though she spots a police car nearby. Back on the road, Audra feels luck is on her side until she sees the blue and red lights flash behind her. He claims Audra’s car is overloaded, something about it being a hazard on the road. He offers to help Audra and begins to unload some of her boxes into his patrol car when he claims he found an illegal substance and now Audra’s nightmare begins. Audra claims what he found is not hers but now he must arrest her, he has to call a tow truck for her car and he needs to call someone to come take care of her children. His deputy arrives for the children. A tow truck arrives for the car. The sheriff takes Audra into the station. Audra asks countless times where her children are but she is ignored. Paperwork is completed on Audra and she is locked up, again she confronts the sheriff about her children but this time the Sheriff exclaims, “What children?” Her children! Shiver me timbers, what the heck is going on with this police department? The sheriff is acting like Audra has no children and now Audra is thinking her husband, whom she is separated from has something to do with this. Audra starts pacing in her cell and having a fit.

The police call in a special unit to help find the children as they think Audra had something to do with their disappearance. It’s like a circus, if you were an individual watching from home. Audra is telling her side of the story, the Sheriff is telling his side of the story, we have the special units called in to try to get their unbiased opinion, we also have the husband/mother-in-law thoughts. The story flashes back and forth to what is actually happening to the children and the story surrounding why they were taken. The older child Sean is resourceful in this story and you know where he gets his strength. There is also a character named Danny who makes an appearance and how he plays into the story does not become apparent until all the pieces are being laid out.

This is an intense, gripping story that I had a hard time putting down. With no lull, this book kept the momentum going until the very end. I liked how the author made one of the characters weak and I kept waiting for him to crack, just waiting for the moment when he would lose it and all would be lost. I thought Audra was smart and she had a lot of vigor and determination to get her children back. When Audra met up with Danny, the two of them together were dangerous. I could see how some of the pieces were coming together as I read but I enjoyed how everything came together in the end. I really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it if you enjoy a good suspense.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review.