Expected publication: June 20, 2017
Crown Publishing Group
4.5 Stars !!
After reading just a few sentences of the description for “Here and Gone”, I knew it was a book I wanted to read. The plot sounded intriguing and I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it.
I was right. After reading only a few pages I was totally engrossed in this story. It was INTENSE.
The book opens as Audra Kinney and her two children are driving through Arizona on their way to California. The land is so beautiful that she can almost pretend they’re sightseeing. But this is no pleasure trip. The farther away she gets from New York and her abusive husband the better. Traveling with her eleven-year-old son, Sean and three-year-old daughter, Louise, she keeps her eye out for any law-enforcement vehicles. Audra’s not sure if they are looking for her yet but she doesn’t want to take chances.
If only she hadn’t had to run.
Technically she hadn’t had to run….yet. Waiting to see what the courts decided in regards to custody of her children. But in the end she just couldn’t wait. She packed up and headed for safety in California.
It’s only five more miles to a motel where they can stop for the night. A good night sleep and a shower is all Audra wants. But when she looks in her rear-view mirror her heart jumps into her throat. A police cruiser is behind her. She hopes he just wants to pass her but those hopes are dashed when he flashes his lights and indicates that she should pull over. It’s the local sheriff. What starts as a routine stop ends up with Audra being taken into custody.
The Sheriff calls a female officer to come and take care of the children. I could feel Audra’s panic, the children’s panic…..what is going on? As Audra was trying to calm herself by taking deep breaths, I found myself doing the same.
The story is told from multiple points of view. We hear from Audra’s son, Sean. This kid was impressive. Sean is eleven years old but wise beyond his years. When the Sheriff puts his mom in the back of the cop car, Sean tries to keep it together for his little sister. But when the Sheriff tells him everything is going to be alright….Sean just doesn’t believe him. He sees something in the sheriff’s eyes when he looks at him and Louise, something that terrifies him.
There are also emails and reports in between chapters. These add more to the story and give readers an idea of where things are heading.
Audra feels helpless and alone, but she knows she has to be strong for her children. We learn more about her past and just how diabolical her husband is. But she may not be as alone as she thinks. Across the country someone sees the TV coverage about Audra and her missing children. Something similar happened in their own past which makes them want to reach out to help.
I really liked the authors writing style and the plot kept me in suspense the entire time. The characters were very well written and I liked the pace of the book. Some of the content can be very difficult to read. It’s dark and disturbing, but I felt that the author handled it well and didn’t overdo it with too much detail.
Here and Gone was the kind of book that had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it.
A thrilling and compelling read, that I highly recommend. I look forward to reading more from Haylen Beck.
Thank you NetGalley and Crown publishing, for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.