Title: Here and Gone
Author: Haylen Beck
Rating: 3/5 stars
Release date: June 20th 2017
Publisher: Crown Publishing
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.
A very fast-paced, gripping novel. The beginning was a bit off though, and I was so confused for a moment there that I forgot I was reading a thriller. It felt like the author badly wanted to expose the truth without introducing the problem in the first place. The mystery aspects of the novel that were supposed to hook the readers just confused and annoyed me. It was as if they were played out by actors – all the forced, redundant violence and suspense. It felt as if the book struck me in a way that it wasn’t supposed to, like i was asking the wrong questions. In a way, it just stirred to a different direction- one I did not expect it nor enjoyed very much.
However, that was just the beginning of the novel. The fog finally cleared in the second half of the book when we were given some clue of the past. Some hints. And that was when the suspense finally got to me. It was a fairly short book, so I flew through it from there. The book addresses multiple dark subjects through different perspectives and it was interesting to see that. The pacing slowed towards the end of the book but I still found myself engaging with the direction it went with. Sean and Louise were the highlight of this book, hands down. Audra, on the other hand, though complex and definitely an interesting character to read about, was a little robotic to me.
Ultimately, Here and Gone is a unique and refreshing mystery/thriller novel packed with chilling, bizarre aspects you would not find in other books. It is also scarily realistic, which makes it the more gripping. it is not quite what I expected, and given the ending was a little anti-climactic I still enjoyed it nonetheless! I would recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of darker mysteries, one who prefers stories that are more character-driven than plot-driven.
Many, many thanks to Crown Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! #PRHpartner