Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

here and gone.jpgHere and Gone is a 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.


Here and Gone by Haylen Beck started with Audra and her two kids on the road to California. The author gives a vivid description of the journey, it was on a terribly hot day and Audra and the children were uncomfortable in the car. She made a stop to buy water and snacks and that is when first saw the Sherriffโ€™s car. She later drove off only to be followed and stopped by the Sheriff and this is where all the drama began. It was clear from the start that something was amiss with this Sheriff and his interest in Audra. Things start going terribly wrong then and they become worse when suddenly Audra is locked up and the Sheriff denies ever seeing any kids with her.

The story is narrated through multiple narrators. Audra is the main narrator and through her, we get to know about her marriage and reasons for her trip to California. Her anguish at losing her kids is unimaginable. There were moments when she started doubting her own sanity. I admit that I also started wondering about her recollections. I mean, were the kids even there? That is how good the writing was. It made me doubt even what was supposedly obvious. I also like that her son was also one of the narrators. His narrations were heartbreaking but his portrayal was pretty impressive. Like his mom, Sean was a brave and he made me smile a couple of times. I liked the kid. There are other narrators in the story who we get to meet at different points.

I really loved the setting of this book. I am not sure if I have read any other books set in Arizona although I have watched some movies/series set there. The desert heat and the small town added to the intrigue of the narrative. The first scene on the deserted Arizona road with the Sheriff, phewโ€ฆthe imagery was something else. I have always been curious about the small towns with their 2/3 sheriffs and the diners and everyone knowing everyone. This town had secrets and some crazy people. The author described the setting in such a vivid manner that I could see it all. I could even feel the heat. It was the perfect setting for this story.

I liked everything in this book. The characters were well-crafted. There was a mix of likeable and unlikable characters which made the book feel realistic. I even liked the support characters such as the old guy who lived in the woods with his dog and guns. I loved the action in the book. There were no dull moments. Things just kept moving with new twists and endless jaw-dropping moments. This was a perfect fast-paced thriller where everything just came together to make it a page-turner. I can see this being made into a movie.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck was everything I thought it would be and more.

22 thoughts on “Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

  1. Love the review. It sounds super intriguing, I love the books that make you doubt the things that are supposed to be sure, like the kids being there, makes you read faster just to find out the truth. I can totally see this coming into a movie ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You are so right. The doubts made it even more interesting. I think the movie would be great. The story plus the setting, definitely a movie that I would love to watch.

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This sounds really good Diana! No dull moments and lots of twists is hard to pull off but it sounds like this author was able to do it. I’m going to give this one a closer look, excellent review!

    1. Glad to hear that and I do hope that you will get a chance to read it. Everything in this one worked out really well. Arizona was a great setting too. I need to find more books set there.

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. This one definitely had me questioning everything at some point.If everyone says there were no kids apart from the mom,lol you kinda start wondering about who is right:-) It was a great thriller.Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. At first, I wasn’t sure this was going to be a positive review because the story about one person being told that other people never existed has been done quite a few times. There was Flight Plan, a film with Jodie Foster, in which a woman on a plane is told she never brought a daughter with her. There is also The Lady Vanishes, another film in which a young woman meets a kind old British woman, but after she wakes from a nap, she’s told there never was a British woman.

    1. Sorry I missed this comment Mel. Just seen it. I have never watched the movies that you mentioned. I like the sound of both especially Flight Plan so I will definitely try and get them. Did you like both movies?

      The concept was new to me so I guess that is part of the reason why I liked it. Its crazy to think about it. Imagine one day waking up and people around you trying to convince you that everything you thought you knew was incorrect.

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