Book review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Permalink

Although I enjoyed this book it needed to be a little bit ‘more’ for me. It started really well and author Haylen Beck built a lot of suspense early on. But the pacing felt a little off and it was almost as if there was a rush to get to the end… while the plot simultaneously fizzled out a little. The book however, did have a lot of potential and grabbed my attention enough that I was forced to read it in a night.

Book review: Here and Gone by Haylen BeckHere and Gone
by Haylen Beck
Published by Harvill Secker
on July 13th 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1911215566, 9781911215561
Pages: 320

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.

Beck offered readers a lot of insight into Audra, the mother of the two children she asserts have been abducted. Unfortunately Audra’s got a history of drug and alcohol abuse and may have lost custody of her children to her abusive ex ha she not gone on the run.

And then there’s Danny Lee, a former gang member and now fixer-for-hire, ‘mostly’ on the side of the good guys. Audra’s story of her kids disappearing after being pulled over by the police is frighteningly familiar to Danny and feels compelled to get involved.

I liked Danny’s character but everything after his arrival in Elder County felt a little underdone. And (ultimately) somewhat anticlimactic.

Although it would have felt annoyingly predictable I expected more in terms of Audra’s ex husband and his family but their involvement and intervention kinda petered out before it even started.

The motive behind the kidnappings is kinda sordid and revolting but I didn’t really feel as if I had enough closure there either. We learn what happened via a snippet or two but not the specifics. And finally, I can only guess what the kids were used for and I think a little more context would have resulted in me being more invested in their rescue.

I guess, it all just felt like a lot of time was spent in the early stages of this case – getting background on Audra, her upbringing, her marriage and her addictions – and then it was suddenly over. Finished. And I was left feeling a little dissatisfied.

I’d still recommend this to lovers of thrillers, as there was certainly a lot of potential here and the early suspense built well, although I just needed the eventual action to be ‘amped’ up a little.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck was published by Random House UK (Harvill Secker publishing) and is now available.

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.



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