This fast-paced thrill ride is my first five star read of July!
Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense 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 was a breath of fresh air – no tricks, no gimmicks, no shocking twist, just one woman determined to save her children! I want to jump straight into my favourite thing about this book – Audra’s son, Sean – at eleven years old, this little boy stole the show. He’s so clever, focused, brave and so protective of his little sister. I loved reading any paragraphs that featured him, wondering what he would do next to make me so proud! I’m aware I’m talking about him as if I know him, but ladies and gentlemen, Sean is a son to be proud of! It’s not often in adult fiction that kids steal the show so all the credit in the world to Beck for creating such a fantastic character.
Now for the plot itself – when I reached page 35, I knew I was going to love this book. In four words this book grabbed my full attention, my heart rate sped up and I thought “
shit’s about to get serious!” And wow, it got real serious, real quick! Those four words:
“What children?” he asked”
I loved the rapid pace of this novel, and I flew through it. Yes, the themes are dark and to some they may be disturbing but that’s what I liked, that’s what kept me hooked. As a mother, it’s that fear you feel, your heart rate rising at the thought of harm coming to your child, this is what had me rooting for Audra from the beginning, and created a need to finish the story to see if she could save her children.
Dirty cops, now there’s a phrase no likes but Beck was clever about it in this novel. Instead of the usual – police officer blurs the lines of the law – these cops were plain dirty, no ifs, no buts, no maybes, no sympathy, just plain dirty! And this created a positive level of frustration throughout the read for me as when people doubted Audra, I keep thinking, “come on people, why can’t you see the truth!?” We’ve all shouted at the TV screen before when we know a character should or shouldn’t do something – well now, I’ve officially shouted at a book!
Audra’s determination was a pleasure to read about, usually in books like this, the protagonist annoys me because they end up doing irrational actions that just don’t make sense but I found Audra super likeable and believable.
I very much enjoyed this story from beginning to end and I highly recommend it!