“Here and Gone” by Haylen Beck

Cover of titular book; features a road lit by headlightsBook: “Here and Gone” by Haylen Beck
Published by Crown Publishing Group on 20 June, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Rating: 4/5⭐
Source: Blogging for Books (received for free in exchange for an honest review)
Goodreads

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.

All but one review I found on this book were vague, and whilst I’m not into book spoilers, I do wish I’d had a better chance going into this book knowing what I was getting into from the start. Just as I prefer to know whether an important character in a television show is gonna die before I watch the episode—gotta prepare for that shit with all my comfort foods, ‘kay—I prefer to know the gist of what’s going to happen in a book. Therefore, instead of being cryptic as fuck about the most alarming, albeit bit-sized, thing about it, I’m just going to be frank and real.

‘Cause, you know, I’m not a beat-around-the-bush kind of gal.

So, the story of Here and Gone fits into the old Lifetime, when they released thrilling, edgy stories instead of watered-down, over-saturated tropes out into the world. I loved the story, as twisted as it was.

I mean, I could ask various questions to hint at the depths of its premise—what would you do for money? How far would you go for half a million, three million bucks? Who can you trust when the people you’re supposed to trust have betrayed you—and have much more power than you?

It’s haunting. Forget being a parents’ worse nightmare—this shit had me on edge.

It addresses serious issues.

  • Human trafficking
  • The portraying of women in the media
  • Domestic abuse, as well as how that affects a person long-term—including abusers who are also enablers
  • Power gone wrong
  • Abduction

Here and Gone reminded me a bit of Casey Anthony, whose case I followed sparingly and from a far distance. What is seen on the news isn’t always the case—take the news surrounding the Boston Massacre, for example, which led to multiple people being wrongly accused as suspects because the media not only wanted to be the first to have the story, but to also be right and current. I don’t think anyone involved indirectly with that case will ever know what truly happened to Caylee Anthony, but I felt like I was reading a story inspired by such a case—and you do get to know much of what happens, exactly so.

I disliked the writing.

I’m not one of those people who find fragments and lack of proper sentence structure “quirky” or “fast-paced”. I find it lazy and careless and weak.

The blurb is also a summary of the first few chapters. I wasn’t a fan of this, as I felt the book as a whole could have better been summed up.


This was a buddy read with Jamie.

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Jamie’s gravatar

You bring up a very good point with the comparisons to Casey Anthony and the most hated woman in America kind of scenario, I hadn’t considered that until you mentioned it. I also completely agree that the first few chapters were a little bit blah since it’s already spoiled in the plot summary. I’m glad you enjoyed the book despite the grammar issues though! Great review. 🙂

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