Well, talk about a seriously intense read!
#cjsreads gave this one a read in June and since I was in my slump and barely holding on with the end of the school year, I had to throw this one on my back burner. Now that things I have settled down, I dove into Here and Gone by Haylen Beck and held on tight. What a thrill ride this one was.
Audra, fleeing with her children from an abusive relationship, finds herself pulled over by the sheriff in a small for a traffic violation. What starts as a routine stop, soon becomes Audra’s nightmare as she is arrested for possession of drugs she has never seen and her children are picked up by the deputy to meet her at the station. However, when she arrives, her children are not there and the sheriff notes he never saw any children with her. She must have done something with them. Meanwhile, a man (Danny) across the country hears of this story and notices the events are similar to those of his past; working together, this unlikely pair must work to get to the bottom of a conspiracy even darker than they could have imagined.
Haylen Beck (actually a pseudonym) sucked me in from the first pages; I couldn’t even handle the intensity. There were some points where I actually had to physically put this book down and do a lap. I felt like I was going to explode with emotion! I was angry. I was upset. I was joyous. This book had a little bit of everything.
The story is layered and complex and Beck brings in multiple POV to ensure the story is told from all angles; Audra (desperately searching for her children) her children (help captive), the Sheriff, Danny and a particularly disturbing set of e-mail conversations all play a role in setting the stage for a seriously tense thriller.
My only complaint, and it is small, is that I felt like the role of Danny took much too long to be made apparent. For the first half of the novel I kept thinking to myself “okay, this character is cool, but what it is the point?” I would have rather had his intentions made clear earlier in the text.
Regardless of my nit-picking, I found this one to be incredibly entertaining and would highly recommend it to those who like to feel their thrillers and enjoy intensity!