“Here and gone” by Haylen Beck #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


What a great ride this was! I totally recommend this to anyone you likes a good thriller!

The story begins with a woman that is fleeing away with her kids, trying to escape an abusive husband. They are somewhere in Arizona, through the desert and the dust, avoiding main roads and interstates, in fear of being chased either by her husband or the police. While on a country road, she is being pulled away by a local sheriff. She is not unshaken and that gives the sheriff something to deal with. Only that. his behavior is very unsettling. Soon after, things go out of hand and she finds herself arrested and her kids being taken away by a deputy. Next thing she knows, everyone starts saying there never were any kids in the car.

Meanwhile, far from Arizona, on another side of the country, a man, skilled with knives and pistols, hears the frenzied news reports about two missing kids and a lone woman, their mother, being accused of harming them. This pretty much sounds like what happened to his own wife and daughter. He keeps following the case through the news, until at some points decides to take action.

As the story unfolds, we get glimpses of the past and bit by bit we come to understand what made that woman run away with her children and what she has been scared of. She has a pretty good idea of what might be happening and she is doing her best to make it clear to anyone. Only that, that sheriff’s doing and the reason of her arrest makes the police look in her past and form a picture of her that gives her no credibility at all. What happened to innocent until found guilty? It surely is not present in this case. If it where, someone would have listened to her side of the story and made some investigation. But the cops are biased and whatever she says, sounds like a lie to them. There is one agent that treats her better than the rest of the police, but even her doesn’t believe the woman’s statement.

The background story of the woman’s life is really strong. It’s a story that many women all over the world go through and very few of them find the power and the help to get free of it. An abusive husband is not easy to deal with. A clever and patronizing husband, that orchestrates everything and looking ahead of time to create the perfect environment that will clear himself in the future, if ever needed and make her look like the bad person in the equation is even worse. Especially when she has no friends or family she can turn to. It’s a really good way to draw awareness to the matter.

The other equally strong theme that is portrayed in the story is that of child abuse. This becomes visible from the beginning but thankfully it’s only there as an idea, of what will or might happen if everything goes according to plan. But it does create a really vivid picture of what our world is made of.

Overall, this was a really good thriller with the exact doses of agony one could take. I would like to see more of Danny, the man with the knife skills, but I guess this was done this way on purpose by the author and I accept that.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.


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