"Here and Gone" is the latest suspense read from Haylen Beck and it is one that will keep you reading late into the night, anxiously turning the pages. Audra does the only thing she can think of to do, and that is to head across country with her two children and their belongings packed into her car when she is faced with the fear of Child Protective Services taking her children and granting custody to her abusive ex-husband. The ex-husband who viewed his wife and children as merely possessions of his and kept them under his control by being an enabler and keeping her drugged and drunk while they were together. Audra has been on the road for four days and she has been traveling back roads hoping to avoid police officers and bring attention to herself. However, her luck runs out when she encounters a local sheriff in a run-down area in Arizona who pulls her over for her car being weighted down. This leads to a downward spiral of events which results in the two children leaving in the back of one patrol car and everyone being reassured that they will be fine and they are going somewhere safe and Audra being transported to the jail. Audra is cooperative and she is settled in the cell, she asks the sheriff where her children are and the response is "What children?" The media goes into a frenzy when videos are leaked and a story is being shared around the country of this mother with a past who was pulled over and her children are missing, and it is being portrayed that Audra has harmed them. Of course, Audra's ex-husband and his mother are seeing this, but also Danny sees this. Danny who had this same thing happen to his wife and daughter five years earlier and he is determined that the same ending is not going to happen for Audra, Sean and Louise.
I really enjoyed this book! The suspense kept me reading as I had to find out what was going to happen! I loved how the story was told from various characters' points of view, but also the back story of Audra's life was intermingled as well. Audra became so real to me as did the other characters and I really empathized with her. However, I really loved some of the minor characters and the roles they played in the story and in Audra's life as well. Jacinta, Agent Mitchell, Sister Hannah, and Mrs. Gerber were all characters whom I absolutely loved in the story. This is such a fast-paced read and I absolutely loved it, but was sad to see it end. I liked the ending, but I wanted more, I wanted to know more of what happened next with the characters. Also, as a side note there is language in this book just to make the reader aware of this fact ahead of time.
*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for the complimentary copy of this book.*