A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck- Feature and Review


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 GoneHere and Gone by Haylen Beck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck is a 2017 Crown publishing group publication.

High octane-edge of your seat- suspense!!

Audra, with her two children in tow, is fleeing from her abusive husband. She’s riding through Arizona, basically in the middle of nowhere, when she’s pulled over for a minor infraction.

Before she knows it, she’s in handcuffs, and is being taken to jail, while her children are left in the care of a deputy.

Yet, when she arrives at the station, and her official questioning begins, it becomes clear her children are missing and she is being blamed for their disappearance.

Meanwhile, when the news picks up on the story, it sounds all too familiar to Danny Lee, who had an eerily similar experience, prompting him to head to Arizona to help search for Audra’s missing children.

The desert isolation tweaks the suspense level, where the sparse population and lack of accountability can provide opportunities for clandestine, undercover crimes, as well as crimes of opportunity.

This atmosphere sets the stage for an agonizingly taut race against time scenario that kept me nearly paralyzed with dread.

The novel is perfectly paced, with terrific characterizations, from the brave and determined Audra, to her equally heroic son, to the desperate and sociopathic bad guys.

This isn’t really a mystery, since we know right up front who the bad guys are. However, this knowledge did not dilute the intensity one iota. In fact, the bad guys had a chance to really display their diabolical wickedness, which is truly despicable.

There were one or two downers, unfortunately. I would have liked for Danny to have had a more satisfying wrap up, and I thought the ending was a little abrupt.

Other than that, this was a fast-paced, suspenseful, and enjoyable thrill ride.

One other interesting tidbit- is that Haylen Beck is the pen name of Stuart Neville. It's an open secret, but I didn't realize that until I had finished reading the book. No wonder it was so good!





Haylen Beck is the pen name of crime writer Stuart Neville.

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