Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone

Haylen Beck

A compelling, impossible-to-put-down thriller for readers who enjoyed The Girl on the Train, The Widow, and Find Her.

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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.

Advance Galley Reviews

A good book with excellent plot line and beautiful characters.

A woman, Audra Kinney, gets pulled over by the local sheriff outside a tiny backwater Arizona town for a routine traffic stop. The sheriff tells her that her car is overloaded, that she cannot continue until it is taken care. Her two children are in the car. Audrey has fled New York from her wealthy, abusive, manipulating ex-husband who is pushing child services to the children away from her. The traffic stop, however, turns out to be anything but routine, Audra ends up getting arrested for possession and her children are being picked up by another police officer. Once at the station the sheriff denies having seen her children that they were not in the car. Thus starts is the exciting book which I absorbed in a matter of a few day. We follow Audra as she gets released from jail, the drug charges being thrown away, but everybody believing she killed her own children and treating her accordingly and nobody wanting to believe that the sheriff had anything to do with it. This book had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. It is well-written, the characters believable and the story-line unfortunately not unlikely. I highly recommend this thriller about a mother's desperate fight find clear her name and find her children.

I really enjoyed this book. It was such a good thriller and a character-driven story about a former addict who is a mother of 2 children who've been abducted and she's constantly judged for her past. She's guilty in small town Arizona of harming her children, based solely on her history. Reading about her struggles and the accusations against her makes me think about how easy it is to judge people without giving them the benefit of the doubt. I thought it was written well and would make a good adaptation, possibly into a miniseries. I think the vagueness of the ending could be improved on. Overall, I give it a 3.5/5.

It would be so horrible to be pulled over by police and taken to jail even when you have done nothing and then be told you did something to your children because no one can find them. This book was so hard to put down. I could not wait to find out if they would find the children dead or alive. I loved this story and hope it would never happen to any one I know. I received a copy of this book from Firsttoread for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

Wow, this book was intense! There was one character who was kind of extra I felt but towards the end it all came together and made more sense why he was added. I almost couldn't finish this book due to the fact the police had kidnapped the children and what they were planning to do with them. I think what made it harder to read was how something like this could actually happen in real life. I love how the story spotlighted the depths a mother would go to for her child(ren). Even one of the bad cops was doing it to help her child. I'm also always a fan when women in stories realize their bad ass potential and start standing up for themselves and that for sure happened in this book.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck was an intense, thrilling ride that I couldn't stop reading. Being a mother myself, this book was scary and made me want to hold my children tight and never let go. Audra Kinney has not been the most perfect mother, but she is trying to start now by leaving New York for California with her children to get away from her abusive, controlling husband. While driving through Arizona, the sheriff of Elder County pulls her over for being overloaded and that's when everything starts going down hill. The sheriff radios in a deputy to come and get Audra's children while she is being arrested. She watches her children be put in the backseat and then they drive off. As soon as she gets to her cell in the jail, she ask the sheriff where her children are. His response, "What children?" Gripping, heart-stopping and terrifying. Hearing Audra's tale on the news, Danny Lee recognizes the same thing happening to his wife and child. Even though he couldn't save them, he travels to Arizona to see if he can help Audra get her children back and get a little revenge on the people behind the abductions. Following the story of Audra and her fight for her story to be heard and to find her children, you will be rooting for her the whole way.

This was an excellent book,thank you so much First to Read for the opportunity to review it! A triple narrative of a woman accused of killing her children,desperately trying to escape her past,a man who sees her on the news and races to find her and 2 lost children,'Here and Gone' is a great thriller. It tackles slave trading,corruption,fighting impossible odds,indefatiguable spirit and a race against time. You really found yourself.rooting for the main characters and then checking yourself as the story was very believeable.

I love discovering a new author, especially when they can write like this one does. I absolutely adored every page. What a fabulous,terrifying, intense read.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck is the perfect psychological thriller. It is gripping, intense, terrifying, heartbreaking, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I found it really hard to put this book down, I was hooked right from the start. What would you do if your children were abducted? How far would you go to save your children? Well, Audra Kinney knows what she will do! Audra is on the roller coaster ride of her life, from fleeing an abusive and manipulative husband to fighting the corrupt local law enforcement. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. The story is horrifying, well-written, and has a great cast of characters. The perfect read for all thriller and suspense fans... highly recommend! *I want to thank First to Read for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Here and Gone is a fantastic thrill ride. It was well-written and kept you on the edge of your seat wondering how Audra was going to get her children back. Danny Lee's story kept this story moving. The billionaire buyers really disgusted me especially since you know there are real people out in the world with this mindset. Sean and Louise's story was heart-breaking from both their childhood and abduction. It was really heart-breaking to see how much Sean changed by this experience. Overall, I liked the book.

Wow! There are books that you want to savor every word. Then there are others that you can't stop turning the pages. This one is definitely the latter. I found myself picking it up every spare minuteI had until I arrived at the satisfying conclusion. The story of the abduction of two children from their mother is one every parent fears. For Audra it becomes a nightmare in which she herself is blamed by her own husband as well as law enforcement and the press. Only one man believes her because the story is eerily similar to his own. The children's narrative is heart - breaking as they courageously try to escape and return to their mother. Trust me. You won't want to put this one down.

This book was fantastic and kept me on the edge of my seat from the first chapter. The story was intense, the characters believable and it is something that could actually happen. A woman is desperate to get away from her controlling, manipulative husband and mother in law. She and her two children are driving to a friend's in California when they make a stop in Arizona and run into trouble and that is when the story really takes off. I won't say more for fear of spoiling the plot, but let's just say the novel is a page turner, keep you up all night to finish it novel!

What would you do if while trying to flee your husband you were pulled over and arrested and when you got to the police station and asked about your kids, the sheriff says “What kids?” I had lots of ideas about what was going on and sadly my favorite crazy theory was not where the book went. But, that didn’t make the story any less suspenseful. And other than telling you Ms. Beck did an excellent job of navigating the fine line between the possible and the unbelievable, I’m not sure I can tell you much without giving away part of the book. Just read it for yourself!

Audra has been clean for awhile now but her abusive husband has convinced child services that she is not in order to gain custody of the children after Audra left him. Audra is worried that her husband will be awarded custody in court so she decides to take the children to California after her friend offers her a place to stay. As she is driving through Arizona, Audra is stopped by a police officer who finds marijuana in her car but there is something very fishy about the stop. Audra hasn't smoked marijuana in years and doesn't know where it could have come from. She is detained at the jail and her children are taken by another police officer but when she inquires where the children are taken to, the police refuse to give her answers. The police state that they never saw any children in the car and accuse Audra of being the cause of the missing children. Nobody seems to believe Audra except for Danny, a man who has experienced a similar fate. Danny and Audra must work together to find the children before something really bad happens to them. Since the second chapter, I could feel my heart start to beat a little bit faster and felt myself rushing to finish the page so that I could get to the next one and find out what was going to happen to Audra and the children. This story, featuring missing persons cases and dangers of the Dark Web, is truly terrifying. What happens to Audra is a nightmare for any parent. This book reads very quickly and I finished it in one sitting, staying up all night to finish it. The one criticism that I would have with this book is that the characters don't really have different voices and are not very complex. They are somewhat predictable and all sound the same. The small town sheriff is the typical bigot and Danny is a typical tough guy. It is very unlikely that a six-year-old child would ask, "You nearly done?" as a detective would. The ten-year-old seems to think and speak like a miniature adult, also, as he talks his mother into leaving his abusive father and believes that his father's money comes more from his grandmother than his father's hard work. The cliched and unrealistic characters are made up for by the excitement that the book offers, though. This psychological thriller will more than satisfy fans of Mary Kubica and Gillian Flynn. I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more by Beck in the future.

This book was really hard to put down. I knew that this was a book that I needed to read just as soon as I read the description. I love a good mystery thriller and the fact the it sounded like the local police couldn't be trusted was a very interesting twist. Once I started reading, I was immediately hooked. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about this story and what I would have done if I were in Audra's place. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading this book. Audra is driving across the U.S. on her way to California with her two children, Sean and Louise. She is pulled over by the police just outside a small town in Arizona called Silver Water. Before Audra even knows what is happening she is asked to step out of her car while Sheriff Whiteside starts looking through her trunk. Drugs are found and she is taken to jail. A deputy is called and her kids are taken away to what Audra is promised is a safe place. When she asks about her kids later at the jail, the Sheriff tells her that she didn't have any kids with her when she was pulled over. The book's description does tell readers the basic set up of the story and I had a pretty good idea of where the book would end up but I had no idea how it would get there. The story really did make me think about a lot of things. I don't know how you would be able to prove your innocence in a situation like this. The media was another huge part of the story since they put Audra in a very unfavorable light. I also couldn't stop thinking about how Audra could get someone to take her seriously. Even though the events in the story weren't a total shock, the journey was entertaining. I did like the characters in this book a lot and liked the fact that the book is told from different points of view. Audra really does care about her kids but is the first to admit that she has not always been a great mother. She is committed to being the best she can be at this point in her life. I thought that the part of the book that talked about her past were very well done. Part of the story is told from Sean's point of view. He is only 11 years old but has a certain maturity to him. He senses when things seem wrong and jumps into to care for his younger sister during the ordeal. There were also a few parts told from Danny and Sheriff Whiteside's point of views that added to the overall story. I would highly recommend this book to others. This book moved really fast and I was never quite sure what would happen next. I found myself having a very hard time setting this one aside because I was completely invested in the story. This is the first book by Haylen Beck that I have read but look forward to more works in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Crown Publishing Group via NetGalley, Blogging for Books, and First to Read.

Holy cow, this book floored me so much I basically read it in a single sitting. Absolutely amazing. The story moved forward at a break-neck paced that kept me completely enthralled. It also contained themes that I hadn't really read about before. Beck's villains were just so damn perfect in how they showcased two different kinds of people: good people feeling desperate and just plain horrible, greedy monsters. The sheriff is just the kind of villain you love to hate and makes your blood boil while you hope and pray for their comeuppance. I like books with endings that don't tie everything perfectly together, but leave some to the imagination. So, the way this thriller ended was perfect, in my opinion, without giving anything away.

This was a fantastic book. Gripping and suspenseful, it had me hooked from the very first sentence. The story was well-written, the characters very well developed and my emotions were tied up in the fates of the characters. I had a very hard time putting this book down and ended up finishing it within a week. It's a must read for anyone who likes thrillers and suspense.

Once in a while, a book by an author that I have never heard of before takes me completely by surprise and grabs a hold of me from cover to cover. This book is one of these rare finds. Haylen Beck develops the story like a seasoned master of the thriller about an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances, and although she has flaws, you can't help but root for her throughout the hopelessness, paranoia, and dispair. The plot has a few weak points in terms of less than realistic actions here and there, but I am willing to look past them, because Beck managed to keep things going so smoothly through several different characters in the book, but never giving away too much for the next page to become too obvious. Summing up, I was tremendously well entertained and award Beck with a 5-star rating for the effort. I look forward to seeing more from Beck which is apparently a pen name for Irish crime fiction writer Stuart Neville whose other books I seriously need to check out.

Wow, I feel like I have been put through the wringer! When you ride a roller coaster and the first big drop sends your stomach into the stratosphere , that's what reading this book is lime! A mother running away from a controlling estranged spouse and CPS in New York is stopped by law enforcement in a tucked away area of Arizona. What ensues is devastating, unbelievable and completely terrifying. I hesitate to give the plot away as the surprise element lends so much to this story. Needless to say, you feel like you can't breathe and you definitely won't leave this book lingering on your night stand. Warning, . If you are reading to relax don't read this! It is compelling, dark and well written. The characters are believable and flawed, as in real life. This is not my normal genre, but I loved it! Plus it raised my heart rate without exercise , Don't overlook this one.

Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. I typically do not read thrillers. It's not that I don't love the genre, it's just that I find most thrillers to be very formulaic. For me, what sets a good thriller apart from the rest if the reader is taken on a journey without any idea how the book will end. But, Here and Gone was predictable. It read like a Lifetime story and at times, the characters became caricatures. I would have liked the author to explore the "underground" a bit more . . . who were they, why did they do what they did, what happened to the children? This would have made for a very interesting (albeit dark) read. Because we weren't give a look into that world, I didn't feel the tension as I could have with the abduction of Sean and Louise. Ultimately, the book kept my interest and at one point, I couldn't put it down. I think it's a great book to read on a plane or at the beach. A solid 3 stars.

This book may be one of the most compelling reads that I’ve had in a while. Here and Gone is the story of a woman trying to escape an abusive marriage that finds herself in handcuffs and her children taken away by suspicious cops. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The opening chapters reminded me of some terrifying cases that I’ve read about innocent people being pulled over by corrupt or phony police officers. The narrative swaps between characters throughout the story, sometimes swinging into the main two character’s pasts to flesh out their character arcs. I really liked Danny, though I’ll admit that he seemed like a bit of an Asian stereotype to me, and being Asian American myself I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. His role in the story was cool but also seemed a little out of place. Audra I wish I could say that I liked her more, but her attitude in some of the flashback chapters really bothered me. My heart did break for her character, however, stuck in an abusive marriage with an enabler, with several chapters detailing her struggle with drug addiction. I love the serious amount of woman power in this book that highlights the importance of female relationships. There are just certain things that many women know and understand about each other. This book was a heartfelt reminder about how vital it is for women to lift each other up, rather than tearing each other down. It was almost always female characters that would see what was happening to Audra and helped when she needed it the most. This was a major highlight for me in the story. On the other hand though, I had to cut the rating down a little bit due to some pretty glaring plot holes that kept making me stop and ask my husband about policy. There were little things I noticed that just didn’t seem right and it would pull me out of my immersion in the novel. Maybe it’s just me, but I would imagine that if a suspect in a missing person’s case were to implicate someone, even if it was a member of law enforcement, of abducting the kids and threatening her into taking the blame, wouldn’t the FBI be at least mildly suspicious? Question the officers involved, perhaps monitor their activity, separate them from the case, or put them on administrative leave? It would only make sense to me that the two are too close to the investigation and should be taken off of it, but that wasn’t what happened. One cop had full access to the suspect, to police resources, and was still involved in the investigation. The other cop, well, nobody seemed to care about her one bit, or really noticed her absence. In fact, the FBI in general seemed pretty impotent in this book and that just didn’t seem normal to me. All that aside, I really enjoyed this book. I was completely absorbed in the story from the first page and I couldn’t put it down, devouring it quickly over a period of about two days. I’ll definitely be checking out some more of the author’s work in the future. Strengths: Engrossing story line, well-developed characters, good female relationships Weaknesses: Several plot holes, mildly frustrating main character

I loved the premise of this book , how scary is it that you are on a road trip , get stopped by the local police on a trumped up charge , wind up in jail and find out that no one believes your kids were with you. Everyone in this small town actually thinks you are covering up for murdering them. I went on a roller coaster ride with this one! As a female lead character Audra was everything she should have been, strong , determined and resourceful. I was so rooting for her during this story and the fact that there is something much more sinister going on here with some of the members of the police force just added to the overall drama and mystery of where are Audra’s children? Of course about midway through the book I figured out what was happening, the author actually spells it out. When this happened for me I became very tense about the whole situation which is okay but I am not a fan of this type of anxious tension in a book. After much drama and more tense moments (many) all is resolved and wrapped up. All said and done this is a solid story with a great premise. I just was not a fan of the tenseness that I felt while reading this book.

A good solid 4 star thriller. The children were portrayed with almost a Tom Sawyer-esque feel and the Mom was not a victim. At times I felt as if I was watching a movie since the author's style was vivid yet down to earth.

This was a fun, exhilarating read. I read this while traveling back from vacation, but it would be a perfect beach read. The premise itself was very interesting, but I do think the author could have gone in a completely different direction. I would've loved to see a version where the author made the reader unsure if the cops had taken the kids or if she had killed them herself. In this version, there's no doubt of what happened, because it's revealed from the first fifty pages. The author doesn't keep what happened to the kids a mystery. Instead, the book is more of a countdown as the kids run out of time and Audra tries desperately to find them. Some of the twists and turns were predictable, but I don't fault the book for it. It's not meant to be a complex book; it's a fun thriller. And the book succeeds at doing that.

A woman finally builds the courage to leave her abusive husband and flees to California with her two children in tow. When she reaches a very small Arizona town, her world shatters. She is arrested by the small-time county sheriff for possession of marijuana and her children are taken away by the deputy. While in a holding cell, she begs the sheriff to tell her where her children are, but it met with a bone-chilling, "what children?" in response. While the woman is left to believe that she is going mad, even questioning herself about what she may have done to her children, the sheriff and deputy are planning to deliver the children to a wealthy group of people whom the sheriff found on the dark web - in exchange for three million dollars. A man with a dark past sees the story on the news and knows that the woman isn't lying about the police taking her children - the same thing happened to his wife and daughter years previously, the stress of which prompted the wife to take her own life. They join forces to get the children back and the man seeks revenge for his daughter and wife. This book had me engaged from the very beginning. I'm not a parent, but the moment the sheriff innocently asks, "what children?" was enough to send a shiver down my spine. In addition, every time there was an exchange between the group of men waiting to receive the children I barely stifled a gag. I recommend this book to anyone who, like me, enjoys a thriller that skillfully balances on the edge of imagination and realism. Haylen Beck does an excellent job and I look forward to reading more by this author!

What a read! It had me hooked from the beginning and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to Audra and her children. A great thriller for the summer! I would definitely read more from Haylen Beck in the future.

Imagine if your children were kidnapped by the people who were supposed to protect them. Who can you turn to, if not the police? Eighteen months ago, Audra Kinney fled from her abusive husband, Patrick, with her two children, Sean and Louise. Patrick has since enlisted the help of Child Services in an attempt to gain custody of both Sean and Louise, and Audra is forced to take them and run. Her nervousness at being caught and shipped back to her husband has forced her to take back roads through small towns in order to avoid law enforcement. However, on a desolate Arizona road, Audra is followed and pulled over by Sheriff Robert Whiteside. He states that her car is overloaded, which may cause problems for her on the bumpy road, and insists upon carrying some of her possessions in his cruiser to the nearby town of Silver Water. While transferring boxes, he "finds" a bag of marijuana in her trunk and arrests her for possession. He radios Deputy Mary Collins to watch Sean and Louise while things are being sorted out, all the while assuring Audra that everything will be okay. Upon being booked at the police station, Audra asks after her children; Sheriff Whiteside responds "What children?" Her nightmare has begun. From continual false accusations to manufactured evidence, Audra is fighting an uphill battle against law enforcement. She is vilified by the media and her husband, both of whom use her troubled past as motive for murder. Audra has no one to turn to, no one who believes her story. All the while, time is running out for Sean and Louise, who are being auctioned off to the highest bidder... With a realistic plot line and alternating POV chapters, this story is not for the faint of heart. I flew through this book in a matter of hours, and I think it would make a great beach read. The ending was a little dissatisfying and the story did not have much depth to it, but it was endlessly entertaining. I can definitely see this being turned into a film in the future. Haylen Beck has created an intense, fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Catch it when it comes out on June 20th!

Here and Gone is a chilling and disturbing story, and yet also gripping from the first sentence. I had a hard time putting it down even just to take breaks from looking at the screen of my e-reader; that’s how good this book was. It follows Audra, a woman who, after having just escaped an abusive relationship with her kids, has her children taken away from her as a result of a sinister and realistic get-rich-quick scheme on the part of a corrupt law enforcement official. She is helped in her efforts by Danny, a man whose child was also taken from him as a result of a similar plot five years prior and who wants nothing more than justice. Both Audra and Danny are very realistic characters, and this is good because, as I said, the plot was insanely realistic. I found Audra's character to be especially powerful, and the various scenes in which she fought to get back her children were easily the best in the novel. Beck did a fantastic job writing Audra's character. I highly recommend this book; even though it might seem a very unsettling story, it is nonetheless an important and compelling one.

Audra, escaping her abusive husband and a past fraught with addiction, drives cross-country with her two children. When she's pulled over in the middle of nowhere she panics, fearing her husband's reach. The officer brings her in for questioning and she is separated from her children. When she demands to know where they have been taken she is told no children were found with her. The search for her missing children twists and turns back on her, no one willing to believe her tale, until a stranger from across the country, with a story eerily similar to her own, races to help her find her children before it's too late. What an excellent suspense thriller. Audra is brutally believable and the escalation of her situation is expertly crafted and nail-bitingly tense. Her strengths and weaknesses add up to an extremely sympathetic character: a desperate mother on a mission. Her background gives complexity to the situation. Her compatriot is a fun addition and those she encounters along the way, friend and foe, add depth to the tale. A MUST-READ for thriller fans this summer. My Rating: 4.5/5

Audra is fleeing an abusive husband in New York. Driving outside a small town in Arizona with her two children, Sean and Louise, she is pulled over by a local sheriff, Whiteside, for a manufactured offense. Another officer is called and Audra is separated from her children, Audra to be taken to the station to be booked and Sean and Louise removed to somewhere “safe.” What happens next is horrifying. When Audra inquires about her children, she’s told there were no children in the car. Marijuana was found in the trunk and she’s being charged with possession. At her insistence about Sean and Louise, Sheriff Whiteside proves to be dangerous and corrupt and his partner, Collins, equally so. Her situation garners nationwide press attention, unfortunately negative, as it’s suggested Audra harmed her children and is the cause of their disappearance. In California a man named Danny Lee is thrown by what he sees on television and haunted by his own losses. He leaves for Arizona immediately. Haylen Beck gets it just right with this book. It’s the stuff of nightmares – kidnapped children, unlawful incarceration, abuse, corrupt officials, and the Dark Web. Yet Here and Gone is more about a mother’s loss and love and less about dark forces. I enjoyed every minute spent reading this exciting book.

Thank you to Penguin Random House First to Read program for an ARC of this book. Oh my. I LOVED this book. In all honesty, I almost stopped reading shortly after beginning the book. Why? Because the story of a mother who "loses" her children to corrupt authorities was so very, very real that I felt sick on my stomach. (The mark of a good writer, I'd say!) I am beyond glad that I powered through the discomfort to finish the book - which I did in a day. It was fantastic. The twists, the turns - all of it. I was exhausted when I finished the book in a way that only another bibliophile can understand. Haylen Beck, you can bet that I'll be looking for more books from you!

Audra Kinney is on the run from her abusive husband and a troubled past. With her two children, she is driving from New York to San Diego to stay with a friend, when she is pulled over for a minor traffic violation in the Arizona desert. When the sheriff places her under arrest for possession of marijuana, she goes into panic mode. A deputy takes her children, a wrecker tows her car, and she is taken to the station and put into a holding cell. It’s Audra’s worst nightmare come to life. All she wants is to know where her children are and her heart stops at the reply: “What children?” Elder County Sheriff Ronald Whiteside claims Audra was alone when he pulled her over. Two stories emerge about what happened to the children. Who is telling the truth and who is lying and possibly crazy? Beck introduces several characters very quickly, with Audra being the most well-developed. There could have been a lot more development for the others, but the story was mainly plot-driven. The plot, honestly, was a bit thin with this book. Everything in it was predictable. There weren’t any plot twists to make things interesting, and the ending basically came down to timing. To compensate, however, the book did move quickly. I thought Beck could have gotten deeper into the history of the mine in Silver Water and how the decline of that economic resource played into Whiteside’s motivations. Beck touches on that toward the end of the book but it would have read better earlier on, in my opinion. There are a lot of difficult topics broached in this book, but none too deeply. I thought each topic on its own would have made for a decent theme for a plot, but thrown all together makes everything that happens seem random and haphazard. The writing style and tone are straightforward, mixing current events with flashbacks and switching often between characters. Beck does a good job of making it clear whose narrative it is and when it is taking place. One little quirky thing about the writing was Beck’s use of sentence fragments in the descriptive bits in the beginning. I found this a little irritating as it interrupted the cadence of the narrative for me. As the action revs up in the middle and end, that tendency tapered off. Overall, I thought this was a fair try at a thriller. It had a pretty basic story that was easy to follow and quick to read. I would recommend it as a good book to read on summer vacation. Thanks to Penguin Random House for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Imagine one of the worst things that could happen to a parent... her children are abducted and she has nowhere to turn for help, because those who are supposed to protect were the ones who abducted the children. The story deals with a lot of dark topics. An interesting and quick read. Felt the ending could have wrapped up a little better.

Haylen Beck managed to keep the tensions high & tight throughout this book. The topics are terrible (domestic abuse, abduction, corruption, murder..) but nothing is graphic in description and I'm always happy about that in stories where crimes involve children. This book doesn't string you along to unnecessary storylines, it's plot driven and the momentum is continuous. Although there are switches of POV, it's easy to follow. The reader is aware of the bad guys from the get go.. it's more a cat & mouse game of who will prevail. I flew through it and I I look forward to seeing more work from Haylen Beck **I would like to thank Penguin Random House for an advanced release copy in exchange for an honest review

This was different than my normal read, and I greatly enjoyed it. The story switches between the perspectives of a corrupt cop, the mom, the kids, and a citizen with a history that's willing to help. I found myself constantly pulling for the mom to keep up her strength and save her kids, but things keep going wrong. A great cliff-hanger .. has you reading to the end to find out what happens!

Good story.Very captivating psychological thriller.Vivid and originaly written characters.Not what I expected from the title but worth reading.Thank you for the free copy.

I really enjoyed this book. The mother is the epitome of strength and rises up to get her children back after all the wrongs she has lived through. It makes me sick that there are people out there that would do something like this for money. I loved that Danny was able to fight back and came to the rescue after having already been a victim of this group before.

What a riveting novel! Sadly, I can see this happening out in the real world. I was sucked into the story line and was anxious to get to the next page. Very well written with complex characters. I will definitely be looking for more from Haylen Beck! Thanks First to Read for my opportunity to enjoy this book!

What would you do if your kids disappeared and you were the accused? That is the theme of this story... and it was excellent. I read the summary and was underwhelmed, but I gave to book a chance and I am so glad I did. While there were not a number of unseen twists and turns, the plot alone was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. I never wondered how close I was to finishing the book because I was so consumed by the story. I couldn't help, as a mother, to put myself in her situation and try to figure out how it would feel to be accused of hurting my children. Suspenseful, and thrilling, this book is worth the read!

Great thriller! SO glad I had a chance to read it. I usually do not like stories about kids disappearing but this one was good. Thanks First to Read!

I loved this book from the second I started until I finished and like other reviewers, I read it in 24 hours. It reminded me a bit of John Grisham's earlier novels, like The Firm. As a mother, it was gut wrenching watching poor Audra, helpless against corrupt law enforcement. Danny was the perfect anti-hero to step in and become Audra's ally. My only complaint was that I would have liked an epilogue as there were some unanswered questions. I am the type that likes everything tied up in a bow at the end. But all in all, this is the perfect summer read.

I just could not put this book down so I finished it in one evening. I was feeling so anxious from the plot that I knew the feeling would continue until I completed the book. Having your kids go missing is every parent's nightmare. Being accused of a serious crime is every innocent person's nightmare. Combining the two scenarios for the story? Absolutely brilliant. This book ranks right up there with favorite thrillers I have read in the past few years. Highly recommend to those that love the genre.

This book ruined me. I've seen other reviews saying that they read it in one day, and I would have done the same had I not read myself to sleep. Everything about this book had me hooked. The characters with the broken back stories, the mom who would do anything to save her kids, All of it. I would recommend this book ten times over. I want to read more by this author!

I read this book straight through one evening because it was so compelling. Audra's abusive past and her children being taken stretch her nearly to the breaking point. The events piled against her and no one will listen to her account of what happened even when another parent shows up with a similar story. They combine efforts and Audra means business in getting her children back. Suspenseful and the characters pull you in until you can get to the finish of this book.

I started reading this book, and I didn't stop until it was done. I literally could not put this book down. I was completely engrossed. It was amazing and horrifying. I really enjoyed this book. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I really related to the main character, Audra. I would do whatever it takes to get my kids. The characters are great. They are a good range of people, some more complex than others. I was still wondering about them after the story was over. I would definitely recommend this book.

I read this book in a day because i couldn't put it down from the moment i started. I felt like i would have acted the same way Audra did . A mother would do so much and more for her children. I was filled with dread and worried throughout the whole book. Not a moment went by Annette i want thinking about what the poor children were going through, it got to a point when i stated to doubt what happen. This book takes you through do much, but every part is worth reading. It's true you never know where someone may be going through the same thing you did. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy through first read in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved every bit of the story.


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