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Friday, August 25, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Here and Gone by Haylen Beck @HaylenBeck @stuartneville @PRHAudio

TITLE: Here and Gone
AUTHOR: Haylen Beck
NARRATOR: Abby Crayden
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 9 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
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.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

This book is every mom’s worst nightmare, and I made the mistake of listening to it while on a road trip with my kids! It did freak me out, but I couldn’t stop listening.

Audra Kinney is on the run. Her abusive ex-husband, Patrick, is trying to take their kids away from her and she decides to leave New York and heads to California to stay with a friend. While driving through Arizona, Audra gets pulled over by the Sheriff for a bogus reason. He says that her vehicle is overloaded and that she doesn’t have enough clearance above the wheel and is concerned that it isn’t safe. She tells him that that she intends to stop at Silver Water, which is just a little over a mile away, but he insists on following her there and to take some of her goods in his trunk to offset the weight in her vehicle. As he is going through her things in the trunk, he presumably finds a bag of marijuana. Even though she’s been clean for two years, she second-guesses whether it was a stash that she had hidden long ago but forgotten about. Audra is arrested, and the Sheriff calls in another officer to pick up the kids. Her two young children, Sean and Louise, are crying, scared, and confused. After Audra is locked up, she asks what will happen to her children and the Sheriff replies, “What children?”

As a mom, I cannot imagine what would be going through Audra’s mind! At first, she thinks that her rich ex-husband paid off the Sheriff to take her kids from her. It’s natural that she would assume that her ex would be behind it, but the reality is actually much more disturbing!

It’s tough to rate something like this because I find crimes against children so disturbing to read. In particular, hearing the exchanges between the people on the dark web were enough to turn my stomach! The Sheriff was also a pretty vile villain. I thought the book was very well written and suspenseful, and my heart ached for what Audra was going through. As I mentioned earlier, I listened to this while driving with my kids on a road trip and I made sure that I didn’t speed because I didn’t want to risk getting pulled over by the police! Paranoid? Yes, absolutely! I blame Beck for that.

This author is new to me, and he also writes as Stuart Neville. I will definitely be picking up more of his books!

Abby Crayden’s narration was done very well, and I thought she was a great fit for the pace of the story. Audra’s angst and the children’s fear were so convincing, and she made it difficult for me to take my earbuds out! Here is a sample of the narration:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list. Thanks again to Random House Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

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