Here and Gone starts with a mother, driving her two young children far from home. They’ve been on the road for a while, and you can sense her desperation, their worry, a quiet sense of panic in the car. Then she must stop for refreshments, and after she has, someone is following her. It’s a cop. Is he going to pull her over? Yes? No? Maybe he will, and maybe it’ll be ok? Maybe he will, and maybe it won’t be ok? It’s the sheriff and he does. And even though you can read more in the blurb, I’m not telling, because you need to discover for yourself.
Stories about mothers trying to escape, in fraught circumstances with their children always ensnare me. This one is no different, yet completely different. The tension you feel from my opening paragraph is the first few pages. Then it gets worse. And then some more injustice and accusations are added to the pot. And when you think you can’t breathe anymore, and you’re wondering if you can dare to keep reading, and also wondering if you dare stop, there is a tiny glimmer of hope.
Haylen Beck is the pen name of Stuart Neville, and he’s renowned. In Here and Gone, he tells the story of Audra, Sean and Louise with a style that is fast paced, yet empathetic; true to life - some broken people trying to make the world little better, and a mother prepared to fight to the death for the future of her children.
Don’t read anything about this book - not even the blurb. Just go and get a copy, clear your diary, and wallow. Maybe have the kettle boiled - you may need to distract yourself with a brew in those “I can’t anymore” moments.
A tense, twisty, completely enthralling thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.