Crown/Archetype | June 2017 | 304 pgs
Source: Library

The story opens with our protagonist, Audra Kinney, fleeing from her abusive husband as she takes their two children with her in a car. As they make their way across Arizona to their destination in California taking back roads to avoid attention, a local sheriff pulls her over with an accusation of committing a traffic offense. Audra, who is trying to keep a low profile, stops her car and before she could react the sheriff begins to ransack her trunk and pull out a bag of drugs which she has never seen before. Audra is then forced to be detained by the sheriff while he calls his colleague, a deputy officer, to take away her children to somewhere safe so they could interrogate her properly. 

However this is not what the sheriff and the deputy officer have in mind. They plan to take away her children to seal a deal and they will frame Audra for false accusation and possession of illegal drugs. It is their words against hers and Audra, who used to have a history of alcoholism and depression two years ago, will find herself fighting her way for freedom and most of all, to get her children back. But no one believes her except a man named Danny Lee, whose wife had encountered the same experience five years ago but Danny wouldn't have the chance to see them again as his wife committed suicide and their girl couldn't be found.  

Here and Gone was a compelling read; it is also a story which I could imagine would be every parent's nightmare. My heart went out to Audra as I felt her worries and her fear. I rooted for her throughout the book and I was glad she was a fighter. Danny was a more intriguing character given his ethnic Chinese identity and his gangster-like past which got him into troubles at times. The two of them makes an odd combination, but Aura and Danny have the same goal of finding whoever who took their children thus they find trust in each other eventually. This book was a refreshing break from the other books I read lately since it was about corrupt authorities (a rare feature from what I read but such a disheartening thing to think of!) Though it was a fast-paced and intense thriller, it was also an emotionally driven story surrounding a few innocent children and their mothers who are wrongly accused. I'd had a wild reading ride as I followed Audra from places to places as she raced against time to either escape from her past or to find her children. Sean, her eight-year-old son, was quite street smart and I loved how the way he protected his younger sister with the dangerous situations they were in. Definitely not an easy read with a topic of kidnapped children (fortunately they were not abused) but this will be one of those books which will make you want to keep your children safe and close.

© 2017 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
10 Responses
  1. This book has been on my radar! I was hesitant to read it for some of the things that you mentioned (just the idea of going through something like this would be terrifying) but I also think I would ultimately enjoy this one. Great review!

  2. Jenny Says:

    This book sounds like it would make me mad. I just can't tell if that's a good thing or not.

  3. Oh yes, definitely a parent's worst nightmare. I already feel for Audra and her poor kids! I probably will read this one just to find out what happens in the end. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Melody.

  4. Melody Says:

    Samantha - Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it if you do read it, Samantha.

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenny - It definitely made me mad reading about those corrupt authorities! This kind of story deserves a good closure and I'm glad this one has it.

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it, Wendy.

  7. jenclair Says:

    This was one suspenseful read! Anything to do with children always gets me, but the corruption involved in this was particularly scary. I was surprised that Haylen Beck was a pseudonym for Stuart Neville--didn't realize that until I finished the book.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes it was suspenseful. The corrupted authorities chilled me to the core. I'm not familiar with his other books so I've to check them out.

  9. Iliana Says:

    I have not heard of this story but you know I love suspenseful stories so I'll have to keep this one in mind!

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Hope you'll enjoy it when you get to it, Iliana.

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.