HERE AND GONE is a suspense thriller by Stuart Neville writing under the name Haylen Beck. Neville is best known for his Irish detective novels while this novel is a suspense thriller set in Arizona.
Audra Kinney has finally broken free of her alcohol and drug additions and found the courage to escape from her abusive husband and his controlling mother. Initially she moved to a nearby flat in New York with her children, but now she is travelling to California to start a new life. But she only gets as far as Arizona.
Audra is stopped near a small town by Sheriff Whiteside for a traffic violation. The sheriff then searches her car and finds drugs. Audra is taken to the local police station by the sheriff while her two children are taken by a female deputy. When Audra asks after her children, the sheriff claims that they weren’t in the car when he stopped her. And if the children weren’t with her, then what has she done with them.
A major search is started for 11 year old Sean and 3 year old Louise. Pretty soon people are starting to accuse Audra of murder. The press descends on the small Arizona town.
Meanwhile, Danny Lee sees the news reports and immediately sees the similarity to the disappearance of his own daughter years ago. This is his chance to finally find out what happened to his own child by tracking down Sean and Louise.
This novel was totally gripping from beginning to end. It is the sort of story that could make you scared to drive down a quiet road.
The characters were excellent and I particularly felt for deputy Collins.
I was amazed that Stuart Neville could write such a different novel to his usual style. I love his older stuff, but I also love this. What a brilliant writer!
I’m looking forward to the next Stuart Neville novel whether as Stuart Neville or as Haylen Beck.