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Here and Gone

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
Hardcover
Jun 20, 2017 | 304 Pages
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Praise

A tension-laden, sometimes disturbing story with a viselike grip that won’t let goHere and Gone is terrifyingly realistic from the start to its finale.”  - Associated Press

“A fantastic thriller – a lone woman, a nightmare scenario, high stakes, breathless suspense, and a satisfying conclusion.  It doesn’t get better than this.” – Lee Child, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Jack Reacher Thrillers
 
“An almost unbearably tense nail-biter of a novel. Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride.” – Ruth Ware, New York Times Bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood
 
“Packed with smart twists and unforgettable characters,  Here and Gone is one of the best debuts of the year.  Highly recommended.” – Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Fool Me Once and Home
 
“Remarkable…the perfect handoff for fans desperate for “something like” Lee Child, Harlan Coben, and Lisa Gardner…Don’t be surprised if this one becomes the thriller everybody is reading this summer.” – Booklist (Starred Review)

“Keeps the pages turning with plenty of suspenseful twists and turns.” – Library Journal (Starred Review)


Here and Gone is a gut-grabbing, adrenaline-pumping thriller, full of intrigue, action, and characters to cheer for.  This is a book that lives up to the buzz.” – Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex
 
“A fast-paced, engrossing thriller energized from the first few words, a book that probes the internal resources ordinary people can summon in extraordinary circumstances while never straying from a racehorse of a story set against a relentless clock. Filled with memorable characters, Here and Gone is the type of thriller that stays with a reader long after the explosive final pages are completed.” – John Katzenbach, New York Times Bestselling author of The Dead Student

“Holy hell. Talk about a rip-roaring page turner. Readers, I dare you to try’n put this book down once you hit that twist at the end of chapter 5. Once I reached that epinephrine shot, the rest of my night was Here and Gone.” – Gregg Hurwitz, bestselling author of ORPHAN X

Author Q&A

A Conversation with Haylen Beck,
Author of Here and Gone: A Novel
(Crown; On sale June 20, 2017)


Q) Haylen Beck is a pen name. You also write under the name Stuart Neville. Can you tell us why (and how!) you chose this pen name and how your Haylen Beck novels differ from your Stuart Neville crime fiction?
A) Although all my books fall into the thriller genre, Here and Gone is the first to be set in America. It’s also a more overtly commercial, high-concept novel, whereas books under my own name are mostly set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and lean toward the noir end of the genre.  Given those two departures, a pen name seemed a logical step. I think my existing readers will enjoy Here and Gone, but I hope it’ll also appeal to those who are new to my work. As for the name itself, it’s mash-up of my two favorite guitarists: Eddie Van Halen and Jeff Beck!


Q) Here and Gone was inspired, in part, by a line of dialogue you first penned and couldn’t shake: “See, there’s a man who’ll pay me a million dollars a child. Three million for a pair.” Can you tell us how the novel took shape and if there were any other influences?
A) That line literally popped into my head late one night as I was thinking about going to bed, and I grabbed my smartphone and wrote it down in the Notes app. The idea began to take shape over the next day or so, including the Arizona setting. I spoke with my U.K. literary agent about it, and considering my other commitments at the time, we agreed to set it aside for a while. A year later, an opportunity arose to take a road trip through Arizona over a couple of days, and I traveled with a notepad, taking photos as I went. That was when the story really began to take shape.


Q) Here and Gone is set in the United States and features a wide array of different American settings and subcultures, from gangs in Chinatown, San Francisco, to small- town cops in Arizona. What sort of research did you do to authentically capture these characters and places?
A) The road trip through Arizona had a huge impact on the book. You’ll see it in the small details as well as the broader descriptions of the landscape, from the low desert to the forests of the Colorado Plateau in the north of the state.  Little things wound up in the book, like seeing a bald eagle fly across a dried-up lakebed—that actually happened. It’s those that details that give a feel of authenticity. I’m also fortunate to have some good contacts, like LAPD detective Jim McSorley, who helped me with the legal aspects, and my good friend and fellow author Henry Chang, who has a deep knowledge of Chinatown gang culture.
 


Q) Here and Gone reveals the dark underbelly of the Internet—a place where many things are bought and sold. How important was that plotline to this novel? Did any real news stories influence this plot twist? 
A) The dark web is a scary place! Some of the worst expressions of humanity can be found there, and pretty much anything can be bought or sold. That aspect of the story isn’t really in the foreground—frankly, I wouldn’t want to read something that grim—but lurks in the background, an ever-present threat throughout the novel.
                                                                       

Q) There are a handful of terrific characters in the novel, including Audra Kinney, her son, Sean, Danny Lee, Sheriff Whiteside, and Deputy Collins, several of whom we hear from in the first person at some point in time. Did you have a favorite? Any characters who were particularly challenging to write? 

A) I like Danny Lee a lot, and early readers have told me the same. He’s a complex and troubled man with a very dark past he struggles to free himself from. Given Danny’s background, which couldn’t be further removed from my own, I’m very much indebted to my friend Henry Chang for his help. I wouldn’t rule out seeing Danny Lee again in a later book.
 
Sometimes it’s the minor characters that stick in my mind. For example, even though they don’t occupy many pages, I’m very fond of John Tandy and Mrs. Gerber. And even though they have very small parts in the story, they have a huge impact on how things unfold.


Q) A handful of marquee names, including Lee Child, Ruth Ware, and Harlan Coben, have already touted Here and Gone as a breathless novel of suspense that’s packed with twists and unforgettable characters. What was your hope for the novel when you first set out to write it?
A) To be honest, the only thing I ever set out to do is tell a good story. I hope I’ve achieved that here, and the validation of authors I admire like Lee, Ruth, and Harlan is priceless. In many ways, Here and Gone was a real gamble for me. I wrote it on spec, without a contract, and no way of knowing if anyone would take it on.  Given the shift in style and location, it was taking a big chance with my career. If the least I get out of that is a novel I can be proud of, then I won’t complain.

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