Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Book Review: THE MISSING HOURS by Emma Kavanagh

The Missing Hours

The Missing Hours
Author: Emma Kavanagh
Publisher: Random House UK, Cornerstone
Read: February 2016
Expected publication: 21 April 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A woman disappears

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.

A woman returns

Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.

What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?

‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

My thoughts:

I have only just discovered author Emma Kavanagh and am halfway through the audio-version of her previous novel “Hidden” (which is great), so was thrilled to receive this preview copy of her latest novel from the publisher.

Psychologist Selena Cole and her husband have established a successful but unusual business together – negotiating ransom with kidnappers in an effort to free hostages. After her husband is tragically killed in a bomb blast during their last business trip, Selena is forced to take a step back from the business and concentrate on bringing up her two small daughters as a sole parent, still reeling from her loss. One afternoon, whilst taking the girls to the playground, Selena disappears without a trace. Considering her recent personal tragedy, police hold grave fears for her safety. When she appears  20 hours later unharmed but without recollection of the time she was “missing”, everyone is relieved and happy to close the case – everyone except DC Leah Mackay, who suspects that there may be something sinister underlying Selena’s “disappearance”. Something which may be connected to her former job as negotiator. Something which may even tie her to the murder of a lawyer who was found stabbed the same day Selena went missing. Leah just can’t let it rest ....

I loved the unusual background of this novel, especially the case histories of kidnap and ransom which are inserted into the storyline in the form of reports and add an intriguing element to this police procedural. Kavanagh has obviously done her research on the subject matter, and I found myself eagerly looking up various snippets of information that intrigued me, especially related to the drug “Devil’s Breath” – scary stuff! Whilst storylines with multiple POV’s can sometimes be disjointed or confusing, they worked well for me in this story, adding to the mystery and providing interesting background information. In the end, all stories come together in a surprising conclusion which perhaps did not answer all my questions but threw in a surprise element I had not considered.

All in all a satisfying and intriguing read – and the discovery of an author I hope to read a lot more from in future.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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