By Emma Kavanagh
Published by Cornerstone (21 April 2016)
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?
The Missing Hours is a well-written standalone crime thriller that's tightly plotted with well-developed characters.
Selena Cole, mother of two young girls, mysteriously vanishes for 20 hours. Where was she? Was she kidnapped? And why can't she remember anything? Meanwhile, a local solicitor has been murdered in a vicious attack. Detectives Finn Hale and Leah Mackay are working the two cases and wonder whether the two crimes could be linked.
Selena Cole specialises in kidnap and ransom cases, negotiating for the safe return of hostages all over the world. I found the K&R aspect of the plot particularly fascinating - especially the chapters about Selena's previous case files that are scattered throughout the book. By covering 'new ground', this gave the book an edge over some of the other crime thrillers I have read recently. It's clear that Emma Kavanagh has researched this topic in detail, and her own experience as a police and military psychologist certainly shines through in her writing.
The Missing Hours is written from multiple viewpoints and it's so easy to get right inside the characters' heads. The two detectives are brother and sister, which leads to great interaction, not just as colleagues but as siblings too. Vivid descriptions from the first page really bring the setting to life. There are many twists and turns, which keep the plot moving at a fast pace, and I was intrigued all the way through.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.