The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh

About this book..

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?

β€˜Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

My review..

As a huge fan of Emma Kavanaghs first book Falling, it is always a big deal for me when she has a new novel out! Could I also point out that, although it isn’t totally necessary, it may be a good idea to read the short story that the author released earlier in the year called Case 48 The Kidnapping of Isaiah Rae. By reading this first, it gives the reader a perfect insight into the work of Ed and Selena Cole before The Missing Hours takes place a few years later.

Serena Cole is in a children’s playground with her daughters. Seven year old Heather wanders off whilst Selena is pushing three year old Tara on a swing. When Heather looks back though…her mum has gone. What has happened to Selena and why, when she returns the next day, does she not remember a single thing that happened to her?

This book surprised me in that it took me in a totally unexpected direction and I like to be misdirected sometimes! To begin with in the opening chapters, I struggled to make sense of what was happening. I just found it rather confusing until I settled into the writing style of the different characters who were telling their stories. An unusual stand out for me was that the police officers in charge of the case were actually brother and sister. Leah was a deeper, more understandable character and we were given an insight into her marriage and how her journey to motherhood affected her reactions to the disappearance of Selena. Her brother Finn, on the other hand, had recently been promoted to DS and was struggling with reactions from colleagues (and from the rather large chip on his shoulder!) to his new role but we didn’t seem to get as much from his personality as I would have liked. I didn’t get as emotionally attached to these characters (or to the ice cool Selena) as I have in this authors previous books but that is just a personal thing, sometimes it happens for me and sometimes it doesn’t-no rhyme or reason why!

One of the main things I really enjoyed about The Missing Hours was the way it was told, with case studies used throughout. The Coles had a company that dealt in helping to rescue kidnap victims and their past cases are detailed throughout the book to great effect. I found these cases fascinating to read through as they had such an air of realism surrounding them. It lead us to see a totally different side to Selena, where her control and bravery in very difficult situations was in great contrast to the Selena we meet after her disappearance.

At the heart of this book though is a good old whodunit, the murder of much loved and respected solicitor Dominic, who also seemed to be hiding his personal life from those who thought they knew him best. We are twisted around a cast of characters, most of whom are also involved in Selenas life curiously enough, trying to find connections in what is a slow burning, atmospheric build up to resolving the secrets that everyone appears to be keeping.

This was an enjoyable read for me and, although Falling is still my favourite book by this author, I found the plot to be of such a great interest me that I read it pretty much in a day. I would have liked more of an epilogue though if I’m going to be picky but that’s a small niggle and more of a sign really that I didn’t want the book to end!

I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

Publication date 21st April 2016


Available to pre order here

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

6 thoughts on “The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh”

  1. Case 48 is on my Kindle, I remember jumping on it when I saw it was for free, haha. Your review bumped it to the top of my TBR, I really want to give this author a try, I’ve heard great things about The Missing Hours. I love unpredictable things in books, it’s good to be surprised. Great review, I’ll make sure to read this soon (as soon as my TBR pile gets back under control!).

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