Review of The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh

The Missing Hours Book Cover The Missing Hours
Emma Kavanagh
Random House
April 21, 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? ‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’

I found the start of this book, The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh, interesting and atmospheric. It uses Selena’s elder daughter’s voice to tell about her feelings when she finds Mummy is missing. After that the voices are adult and usually the two police involved in the cases that are the focus for this story. While Mummy has vanished she is found less than 24 hours later but with no knowledge of what has happened to her in that time. In the same time frame a body is found – is there any connection between these events? The two police primarily involved are actually brother and sister. Leah is dealing with Selena’s disappearance and Finn (her brother) is dealing with the suspected murder of the local solicitor. In the main chapters alternate between the two police involved however, interspersed in the main narrative, are various case files and information on the “Kidnap & Ransom” company that Selena and other members of her family run.

My views on this book are a little mixed in some ways. While I found the quality of the writing generally good I felt that it was a little over descriptive in the early stages of the book. For me this made it feel a little slow and maybe not the pace I would expect from a taught thriller. The detectives, particularly Leah, have some what complex personal lives. I found these aspects well written but equally something of a distraction from the main story at times. The characters generally did not feel very fleshed out and the brother and sister in the police felt a little unconvincing (& police like) sometimes.

Allowing that I did think that the main story was a good one. It was a nicely twisted tale too. By the 50% mark I really did find myself more and more drawn in to the story. The twists (only a few of which I got in advance!) and the pace made it hard to put down. I would certainly read another book by Emma Kavanagh.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review