book blog · book review

The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh

35827027One moment, Selena Cole is at the playground with her children . . . the next, she has vanished without a trace.

The body of Dominic Newell, a well-respected lawyer, is found on a remote mountain road, blood oozing from the stab wound in his neck.

In the sleepy borderland between England and Wales, sheep outnumber people and serious crimes are rare. Which makes this Tuesday morning, with two calls coming in to the local police station, even more remarkable. Detective Constable Leah Mackay and her brother, Detective Sergeant Finn Hale, begin their respective investigations, but soon find them inextricably linked. And when Selena is found alive and unhurt twenty hours later, the mystery deepens.

Selena’s work consulting on kidnap and ransom cases has brought her into close contact with ruthless criminals and international drug lords. But now, as Selena walks back into her life wearing a blood-spattered sweater, claiming no memory of the preceding hours, Leah can’t be sure if she is a victim, a liar, or a murder suspect.

Leah and Finn delve into each case, untangling the secrets and betrayals—large and small—that can lie just beneath the surface of a life, yet unprepared for where both trails will lead.


*Thank you to the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

Selena Cole disappears while on a playground with her two daughters. Where could she possibly go? DC Leah Mckay was tasked to lead the case and having kids of her own, she immediately feels invested. But after 20 hours, Selena is back without even a scratch. Only, she can’t remember what exactly happened to her those hours that she’s gone missing. Was she kidnapped? Is she telling the truth? Meanwhile, Leah’s brother, DS Finn Hale, a newly promoted sergeant was called to a crime scene. A body of a solicitor, Dominic, who’s a regular visitor to the station was dumped at the side of the road. And though they arrested a suspect, he was released later on because the guy has a solid alibi. Upon further investigation, a link came up between the Coles and Dominic. Could Selena’s disappearance get anything to do with Dominic’s murder?

The Missing Hours consist of a few strands to its plot that can be confusing to follow. Selena’s case alone is a complex one and add murder to the mix and it’s sure to keep your gears turning. Told in several points of view and interspersed with kidnapping reports from Selena and husband’s Ed’s business, it makes up for an intriguing read and helped build the suspense. Though sometimes, the alternating POVs can also be puzzling as it’s not always clear whose narrative it is. Surprisingly, it’s the two detectives that I found less interesting amongst the characters.

The subject of kidnap and ransom was given with much details which I find fascinating but not that relevant to the story aside from it being Selena’s business. There are few twists and turns that’ll definitely throw you off but there’s some that I don’t think is necessary and just ended up adding confusion. A distraction, nonetheless. The abrupt ending was okay and plausible but I was expecting for a bit more as it left some questions unanswered. Still, I find The Missing Hours cleverly written and a good read overall.




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