The Missing Hours

Written by Emma Kavanagh

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


The Missing Hours
Arrow
RRP: £6.99
Released: November 17 2016
PBK

One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace. Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well but with no memory of where she has been.

This is a rather intriguing psychological thriller, with a timeline that gradually unravels from the viewpoints of a diverse array of characters, including Detective Constable Leah Mackay; who leads the investigation, and her younger brother, the newly promoted Detective Sergeant Finn Hale.

The chapters are interspersed with case reports from the kidnap and ransom organisation that Selena ran with her husband Ed, specialising in negotiating with kidnappers in high-risk countries [to agree on an affordable ransom and thus bring the hostage home unharmed]. A year earlier, Ed Cole was killed while in South America on business, and since then Selena has taken a back seat in the running of the organisation, leaving most of the administration to Ed’s sister, Orla Britten.

When Selena returns safe and well, Leah’s missing person case is formally closed. But Finn meanwhile is working on a murder case, involving a victim that turned up while Selena was missing, and he becomes convinced that his victim and Selena’s disappearance are linked. He and Leah work together to try and fit together the pieces surrounding Selena, Orla and those connected to their kidnap and ransom business. The more digging they do, the more pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

It’s an intriguing novel, and all of the puzzle pieces that are thrown out have no obvious way of fitting together for quite a while. All is revealed in the end, though, with at least one unexpected twist along the way. The different viewpoints from the characters can be confusing at times, but it is actually a very effective way of unfolding this story.

A tense and gripping read that offers a tantalising glimpse into the real-life drama of the world of kidnap and ransom.

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