What’s it about?
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?’
This is the first full novel I read by Emma Kavanagh, although I still have a hard copy of Falling for some time now waiting for me to read in my library. I can tell you already that my desire to read it has risen exponentially after reading The Missing Hours. This was a wonderful, tautly plotted novel for which I have a lot of admiration. There was nothing that I did not like about the book. We are plunged into the exiting world of K&R (kidnap & ransom) which is already a fascinating focal point to start out with and which I never gave much thought before reading about it in this novel. This whole unknown reality is completed even more with several ‘case files’ of the Cole Group, shared as memos or reports to us, throughout the novel.
Selena Cole works for The Cole Company in her capacity as psychologist, her husband Ed was special forces, and then there is her sister-in-law Orla and her husband Seth who joined this boutique company a few years later. If some employee is taken hostage in some far-flung location, the insurance companies turn to The Cole Group to remedy the situation, negotiating a ransom that is satisfactory to both sides. But since her husband died, Selena has taken a small step back from the day-to-day business and one day Selena is in the park with her two girls when she goes missing. The same day a man is found murdered. Finn and Leah, brother and sister, Detective Sergeant and Detective Constable respectively, have these cases on their hands. Selena reappears hours later with no recollection where she was or what happened, case closed for Leah. But Leah cannot fully concentrate on the other case, and before long she just knows that something must tie her missing persons case to the death of the solicitor. A theory that seemed to be backed up by little clues tying them closer and closer together.
The author did a good job raising suspicion about several people throughout this novel, each with some sort of credible motive for the murder, but not so much so for the kidnapping. The two cases are cleverly entwined and kept me guessing to no end, only to be unravelled in the end by Leah and Finn working together. I loved the brother-sister working together thing and it is really the first time I see an author using this in a novel. A quite clever literary advantage because these main characters really know each other through and through and their spiel of understanding each other is quite enjoyable. It’s only in the end that we really get the picture how all of this fits together but this did not frustrate me at all because there is enough happening and to be discovered before it all comes together. I did have my suspicions about some of it although I did not know how or why exactly and I hit the right spot with only my gut feeling to lead me. This was an excellent police procedure with a very clever plotline which kept me engaged from start to finish.
*I was provided with a copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher, Random House, Cornerstone in exchange for my honest opinion*