Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Missing Hours – Emma Kavanagh

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction

Well Emma Kavanagh has done it again, by which I mean give me an entertaining and well-written novel and at the same time educate me about an area I am totally unfamiliar with; kidnap and ransom demands.

The Missing Hours is a mystery, it has elements of a police procedural where DS Finn Hale and his sister DC Leah Mackay are on police force firstly investigating the disappearance of Dr Selina Cole and then later, when a body is discovered, the brutal murder of solicitor Dominic Newell. Leah is drawn towards Selina’s story; why would a woman walk away from a playground where her two children are playing, and disappear? Finn feels her connection with this case when he, her superior, feels that the largest portion of resources should be pooled on the murder committed in Cardiff, may be related to her personal feelings, she is identifying just a little bit too much perhaps? But this isn’t a straightforward police procedural with elements of the psychology behind crime also being explored during this novel.

It took me a while to get into the swing of this book, as in her previous books, Emma Kavanagh has used multiple points of view, ranging from Heather, Selina’s daughter to the police, and different time periods to unveil the different strands of the story. Those illustrating the work that Selina carried out for the kidnap and ransom negotiations are covered in historical case files. These make for fascinating but from my perspective, a more remote type of interest, and I certainly learnt a lot about this little-reported crime and its resolutions in dangerous spots across the globe.

This book is a master in misdirection, I changed my mind numerous times about who was responsible for different elements but try as I might I couldn’t get any scenario to fit all the facts I was in possession of but of course Emma Kavanagh didn’t let me down and when all is finally revealed, I was reminder just how superb this author is at plotting a complex novel.

Maybe because many of the characters lived lives I find it hard to imagine, of live a lifestyle that depend upon them playing their cards very close to their chests either in the forces or carrying out difficult commissions to find kidnap victims, I didn’t find I connected terribly well with any of them except the two police officers. That isn’t to say these other characters aren’t well-drawn, I think it is probably that they were too realistic thereby while their actions were understandable, I just didn’t feel like I belonged in their world.

Perhaps because of the remoteness of some of the characters and getting to grips with the world of a company whose purpose is negotiating the release of those kidnapped it did take me far longer to get into this book than the author’s previous two novels – this isn’t a book to read for non-stop action as it does take a while for the pace to pick up. Once it did though, I was gripped and longing to know exactly who to believe made the dénouement totally worth the wait! A word of warning here though, this book ends very abruptly so much so that I actually thought I’d clicked over the last page, so readers who don’t like ambiguous endings may be disappointed with having to imagine what comes next! For those lovers of crime fiction who want something a little different from the twisted serial killer, this is a strong contender.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Random House UK who allowed me to read a copy of The Missing Hours ahead of publication on 21 April 2016. This honest review is my thank you to them.

Previous books by Emma Kavanagh


Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (April 13)

This Week In Books

Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I am reading The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh, the author of both Falling and Hidden, both of which I awarded five stars, can she make it a hat-trick? You’ll have to wait for my review to find out!

The Missing Hours

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? NetGalley

The Missing Hours will be published by Random House UK on 21 April 2016.

I have just finished When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

When She Was Bad

To read the synopsis and a short excerpt please see yesterday’s post

Next up is one of my kindle purchases, this time something a little different; The Closet of Savage Memories by Nuala Ní Chonchúir

The Closet of Savage Memories


Lillis takes a summer job working at a lodge in a small lochside village in the Scottish Highlands. Leaving home is a way to escape her sorrow and despair following the death of her boyfriend and a testy relationship with her mother, Verity.
In Scotland she encounters love and excitement but when a series of unexpected events turn her new found life on its head, she is forced to make a life-changing decision, one that will stay with her for her whole life.
The Closet of Savage Mementos is drawn directly from the author’s own experiences and explores heartbreak, loss, motherhood and adoption in a gripping narrative and the same expressive, emotive and exciting prose we have come to expect of Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share your thoughts in the comments below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (January 16)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Well I didn’t expect to do another one of these posts quite so soon as it sort of shows that I’m still acquiring too many books.

First up is Dead Before Morning by Geraldine Evans a book I wouldn’t have picked up if it hadn’t been for Margot’s excellent ‘Spotlight’ of this one on her magnificent blog, in fact even after this temptation I was merely adding it to the wishlist, but it was free…

Dead Before Morning


DI Joseph Rafferty had three problems: His boss, his family and a murder. He knows which one he’d choose, if he had a choice. He’d take the murder of the ‘Faceless Lady’, any time, over the other two, even though he loves his family. Well, some of the time, anyway. Only he’s not given a choice. He must find her killer, while keeping his family’s current legal entanglements downwind of his boss. Otherwise, he risks failure, exposure and career crash. Amazon

I was delighted and thrilled to be approved for a copy of The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh; both her previous books Falling and Hidden were huge hits with me last year and this sounds just as good!

The Missing Hours

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?’ NetGalley

The Missing Hours is going to be published on 21 April 2016

Finally, I have a copy by my new favourite publishers Twenty7; Without Trace by Simon Booker.

Simon Booker


For four long years, journalist Morgan Vine has campaigned for the release of her childhood sweetheart Danny Kilcannon – convicted, on dubious evidence, of murdering his 14 year-old stepdaughter.
When a key witness recants, Danny is released from prison. With nowhere else to go, he relies on single mum Morgan and her teenage daughter, Lissa.
But then Lissa goes missing.
With her own child now at risk, Morgan must re-think all she knows about her old flame – ‘the one that got away’. As the media storm around the mysterious disappearance intensifies and shocking revelations emerge, she is forced to confront the ultimate question: who can we trust…?
Introducing Morgan Vine, Without Trace is Simon Booker’s debut thriller. Amazon

Without Trace will be published in eBook format on 28 January 2016 and in paperback on 16 June 2016

PicMonkey Collage TBR

Since my last count I have read 3 books, and gained 3 so I’m standing still at 174 books!
85 physical books
75 e-books
14 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?