Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review: The Hidden Hours

Title: The Hidden Hours
Author: Sara Foster
Publisher: 1 April 2017 by Simon & Schuster (Australia)
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller
My Rating: 4 cups


Keeping her secret may save her family.

But telling it may save her life.

Arabella Lane, senior executive at a children’s publisher, is found dead in the Thames on a frosty winter’s morning after the office Christmas party. No one is sure whether she jumped or was pushed. The one person who may know the truth is the newest employee at Parker & Lane – the office temp, Eleanor.

Eleanor has travelled to London to escape the repercussions of her traumatic childhood in outback Australia, but now tragedy seems to follow her wherever she goes. To her horror, she has no memory of the crucial hours leading up to Arabella’s death – memory that will either incriminate or absolve her.

As Eleanor desperately tries to remember her missing hours and uncover the events of that fateful night, her own extended family is dragged further into the dark, terrifying terrain of blame, suspicion and guilt.

Caught in a crossfire of accusations, Eleanor fears she can’t even trust herself, let alone the people around her. And soon, she’ll find herself in a race against time to find out just what happened that night – and discover just how deadly some secrets can be.

My Thoughts

This is not generally a genre I delve into often, however, given how much I enjoyed, ‘All That is Lost Between Us’, I was ready to give it a go. This latest instalment, ‘The Hidden Hours’ , is another great thriller by Aussie author Sara Foster, filled with tragedy, trauma, loads of emotional intensity and great sadness. It’s a classic "who done it", that will keep you reading to the very end, as gradually the layers are pulled apart and the full story revealed.

‘Her world is beginning to unravel, pulling at the threads that bind the husk of her nine-year-old self, exposing the cruel edges of all that the years have failed to smother.’

Eleanor has suffered some tragic event that you are never really sure about (until the end). However the chapters alternate with present and past, and gradually reveal the trauma that she carries with her into adulthood. She is deeply troubled and, at times, it became a little repetitive and mopey  - I wanted things to move a little faster. You understand how she has trouble trusting but she is very indecisive and so easily manipulated at times. All part of her character trait, I understand, but just a little slow at times as the author tries to demonstrate such loneliness and utter despair.

‘Yet it has reminded her of how multi-faceted people are –constantly choosing which of their many sides to turn to the light. Perhaps it’s not something to be so wary of; perhaps it’s just a way of getting through life. Is self-protection really such a bad thing?’

The tale certainly gains momentum the further into it you get, with the mystery of Eleanor’s past and her current predicament, full of enough intrigue to keep you guessing. The little touches I really appreciated was Sara’s inclusion of small snippets from a variety of viewpoints at the beginning of each chapter - that was well done. So whilst I loved Sara’s previous book, this one was good but not quite up to the same standard. Still I am interested to see with what she comes up with next and will take the plunge into this genre most certainly one more time - a testament to good writing and story making.

‘She daren’t look around in case she catches someone’s eye, because in that moment of connection, when their eyes lock, it is as though she cannot shutter the window to her soul, and they might peer in and see everything she most wants to hide.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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