Review: The Missing Hours, by Emma Kavanagh

Whatever else a work of fiction does, it surely has to introduce us to a world we are unfamiliar with. The Missing Hours manages this superbly, a crime novel set among the world of kidnap and ransom negotiators.
The story opens with the disappearance of a mother in broad daylight, told poignantly from the viewpoint of one of her children. What makes the disappearance unusual, however, is that it only lasts a few hours and that the women cannot remember anything about where she has been.
As links emerge between the woman and a nearby murder, it seems that something in her past has been dogging her life.
The world of kidnap and ransom negotiators is not one most of us have anything to do with, unless you happen to be working in a high risk part of the world. It’s a world Emma Kavanagh knows well.
Having worked as a psychologist alongside police negotiators, Emma had plenty of real life inspiration to draw on for her book, as she told theresabook4that recently.
Refreshingly, much of the story is told from the perspective of a female detective with children. Not only does this give her a particular insight into the case, it also gives the reader a voice that’s very different from the crusty middle-aged male cop of so many crime novels.
More importantly, The Missing Hours is a first rate mystery thriller that will have you scratching your head until the final pages.


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