She was gone for twenty hours.
What the hell happened in that time?’
The Missing Hours is the latest psychological thriller from former police psychologist Emma Kavanagh. It was published by Century in April 2016. I received my copy from writing.ie in exchange for my honest review.
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?
The Missing Hours is a story about the unexplained disappearance of Selena Cole.
Selena Cole is a mother of two young girls, Tara & Heather. Her last known location is at the playground with the children early one morning. Heather, aged 7, wanders off briefly. When she comes back, Tara, aged 3, is on the swing and their mother has gone…DISAPPEARED!!
So begins a story of a missing person. DC Leah Mackay, takes charge of the case and begins her search for Selena, hoping that it is not a body she will find.
Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated case, there is the brutal discovery in the mountains of a well known solicitor, Dominic Newell, He has been viciously murdered
‘The amount of blood staggers me, literally knocking me backwards so that for a moment I feel unsteady. It coats the cream leather seat, a red winter shawl dumped there by some cavalier passenger.’
DS Finn Hale is the leading detective on this case. He is DC Leah Mackay’s brother and her boss.
Selena Cole reappears twenty hours later. She is discovered by a river, disorientated, with no idea of where she was.
DC Leah MacKale, searches for the truth, not content to just accept Selena’s reappearance.
Selena Cole is a widow. Herself and her husband, Ed, had their own company, that specialised in K & R (Kidnap & Ransom) cases.
‘The Cole Group trains companies on the best ways to protect themselves, helps them establish crisis management plans. But if things do go wrong and someone is kidnapped, we are dispatched to handle the situation. Selena’s a trained psychologist, a doctor. With that and Ed’s military background…it’s a good company. We have a good reputation’
Ed had been caught up in a terrorist attack in Brazil the previous year. The hotel they were staying at for a conference was the target and his body was never discovered, along with a few others, all presumed dead, lost in the aftermath of the bombing. Selena’s disappearance is put down, initially, to her state of mind & possible medication she is taking as part of the grieving process.
Brother and sister, Leah and Finn, become embroiled in a case that keeps the reader guessing right to the end.
A very unusual feature of this book is the method Emma Kavanagh uses to convey the story. It is broken down into chapters, where each is headed with the name of the person whose narrative we are reading. At the beginning this can be quite confusing so when you read this book, you do need full concentration.
Mixed in among the chapters are various reports as appeared in publications or internal documents, referring to cases of Kidnap & Ransom.
Emma Kavanagh gives the reader a very informative look into the world of K & R. It’s rather fascinating to see the daily mechanics of the people involved and how the end result can be achieved, with the victim being released.
The Missing Hours is an intriguing, skillfully written novel. It is obvious that Emma Kavanagh has a background in psychology and you can feel her passion for the subject throughout the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend this novel if you are looking for a good mystery in psychological suspense.
Who is Emma Kavanagh?
Emma was born in Wales in 1978 and currently lives in South Wales with her husband and their one year old son.
She trained as a psychologist and after leaving university, started her own business as a psychology consultant, specialising in human performance in extreme situations.
For seven years she provided training and consultation for police forces and NATO and military personnel throughout the UK and Europe.
Her third novel, The Missing Hours, was published in April 2016.