Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Missing Hours - Emma Kavanagh

A story  that is both enjoyable and enlightening.

It is a thriller like any other. But what makes it different from the rest is the way it sheds light on an industry that is not so well known.  The kidnap and ransom industry is a very secret and high profile, one full of risks and dangers. Kavanagh has weaved a tale based on it and what a compelling story it is!


DC Leah Mackay is investigating the case of a mother of two girls, who just vanished from the playground. She resurfaces hours later much to everyone but with no recollection of where she had been.

Her brother, DS Finn Hale is investigating a murder of a solicitor. As the brother sister duo get down to work, they cannot help thinking there is a connection between the two and get set to reveal some shocking secrets. 

What works:
  • The story is told through various perspectives. The detectives and the central characters take turns to tell their versions. It is a very fascinating yet complex device. I admit there were times when the police version of it got a bit confusing. However, the case histories were a great read. It got me hooked and it felt like I was learning about something new.
  • The characters are so strong. Ed and Serena Cole, Dominic, Seth and Beck are such significant personas. They have a distinct personalities shaped by their military backgrounds. 
  • A good deal of research has gone into it. As the author admits in the author's note, it was a tough call deciding on how to write about a high profile industry without divulging its dealings. The plot reflects the writer's ability to weave fact and fiction well. Wow!
  • Kavanagh's psychology background shows how she is concerned about the mindset of her characters by laying out pointers for the way they act. Leah can identify herself with Serena and Orla. This prompts her to act in a certain way, as Finn points out. These sublties add to the persona making them well rounded and strong.
  • Her work experience also reveals itself in the way she talks about the police force and the challenges they face. Her characters look humane yet committed to their work, adding strength to the narrative. 
What doesn't:
  • The story gets a bit confusing at the beginning as mentioned earlier. 

A great read, something very different to the other crime thrillers. The writer's style and content both put her in a different league. Highly recommended.

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