@duffythewriter the hidden hours book review

‘The Hidden Hours. 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.’

Ever been on a big night out and got so off your face you don’t remember what happened?  The shame you feel, the panic, the rising dread as you check your phone? Well, what if that happened to you, but when you went to work the next day you found out your boss was dead and you were one of the last people to see her alive? The Hidden Hours follows Eleanor as she tries to get to grips with what happened at the party, and deal with the past which rears its ugly head after Arabella’s body is dragged from the murky waters of the Thames.

What Did I Think Of The Hidden Hours?

This is my favourite book by Sara Foster.  It is poignant, tense, suspenseful and relatable.  Foster captures the loss of innocence when, as children, we discover that our parents aren’t superheroes. They are flawed, they make mistakes, and sometimes they leave scars on you both inside and out which are carried into adulthood and mould your world. Tragedy grips onto Eleanor’s heart with icy cold fingers as she tries to navigate her way around her complicated family trying with earnest to find a place of comfort, safety, and love.

Foster adds a prelude to each chapter which immerses you little by little into Eleanor’s life. Foster’s descriptive prose is on point; none more so than the opening sentences which sink you into the pages immediately.

‘The body bobs lightly against the grey stone wall, ensnared by something unseen, resisting the current. A police diver slowly untangles it, and gently pushes it towards the waiting boat.’

The characters were all so clear in my head.  Mad yet beautiful Arabella who ends up a bloated grey body in the Thames, Eleanor, the young woman with a history far beyond her years, harbouring secrets from the other side of the world and Susan, who to me, was one of the most intriguing characters. Seemingly ice-cold, without any empathy at all, but there are layers there which slowly reveal themselves.

This book had me guessing right to the end, everyone was a suspect.  Buy it if you enjoyed The Girl Before and He Said She Said.

Share with any bookworm you know who loves to be on the edge of their seats!

4 out of 5 stars.  Gripping, thought provoking, and suspenseful.