Reviews on this site will now comprise a book blurb and a short response.
Sara Foster is one of my favourite writers – she combines suspense and mood in a way that never fails to keep me captivated.
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.
Sara Foster’s 2017 release The Hidden Hours dragged me into an atmosphere brimming with suspicion, accusation, questions and barely-under-the-surface violence. A story of how memory – or the lack of – can distort and shape perceptions and actions, it maintains a heightened level of tension throughout. I do love a book that keeps me guessing and The Hidden Hours did just that, although I was not too far off the mark despite second guessing myself more than once.
Foster is a talented writer who consistently produces great novels, but deserves greater recognition. Her appreciation of setting and atmosphere is admirable – she effortlessly transports readers to another place without diminishing the sharp-edged suspense. If you like a bit of drama in your reading life, and don’t mind sitting on the edge of your seat, do yourself a favour and check out The Hidden Hours (and Foster’s other novels).
Available from Simon & Schuster from April 2017. My ARC was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.