Monday 16 November 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Hidden Hours - Sara Foster

Arabella Lane 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 office temp, Eleanor.

Having travelled to London to escape the repercussions of her traumatic childhood in Australia, tragedy seems to follow Eleanor 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.

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.

What did I think?

Once I picked up The Hidden Hours I couldn't put it down; it is filled to the brim with suspense and intrigue.  With a dual timeline that gives the reader a glimpse into a past tragedy in Eleanor's life, I positively raced through the pages to uncover all of its secrets.

Eleanor has to be the most unreliable narrator I have ever come across.  Not only is she burying her memories from her past in Australia, but Eleanor may be the key to finding out what happened to Arabella Lane, if only she could remember.  It's an interesting thought: to be unable to remember something you desperately want to remember compared with being unable to forget something painful that you don't want to remember.  

Having recently travelled from her home in Australia, Eleanor is new to London so she doesn't know who she can trust and Sara Foster has surrounded Eleanor with a right bunch of characters to make the reader question everybody's motives.  Uncle Ian who is completely under the thumb of his frosty wife Susan and Eleanor's colleague Will who seems to be a bit too friendly.  I had everyone under suspicion at one time or another, including Eleanor, so I wasn't terribly surprised when I found out what had happened to Arabella as any one of them could have done something, if anything was done to Arabella at all.  Sara Foster has woven so much intrigue and mystery into her story that anyone could have done something and anything could have happened.

The format of the book is excellent and adds to the suspense, not just the dual timeline but a little paragraph at the start of many of the chapters that give a wider view of what is going on after Arabella's death.  I really liked this touch as it kept Arabella at the forefront of my mind as unravelling her life would be the key to solving the mystery of her death.

Rather strangely for a page-turner, I found the pacing quite slow but at the same time it really did help to build up the tension.  Eleanor's lack of memory added an extra dimension to the story as she really had no idea what had happened and she even doubts herself.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for her as it seems like death follows her around so I'm surprised she wasn't a gibbering wreck.

The Hidden Hours is such an addictive read, filled with tension, suspense and intrigue.  It so very well written and I will definitely be looking out for more books by Sara Foster.

Thank you to Legend Press for my review copy; all opinions are my own. 

My rating:

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