Tuesday 24 November 2020

The Hidden Hours by Sara Foster @SaraJFoster @Legend_Times_ #TheHiddenHours BLOG TOUR #BookReview


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.

The Hidden Hours by Sara Foster was published in paperback by Legend Press on 2 November 2020. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, for this Blog Tour 

In The Hidden Hours, Sara Foster introduces lead character,  Eleanor Brennan in the short but compelling prologue. It's April 2010, and fifteen-year-old Eleanor is attending an appointment with her therapist. This short, but compelling prologue gives the reader some insight into Eleanor's issues, but not a great deal, just enough to ignite the imagination.

Fast forward to December 2016 and Eleanor is now living in London and temping at a publishing company. It's the morning after the Christmas party, and employees of the company are shocked to hear that Arabella Lane, a senior executive was found dead, in the Thames in the early hours of the morning.

Eleanor's reaction to this news is one of total breakdown. Whilst she's only been at the company for a few weeks, something is triggered in her memory. It soon becomes clear that the police are treating Arabella's death with some suspicion. There are people who think she fell, some wonder if she took her own life, but many people believe that she was murdered. Eleanor was one of the last people to see Arabella at the party, but her memory is blank. Was she drugged? What happened? Why does she have something that belonged to Arabella in her purse? 

Sara Foster is a skilled author. She has created such an unreliable character in Eleanor. She's certainly not an easy person to relate to, or even to like. It's clear that she has many issues, and that her move to London was an escape from her past, yet the reader is never quite certain if Eleanor's memory issues are a cover up, or a result of her past experiences. 

The author takes the reader back and forth throughout the novel. We learn more about Eleanor's early years back home in Australia, and how the slow deterioration of her family have impacted upon her.

There's a dark and brooding menace running throughout this story. The sense of place is extremely well done, with the complete contrast between dark, damp and crowded London and the wild, empty Australian setting done especially well. 

Foster's characterisation is excellent. Her characters are flawed, and at times I was suspicious of them all. The ending, for me, was unexpected and satisfying. Recommended for those who like their thrillers with depth.

Sara Foster is the bestselling author of three psychological suspense novels, COME BACK TO ME,
BENEATH THE SHADOWS, and SHALLOW BREATH. Born and raised in the UK, she worked for a time in the HarperCollins fiction department in London, before turning her hand to freelance editing, and writing in her spare time.

It wasn't until 2007 that she decided to take seriously her aim of getting published, and she took time out from editing to finish her first book. COME BACK TO ME was published in Australia in 2010 and reached the Sydney Morning Herald top ten Australian bestsellers list. Her second book, BENEATH THE SHADOWS, reached No. 4 on the Australian Sunday Telegraph bestsellers list, and has been published in the USA/Canada and Germany. In 2011 she was nominated for Cosmopolitan Australia's Fun Fearless Female awards in the author category.

Sara loves to travel, and has taken extended trips to South America, Asia, and all around Australia. She writes for the female-friendly travel website www.holidaygoddess.com, and is one of the contributors to their Handbag Guide on New York, Paris, London and Rome. She is also very proud to have been one of the original editors of the bestselling Kids' Night In series, which has been raising money for the charity War Child since 2003.

Sara moved to Western Australia in 2004, where she lives with her husband and young daughter.

Twitter @SaraJFoster

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