I’m always excited to read a book by a local author and when the opportunity came up to read an ARC of The Hidden Hours by Sara Foster I jumped at the chance.

The Hidden Hours is a well-paced thriller. Young Australian woman, Eleanor Brennan, is on a working holiday in London. She is lucky enough to stay with her uncle and aunt in Harborne Grove. Her aunt Susan is the CEO of publisher Parker & Lane and lands Eleanor a job temping at the office. On the surface, this should be the start of an exciting adventure for Eleanor but it all goes awfully wrong when publishing executive, Arabella Lane, is found dead and Eleanor was one of the last people to see her.

The story crosses between time and continent. The reader, like Eleanor, is kept in the dark about the extent of Eleanor’s involvement in Arabella’s last moments. Foster keeps us guessing about motives and characters until the very end.

Flashbacks to Eleanor’s difficult past are peppered throughout the story. Although I was intrigued by the murder of Arabella Lane, I found myself more drawn to the story of Eleanor’s childhood tragedy.

Eleanor’s growing relationship with Art Director, Will Clayton, provides a delightful and surprising element to the story.

I enjoyed The Hidden Hours immensely. It was the first book I have read by Sara Foster and I will definitely be on the lookout for her other books.

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review the ARC.

The Hidden Hours will available at all good bookstores from April 2017.

Publisher’s blurb:

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.

Praise for Sara Foster

‘Effortless suspense and dramatic power’ — Sydney Morning Herald

‘Something for everyone: mystery, romance and mortal danger’ — Kirkus Review

‘Gripping, touching … I was hooked from start to finish’ — Favel Parrett

‘Classic suspense but with a wonderful modern edge’ — Hannah Richell