Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens
Published by Mullholland Books on September 7, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
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Lila Nash is on the verge of landing her dream job—working as a prosecutor under the Hennepin County Attorney—and has finally settled into a happy life with her boyfriend, Joe Talbert. But when a new case crosses her desk, things take a personal turn. Sadie Vauk has been pulled from the Mississippi River, barely alive. The police believe her assailant to be local photographer Gavin Spenser, but their evidence is slim.
Gavin has been preparing for this moment. He knows that Sadie’s escape might cause a lesser mind to panic, but he’s no lesser mind. After years of working from the shadows, he will finally match wits with the best, and he knows that he will win.
But Lila is driven by her own dark secret. Eight years before, she too survived an unspeakable attack. The more determined Lila becomes to put Gavin behind bars, however, the more elusive justice becomes. Battling a new boss and haunted by her own ghosts, the clock is ticking. In a race against an evil mastermind, it will take everything Lila’s got to face what she has feared the most—and to put an end to a killer’s ruthless plan.
I loved The Life We Bury which was the start of the Detective Max Rupert series , but Max is barely present. We are introduced to Joe Talbert and Lila Nash. The next three books are more closely about Max Rupert. In The Shadows We Hide, we are back to Joe Talbert and the characters from the first book. Now in The Stolen Hours, we get Lila Nash’s story and we are about 8 years into this world. It is a Minnesota setting I know and love.
In The Shadows We Hide, we find out about Joe and he makes choices showing the kind of person he is. Now we see Lila’s history, her struggles and the life she wants to live. The story is all Lila, and I wish we had a peek at Joe’s family and how they are doing. We get a view of Lila in earlier books but this is how Lila thinks and sees herself.
Lila is strong and principled. She doesn’t only work hard; she works smart. She knows or researches all the tiniest details and understands the idiosyncrasies of the law. This allows her to achieve the results, the justice she wants to find, even if it is not handled in the traditional way.
Lila must face her own demons and tortured past as a case she works has similarities. Her boss goes on leave and she is left with a misogynistic one who she showed up previously, and a tough prosecutor who doesn’t want an intern. In this pressure cooker, Lila finds her feet and fights for the victims and her own future.
I have loved everything I have read from this author. While I think the background from the other books adds to the depth of the world and characters, this could be read as a standalone.
The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews, Christine Lakin, Tina Huang
Published by Mulholland Books Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 10 hours, 1 minute
I enjoyed all three narrators’ performance. I have enjoyed MacLeod Andrews and Christine Lakin before but Tina Huang was new to me. They allowed me to be so immersed in the story I was hardly aware of them, which means they were excellent. I was able to listen comfortably at 1.5x speed as usual.
Listen to a clip:
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