The Missing Hours

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781250083722. $25.99. THRILLER
Dahl’s (Conviction; Run You Down) thriller is a fast-paced, multiple-perspective story of sexual abuse being dismissed, or even weaponized against its victim. At first glance, Claudia Castro has it all: famous parents, money, thousands of social media followers, sex appeal, and popularity. Unfortunately, things aren’t as they seem. It turns out that Claudia is a hot mess. One night, she misses the birth of her niece and while she has bruises the next day, she has no memory of what she assumes was a drunken night out. Dumbfounded and ashamed, Claudia cuts off communication with her family and attempts to piece together the events of that night, with the help of a new friend. As Claudia’s memory begins to clear, her feelings of dread transform into a deranged and dangerous desire for vengeance. What happens next is the outcry of an aggrieved woman whose only alibi is herself; wealthy and powerful people, like always, will attempt to prevail.
VERDICT The plot is intriguing but doesn’t quite hit the gritty climax readers might expect. Still, Dahl provides a timely story about an always relevant topic.
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