The Stolen Hours
By: Allen Eskens
Thriller / Mystery
Opening Line: “Lila Nash counted her steps as she walked from the kitchen to the bathroom of her apartment.”
Overall: Lila Nash is working in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, waiting for the results of her bar exam. She gets assigned to work for a smart, fierce, female attorney named Andi. They start working on a case that ends up having connections to a horrible situation in Lila’s past. Gavin Spencer is a serial rapist and killer that they are trying to convict. All of his victims were drugged with GHB, raped, then thrown into the Mississippi River near the Falls. But, his most recent victim, Sadie, woke up enough to be able to swim to safety and was rescued. However, her memory is foggy from the drug. The two detectives that are working on the case realize that there is a pattern here that may be connected to other past cases. It turns out there are more victims from the past who’s cases are similar and have never been solved. So, with the help of Andi and Lila in the Prosecutor’s Office, the police start putting a case together to try and prove that it was Gavin who had done this many times before Sadie. But, Gavin is very smart, and always plans out every single step of his crimes. No evidence has ever linked him to any of the crimes before, and he is confident he has covered his tracks again. He believes he will never be charged with these crimes. Because of this case, Lila is having to face a painful past that she has always tried to forget. Working on this new case has opened up her old memories, and she believes that Gavin is somehow connected to the attack she
survived years ago. But, her memories have been buried deep, and she does not remember who attacked her. But, she believes it is somehow related to this case. She just has to figure out how, before it’s too late.
Ovations: I love that this book is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, because that is where I am from. The book’s author is from Minnesota too. I love the strong female characters in the book, Andi, Lila, and Niki. Andi is a successful, intelligent, tough, no-nonsense prosecutor who wants to help Lila succeed as an attorney as well. She is a great role model for Lila. Lila is strong too, she is a survivor. She survived an assault many years ago and has been living with the lingering effects of it. Her own family won’t acknowledge it. She lost friends over it. She even attempted suicide. But, she is strong, and got her life together all on her own. She is resilient and smart and went to law school, and now has gotten this great job at the prosecutor’s office. She is also in a good, loving relationship with her boyfriend who she lives with. She is doing well for herself. Lastly, the female detective, Niki Vang is another smart, strong, successful, positive female character in this book.
Oh Well: While there were several strong female characters in this book, as I just pointed out above, this book is about the drugging, rape, and murders of several females. That is very tough, depressing and sad to read about. The title, The Stolen Hours, refers to the hours that the female victims are drugged and do not remember what happened to them during those horrible hours. Also, I found the book very slow reading. To me, it was not really a thriller because it was just not exciting enough for that. It was not really a mystery because you know who the criminal is right away in the story. I guess the mystery part is will he get away with the crimes or not? But, I found the book rather depressing and boring with nothing really to keep my interest. Plus, some of the stuff at the end was not realistic at all in my opinion.
Opinion: I really wanted to like this book because I saw this author on a local tv show and learned that he has written a number of books. I was excited to find another successful local author from Minnesota to read. Unfortunately, I thought the book was quite slow and very depressing. It barely kept my interest. I always finish the books I start, even if I don’t like them at first, because sometimes they surprise you and get interesting half way through. But, that was not the case here. I would not recommend this book. Rating 4 out of 10.