cover image The Stolen Hours

The Stolen Hours

Allen Eskens. Mulholland, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-70349-9

Lila Nash, the heroine of this tense thriller from Edgar finalist Eskens (the Max Rupert series), is poised to land her dream job as a prosecutor for Hennepin County (Minnesota) once she passes the bar. But Lila has a secret that threatens to undo her: eight years earlier she was drugged and attacked while attending a party in high school, an attack so brutal it led to her being institutionalized and estranged from those who care about her. Meanwhile, photographer Gavin Spencer, a serial killer, has identified his latest victim, Sadie Vauk, a bridesmaid who slighted him at a wedding where he recently worked. When Sadie survives Gavin’s attempt to kill her, she’s able to identify him because of his severe speech impediment. Soon, Lila is forced to face her own demons as she matches wits with Gavin while building a case against him. In the end, readers may wish Gavin had proven to be a more formidable adversary than he turns out to be, but the plot provides satisfying twists and poses thought-provoking questions about gender. Eskens reliably entertains. Agent: Amy Cloughley, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (Sept.)