The Hidden Hours was the first of my stories to have a whodunit as the centrepiece (rather than ‘what happened’). It was an exciting challenge, and great fun writing about the publishing industry, which took me back to my early days as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins UK. The dual setting of London and outback Western Australia meant I also got to spend time in the beautiful natural landscape of my adopted home state.
Eleanor’s traumatic background and mental blackout made her a fascinating character to write about, and I mirrored her slow mental unravelling in the narrative, as her past increasingly intrudes into her present. I’m really proud of the way the whole thing came together, and I’m keeping everything crossed that the TV production goes ahead as it would be AMAZING to see it on the screen. For international readers, The Hidden Hours will be published in the UK and the US next year.
What it’s about:
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. 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 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 and lies, Eleanor isn’t sure she can trust anyone – not even herself. As she races to uncover the truth, she realises that someone is intent on stopping her. Someone who, like Eleanor, knows just how deadly the darkest secrets can be.