The Hidden Hours

Keeping her secret may save her family.

But telling it may save her life.

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.

‘An enthralling mystery’

Jane Harper, author of The Dry

‘…a suspenseful and well-paced tale… The Hidden Hours shifts effortlessly between the past and the present in a tautly structured novel that explores themes of guilt, despair and loneliness… [It] will appeal to readers of Foster’s previous novels and crime lovers in general, as well as fans of authors of domestic psychological novels such as Liane Moriarty.’

Bookseller & Publisher

Australian ISBN: 978-1925184815

E-book ISBN: 978-1925184822


You can find the Kindle international edition of The Hidden Hours in all Amazon stores outside Australia and New Zealand (ASIN: B06XVQDX5K)

If you are overseas and you would like to purchase a print edition, please send a message of enquiry using the Contact form.


  1. Eleanor is a troubled character. Were your sympathies drawn to her, or did you find her difficult to like?
  2. What did you think had happened to Arabella? Did your ideas change throughout the story?
  3. Susan’s life and mothering style seems quite different from Gillian’s, yet they both end up with their families in crisis. Are there any parallels between them?
  4. The novel is told in two very distinct locations: central London and outback Australia. Do you think the author did a good job of depicting these two places?
  5. The Hidden Hours is a book of crises, but also a story of characters too busy/preoccupied/self-focused to notice one another in everyday life. Is there a correlation? Discuss.
  6. Consider Arabella’s character: how would you have found her in real life? Does understanding anything of her personal life make you feel differently towards her?
  7. The story of Eleanor’s childhood interrupts the straightforward murder mystery in present time. Why do you think the author chose to depict those historical events in such detail?
  8. One of the themes of the novel is the codes of silence we end up keeping, to protect others or ourselves. Do you think these silences are always destructive, or can they ever be constructive too?
  9. Discuss the character of Solomon. Did his story develop as you thought it would? How did you feel about him by the end?
  10. How did the ending leave you feeling? Did the story finish as you hoped or suspected?


‘A suspenseful and well-paced tale, satisfying the reader’s curiosity in teasing increments. … The Hidden Hours shifts effortlessly between the past and the present in a tautly structured novel that explores themes of guilt, despair and loneliness.’  Books & Publishing, February 2017

‘...effortlessly transports readers to another place without diminishing the sharp-edged suspense. If you like a bit of drama in your reading life, and don’t mind sitting on the edge of your seat, do yourself a favour and check out The Hidden Hours.’ Monique Mulligan, Write Note Reviews