Wednesday 21 September 2022



Lila Nash is on the verge of landing her dream job—working as a prosecutor under the Hennepin County Attorney—and has settled into a happy life with her boyfriend, Joe Talbert. But when a woman is pulled from the Mississippi River, barely alive, things in the office take a personal turn.

The police believe the woman’s assailant is local photographer Gavin Spenser, but the case quickly flounders as the evidence wears thin. It seems Gavin saw this investigation coming—and no one can imagine how carefully he has prepared.

The more determined Lila is to put Gavin behind bars, the more elusive justice becomes. Battling a vindictive new boss and haunted by the ghosts of her own unspeakable attack, which she’s kept a dark secret for eight long years, Lila knows the clock is ticking down. In a race against an evil mastermind, it will take everything Lila’s got to outsmart a killer—and to escape the dark hold of her own past.

The Stolen Hours is my latest encounter with author, Allen Eskens’ work. Needless to say, having enjoyed all my previous reads of his - The Life We Bury, The Heavens May Fall, The Shadows We Hide, The Deep Dark Descending - Mr Reliable doesn’t let me down here.
It's a cracking story which combines a murder investigation with elements of a legal thriller and also has a sort of cold case feel along with a sympathetic heroine, overcoming events of her past while slaying a few demons in her present.

Story, pacing, twists, surprises, a small reliance on a little bit of coincidence perhaps, a creepy super smart predator, and a super smarter adversary. Blended, meshed, mixed up and gelled to perfection. 

Eskens gives us - court scenes, prison scenes, back story, a methodical investigation, planning taken to the nth degree, strategies, plans, control, fear, suspicion, family issues, career, ambition, victimisation, strength and healing, and more.

I liked the dynamics between the prosecuting office and the police detectives on the case. Lila's past traumas added an extra dynamic to the proceedings. 

Tense, exciting, gripping and deeply satisfying. Definitely recommended. 

Lila's boyfriend here, Joe Talbert has a minor role. He's a regular feature in some of Eskens' earlier books.

4.5 from 5

I'm revisiting the TBR stacks to see what else of Eskens I may be inadvertently sitting on.

Read – (listened to) August, 2022
Published – 2021
Page count – 321 (10 hrs 1 min)
Source – Libro trial
Format - Audible


  1. This sounds like a solid combination of the case at hand and the characters' personal lives, Col. Sometimes that integration doesn't work well, but it sounds as though it does here. And a good legal thriller can really ratchet up the tension. I can see why this one appealed to you.

    1. Margot, I think Allen Eskens is an author you would enjoy - just saying! I really like his books.

  2. Sounds good, Col. I need to catch up with Eskens.