The Vanishing Hour by Seraphina Nova Glass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**3.5-stars rounded up**
Kira has a missing daughter. Aden has a missing father. Grace was a missing girl once. These individuals have something else in common, Rock Harbor, Maine.
Welcome to Rock Harbor, a quaint tourist town with a seedy side. The drug scene is rampant, strip clubs and sex workers lining the streets and it seems everyone is keeping secrets.
When Kira’s daughter Brooke wanted to move to Rock Harbor to live with a boy she used to know in the summers, Kira was completely against it. But Brooke is technically an adult so she couldn’t stop it.
After Brooke disappears, Kira returns to the family cabin to begin the search herself. No one else will search for her daughter like she will. They’ll consider her a runaway, or worse, a throwaway.
When Aden hears his father has disappeared, he doesn’t believe it. Surely Dad has gone fishing or something and forgot to pass the message along to Mom. 70-something year old men don’t just go missing, do they?
Even though he suspects it’s a big fuss over nothing, Aden dutifully returns to his family home in the town he happily left years before, Rock Harbor.
From the safety of the cocoon she has built for herself in the hotel she runs, Grace knows nothing of the missing people. It’s the off-season, there are no guests and she’s not talking to anyone on the outside.
Since her own horrifying experience as a missing person, Grace avoids all media outlets and really, the outside world in general. She very rarely leaves the hotel grounds.
As the Reader, you get a front row seat as these three individual’s lives are set on a collision course with one another. Who will survive the vanishing hour?
I was entertained by this one. It drew me in and I finished it quickly. While it isn’t my favorite from this author, I would recommend it to Readers who enjoy stories with a gritty small town feel, full of dark secrets, deceptions and lies.
We get to see the underbelly of Rock Harbor in this story and it’s not pretty. Also, a great example of how monsters can hide in plain sight.
Initially, I felt a little thrown by the number of perspectives. I wasn’t sure how they were related, or how they would ever be able to merge in a meaningful way.
Glass succeeded in pulling it off. I felt like I really got to know our three mains and surprisingly, I was equally invested in all three of their stories, which was a plus.
In addition to enjoying watching the perspectives come together, I liked watching their relationships evolve. As they saw a similar plight in one another, and began to open up to one another, I felt that really added to the story.
Also, I always enjoy amateur investigators and this story definitely has that!
There were some twists I found surprising and some that I was a little underwhelmed by. I did like how this one wrapped up though. It was a wholly-satisfying ending.
I will say, as someone from Maine, this didn’t feel like Maine at all, like not at all, but I understand artistic license and know that the author intended this as a fictional town.
So, I tried to pretend it was just somewhere else entirely. It felt more like the red light district of Montreal to me.
Overall, besides the fact that I was thrown by the setting, it was a pretty entertaining read and I would recommend it to people looking for a twisty, suspenseful tale.
Thank you to the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to more from this author!