Category Archives: Julia Dahl

Review: The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl

Title: The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the critically acclaimed author of Invisible City and ConvictionThe Missing Hours is a novel about obsession, privilege, and the explosive consequences of one violent act.

From a distance, Claudia Castro has it all: a famous family, a trust fund, thousands of Instagram followers, and a spot in NYU’s freshman class. But look closer, and things are messier: her parents are separating, she’s just been humiliated by a sleazy documentary, and her sister is about to have a baby with a man she barely knows.

Claudia starts the school year resolved to find a path toward something positive, maybe even meaningful – and then one drunken night everything changes. Reeling, her memory hazy, Claudia cuts herself off from her family, seeking solace in a new friendship. But when the rest of school comes back from spring break, Claudia is missing.

Suddenly, the whole city is trying to piece together the hours of that terrible night.


The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl is a compelling crime drama with an all too realistic storyline.

Claudia Castro is the privileged daughter of a wealthy family. She is a freshman at college and like many of her fellow students, she spends many evenings drinking and having fun. When spring break rolls around, Claudia is one of the few people who decide to remain on campus. After an evening out, she awakens with no memory of the night before. With a terrible hangover and a sense of dread, Claudia asks her dorm neighbor Trevor Barber to hang out with her. She also tries to piece together what happened to her. But what will she do once she learns the shocking truth?

Claudia and her sister Edie are close but she does not confide in her about what happened. Instead, she distances herself from her family as she tries to come to terms with the assault. Fearing she won’t get justice through regular channels, Claudia takes things into her owns in order to exact her own revenge.  Once everything gets to be too much for her, she vanishes. But does Trevor know where she is? And will Trevor remain loyal to Claudia after someone rich and powerful offers an incentive to him that would solve a lot of his problems?

The Missing Hours is an engrossing crime drama with a topical storyline. Despite her mistakes, Claudia is a sympathetic character whose dysfunctional family life makes her more relatable. Trevor’s reasons for being there for Claudia are not exactly altruistic at first. But after getting to know her better, he is all in when she devises a plan to ensure those who are attacked her pay for their actions. With a very unexpected plot twist late in the story, Julia Dahl brings this engaging crime drama to an unpredictable conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Julia Dahl, Minotaur Books, Rated B, Review