The author ofInvisible City returns with a novel about Claudia Castro, a Kardashian-esque NYU college student whose wealthy privilege belies a troubled family and interior life. After she awakens after a night partying badly beaten up, she slowly remembers her assault in hazy flashbacks—and vows to get revenge on her attackers.
At times, The Missing Hours is an uncomfortable read but never dull as Dahl keeps the plot briskly churning ... Claudia isn’t the most sympathetic character, but Dahl succeeds in making the reader care about her ... The Missing Hours proves that money, status and fame doesn’t bring happiness or peace of mind.
The Missing Hours deals with some profoundly serious matters in a realistic way, which is one of Julia Dahl’s many strengths. She provides us with relatable, three-dimensional characters who act like we might act in most situations ... The Missing Hours takes us up and down the emotional ladder with a stop at each rung, where we are privy to everything going through Claudia’s mind. Being the victim of a violent act is a traumatic experience like no other and could take years for the mind to process. That we get to witness Claudia in the exceedingly initial stages of this memory is what keeps the book humming with life and unpredictable throughout.
... a fast-paced crime story ... Dahl takes Claudia’s post-assault emotional chaos—humiliation, anger, loneliness, desperation—and uses them to drive a believable, heartbreaking vengeance storyline. Because sometimes revenge isn’t the healing balm we wish it to be ... The visceral descriptions made me furious, which definitely served to engage me through the rest of the story ... While I appreciated the anger and the desire for revenge, The Missing Hours is also a testament to vengeance being 'a dish best served cold' ... In many ways, the growth of the family into a unit is one of the most interesting and moving elements of this story. I think Claudia’s family would’ve been down with exacting some vengeance of their own.