(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on January 26th 2016
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Parents, Social Issues, Young Adult
The Mystery of Hollow Places is a gorgeously written, stunningly original novel of love, loss, and identity, from debut author Rebecca Podos.All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.
Imogene Scott doesn’t remember much about her mother, other than the stories her father has told her. She left when Imogene was young, so growing up she had only her father who not unlike her mother had issues of his own. Now at the age of seventeen, her father, a famous author who writes medical mysteries, has gone missing. Her stepmother and the police have no clues where he might be but Imogene is convinced that he’s left her clues about how to find him and they all revolve around her mother and their past… the woman she only knows bedtime stories about.
This story is different than I expected… it was less suspenseful and more mysterious. I found myself constantly trying to guess what might happen next, only to find that I was completely wrong.
Podos deftly weaves this story of family, and friendship with amazing writing and some wonderful bits of humor. I loved Imogene’s voice and found it to be completely authentic to that of a teen girl. Her relationships were interesting to traverse… from the strained relationship she has with her step mother, to the convenience of her relationship with Jessa, to the love and dedication she has towards her father… it was wonderful to see them evolve and watch Imogene grow throughout this experience.
The pacing of this is really well done … I found this to be a quick read, mainly because I couldn’t seem to put this down once I had started. I just connected and understood Imogene’s desire to know who her mother was and find the one person left in her life who knew her.
I definitely recommend this for fans of mystery and suspense and if you don’t have this on your to read list, make sure you get it there as soon as possible.
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.