Release date: January 26, 2016
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 knows 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.
The Mystery of Hollow Places is an interesting take on the mystery genre. Imogene, the daughter of a mystery writer, on her father’s disappearance, is convinced that he is out searching for her biological mother who was depressed. She knows that he sent out a clue for her, and since the police don’t know him as she does, nor are they extremely worried about his disappearance, she sets out to find her mother, so that she can find him too. Ingeniously tracking down clues and with the help of her best friend and her brother, she chases down her parent’s past. While on the trail of her mother, she comes across pieces of her mother’s past, and finds that the mystery of her mother was different than what she had imagined.
What is more interesting in the story is how the mystery of her mother relates to Imogene’s personality itself. Being raised by a single dad, she of course felt the loss of her mother, and she also grew up quickly when she has to take care of her dad. Her stepmother she keeps at a distance, because she doesn’t feel like she was needed. In short, she is sort of a lonely character even in midst of people who love her. As the story goes by, she realizes that the past had not only affected her father but her too. She is searching for her father, but she is also searching for her mother that she has created in her mind. She feels abandoned but still wants to face her, to know her – a big motivation for her breaking rules left and right. Eventually, she gets her happy ending, which is kind of nice and not all sunshine and rainbows. Must I also add, I love the girls’ friendships and Lindy’s and Im’s relationship grow during the novel, leading to our heroine change for the better.
Received a free galley from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.