Vanishing Hour

Laura Griffin

Berkley Pub

October 25th, 2022

Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin shows why she is the master of suspenseful romance. This plot has cold cases, search and rescue missions, and a loveable black lab.

“I started the story with writing about Huck, the black Lab rescue dog. I wanted to make him an intricate part of the story. Huck is a black lab because I read a book about a park ranger who does search and rescue work.  Labs are smart, sweet, good with people, can be playful, and trainable. Yet, I did not write Huck as having the personality as a human.  But Huck is so intelligent with very powerful smelling abilities and great instinct.  Huck was seen as a danger to the bad guys who tried to eliminate him. Just as with military dogs, the enemy knows they are in trouble because the dog can find ammunition, guns, and bodies. Huck became a threat.”

Corporate lawyer Ava Burch has had enough of the big city and the daily grind. She grew up with her father, who raised search-and-rescue dogs, in rural Texas and has moved to the small town of Cuervo to spend time in the dry, rugged wilderness near Big Bend National Park. She is also a volunteer working search and rescue with her dog Huck. On a SAR mission, Ava becomes aware that women are missing annually from the hostile desert environment around the town and decides to pursue her own investigation, finding out that there are three missing women, all unsolved cold cases. 

“Ava is determined, smart, and underestimated.  She is a woman who grew up in a man’s world of law enforcement.  Her dad was a game warden, so she had experience with law enforcement although she is a civilian.  She can be overly sensitive. Since her dad was in law enforcement she reflects on if she wants a relationship with someone in that profession.  The job can be wearing on people, her dad was always working, many times preoccupied by the grim facts of his work, and her mom had to raise the children by herself. This caused a conflict between herself and Grant because he is a workaholic.  Ava can read people and is guarded.” 

Grant Wycoff deputy sheriff and lead investigator reluctantly is paired with Ava since she and Huck can lead him to where there is evidence of the missing women.  He does not want her working his case because she is a civilian and might endanger herself. The two of them don’t see eye to eye about the case. They butt heads digging their boot heels in to see who’s stronger willed. Grant sees her as a city slicker, wearing designer jeans and a driving a shiny new car.  He thinks she has no business on a serious team made of seasoned outdoorsmen and retired cops. She is too stubborn to listen to him and eventually shows him her worth. In addition, they both realize there is chemistry between them. 

“For Grant his home and family are important to him.  He is protective, wants his town to be a better place, very dedicated and committed. He is sweet with a big heart, at times condescending, has a big ego, and stubborn.”

This plot has it all: a gripping mystery, a sizzling romance, and plenty of action.  It will keep readers on the edge of their seats with plenty of red herrings placed strategically throughout the story along with real clues.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.