A ll 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 Imogene was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by 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.
Less Sherlock Holmes and more like Nancy Drew’s annoying little sister who is a really bad detective.
I cannot think of one aspect of this book I liked. I actually forgot I read it until I was going through the books I needed to review and remember marathoning my way through The Mystery of Hollow Places like a solider in a swamp. It’s a chore at best and a quagmire at worst. The main character thinks she can be a good detective because she read her father’s fictional mystery novels and at points it this book it seems like she honestly believes that her grandmother had a stone heart. No, I’m sorry, but no. Usually, in a mystery novel with a detective main character, the main character has a talent for detail, or some family history in mysteries or, maybe, training. Imogene Scott is just so dumb and so lucky and I just wanted this book to be good. I wanted this to be a good young adult mystery book so badly but it was just so awful. The Mystery of Hollow Places has just broken my ability to write a long review. The main character is mediocre, the side characters are cookie-cutter, the mystery is not that great and the writing is not special.
In short, don’t pick up this book.