Book Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

The Mystery of Hollow Places
Author: Rebecca Podos
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery
Released: January 26 2016
Review Source: Balzer & Bray

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 by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn'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. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

The Mystery of Hollow Places was one of those books that I couldn't review right after I finished it. The story needed to settle, I gather all my thoughts and emotions on this book and figure them out, and then I could come here and let you know. Sometimes I think I like a book but then I sit back and reflect on the entire book and decide I might be jumping the gun, but then the opposite happens. This was definitely the latter. While it took me a little longer to read than most books after I finished reading it I felt so much for our main protagonist, Imogene Scott.

First things first, Imogene’s dad is missing. Just up and left and there's no reason to believe there's foul play. But Imogene is set out to find her father but her journey turns into something more. More than just finding her father, more than just finding herself, Imogene discovers a lot about herself and the people she believed she understood. What surprised me the most was that this book was heavily underlined with mental illness issues and that’s what drew me in the most and left me having to digest this books days later . The discoveries, the traveling, getting inside her father’s head and understanding his hidden messages in his books, the things he left behind and what he may be searching for.

And while I thought this book was going to be a search and solve and a dead body kind of mystery it turned a lot more insightful than I ever expected. The Mystery of Hollow Places was a surprising and intriguing read. I never realized while reading this book how much I was going to enjoy it overall and how much myself and others could relate to Imogene’s journey.


  1. Books on mental illness are so popular lately. It's nice to now that you felt for the protagonist. It sounds good but it doesn't really seem like something I'd fully commit my time to. Great review!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  2. It seems like this was a very deep novel that wasn't quite what was expected, but turned out to be a whole more meaningful than that. I have seen a lot of people really enjoying this one. I'm still not sure if it is for me or not yet, but I'm looking into it!


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