Book Reviews

Hide & Seek: Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox @candicefoxbooks @SarahHarwood_ @PenguinUKBooks

I’m kicking off this week with a shiny and fantastic read! Nothing better to teach this Monday to behave!

Title: Gone By Midnight
Author: Candice Fox
Publisher: Century
Date of publication: 24st January 2019
Format: uncorrected bound copy
Number of pages: 370

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body…


I think Gone By Midnight wins the Most Beautiful Proof award. Blue and yellow. Keys. Perfect taglines. Mysterious blurb. It ticks all the boxes. And it makes your eyes sparkle. I would not have bet on those colours for a mystery/thriller, but it totally works!

‘The real trouble came at midnight’

One sentence. That’s all it took. Not because I’m a witch who believes midnight is the key to the of the universe, but because the opening was so down-to-earth, so normal, that I thought I was the one talking through the book, having to deal with the joys of staying in a hotel… That’s exactly when I knew I would enjoy this book.

Kids on holiday… No one can blame the parents for leaving them in a room upstairs to enjoy a nice dinner without being interrupted. Especially when an adult goes up every hour to check on them. What could possibly happen?

We have heard and read plenty of missing child stories but this one is particularly brilliant. Chillingly fantastic, in fact.

One room, four kids, no way to get out. So how come one of them vanishes without a trace? It gave me a The Mystery of the Yellow Room feeling! Now, I’m terrible at solving this kind of puzzles, but thankfully, the book is filled with capable hands.

Or should I say hands capable of anything and everything…

What makes this novel truly original is its characters. As colourful as the cover, hilarious and resourceful Amanda stole my heart while Ted made it melt. Both have heavy backgrounds. I mean it. Heavy as in ‘I hid thirty books in my cabin-sized suitcase and I just dropped it on my toes, I think I broke at least three of them.’ I didn’t know Gone By Midnight was part of a series when I started reading but I know that I’ll be getting the first two books this year! There is something in Candice Fox’s characters that makes them so endearing that I want to know more about them. Also I want to walk through the bush on Amanda’s engine.

The case. Here again, the characters not being part of the police force gave the authors opportunities to take the plot into several directions that kept me guessing. Try solving a mystery when the police don’t want you there! With bits and pieces, we learn about past events weighing on shoulders, subplots adding smart layers to an investigation that soon because personal for everyone involved. This is no casual thriller. Gone By Midnight, while humorous and fun to read, deals with drama, family, and the terrible fact that children never listen to their parents!

When the truth appeared, I was both horrified and utterly happy. If an author can trigger both reactions at the same time, it’s a pretty good sign they did a good job!

The remarkable Gone By Midnight exceeded my expectations, took me places, and deserves all the stars!

The book can be pre-ordered and the kids will be let out 24.01! Buying link here!



Candice Fox is the middle child of a large, eccentric family from Sydney’s western suburbs composed of half-, adopted and pseudo siblings. The daughter of a parole officer and an enthusiastic foster-carer, Candice spent her childhood listening around corners to tales of violence, madness and evil as her father relayed his work stories to her mother and older brothers.

As a cynical and trouble-making teenager, her crime and gothic fiction writing was an escape from the calamity of her home life. She was constantly in trouble for reading Anne Rice in church and scaring her friends with tales from Australia’s wealth of true crime writers.

Bankstown born and bred, she failed to conform to military life in a brief stint as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy at age eighteen. At twenty, she turned her hand to academia, and taught high school through two undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees. Candice lectures in writing at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney, while undertaking a PhD in literary censorship and terrorism.


21 thoughts on “Hide & Seek: Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox @candicefoxbooks @SarahHarwood_ @PenguinUKBooks”

  1. Horrified and happy… Great emotions to have Meggy… I have this book… The ARC was pretty jumbled up when I received it.. Hence I lost interest in it…
    Thanks to your review, I will get back to it soon.


  2. I agree with you the blue and yellow is perhaps an unusual combination but it works, I love the blue sprayed edges and the cover! Great review Meggy, I’m so going to read this one for my next read! It sounds so intriguing and I’m happy you enjoyed it so much!


  3. I can’t imagine how this book would end to leave you happy and horrified at the same time, and for that reason I am intrigued!
    I love it when a book exceeds your expectations.
    Great review Meggy.
    Amanda xx


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