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Oxygen Book Club's September Pick Is A Dark Mystery About Assault, Privilege, And Revenge

In Julia Dahl's latest novel, "The Missing Hours," a college student who seems to have it all disappears after she's sexually assaulted. 

By Becca van Sambeck
The Missing Hours

Sure, some people rave about pumpkin spice or sweater weather, but is there anything that actually gets you more into the fall mood than a good thriller?

That's how we feel here at Oxygen Book Club , where we highlight books in the crime sphere each month and feature exclusive interviews, guided discussions, and more. We're very excited to announce that September's pick is "The Missing Hours" by Julia Dahl.

We tore through this mystery novel about Claudia Castro, an NYU freshmen who seemingly has it all: famous family, tons and tons of money, an avid social media following. Her existence seems charmed. But everything is not what it seems -- and Claudia's life seems to collapse after she's sexually assaulted during a drunken night. Claudia cuts herself off from her loved ones while reeling from the attack, and eventually goes missing. What's happened to her?

This is a fast-paced read and compelling read that directly examines thorny issues like privilege, revenge, and tragedy, diving deep into how sexual assault shapes more than just the victim. Dahl revealed that the inspiration for "The Missing Hours" actually came from a real case: a high schooler in Steubenville, Ohio was sexually assaulted by classmates after becoming too intoxicated at a house party. Students were videotaped laughing about it, and eventually, two of the young men were convicted for their roles in the assault. This book, she said, came about because she "couldn't stop thinking about this girl. What had this done to her? What had it done to the people who loved her?"

"The Missing Hours" is a smart, thoughtful, and gripping book. You'll find it hard to put this novel down. Read along with Oxygen Book Club, and keep an eye out for our video interviews with Dahl, as well as guided discussion questions. Happy reading!

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