The Hour Before Dawn by Sara MacDonald HarperCollins, $112 Sara MacDonald's sixth novel takes readers from Britain to New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. Following the jagged flight path of David, an army officer who marries and has twins, it depicts an idyllic family life shattered by love, lies, betrayal and murder. Misfortune strikes first when David is killed in a plane crash. Soon after, Saffie, one of his two five-year-old daughters, disappears. The tragedies tear apart the two remaining family members: David's wife, Fleur, and Nikki, the remaining daughter. But the discovery, decades later, of a small child's remains sets in motion reconciliation that comes from knowing what happened that fateful day when one sister wore the other's dress and went out to play. Shifting back and forth in time, The Hour Before Dawn weaves loose ends into a detailed tapestry into which characters are lovingly stitched. 'She's a good, old-fashioned storyteller,' The Bookseller magazine says of Cornwall-based MacDonald. And she has heart-rending stories to tell.