Author: Simon Lelic
Available: 5th May 2022 in Paperback, eBook & Audiobook
Thank you to Ellie Hudson & Viking for my gifted copy and for having me on the blog tour for this book. My review is based on my experience of the book and any thoughts expressed here are solely mine alone.
Four Friends. One Murder. A game they can’t escape.
‘It was only a game.’
Until a boy went missing.
‘No one was meant to get hurt.’
But a body has been found.
‘Just some innocent fun.’
Except one of them is a killer.
Ready or not, here I come.
It’s time to play hide and seek again.
A PULSE POUNDING DETECTIVE THRILLER: 20 years after a boy goes missing at boarding school, his body is found and his friends, now some of the most powerful people in the country, are the suspects – for fans of THE CHALK MAN PB and THE GUEST LIST.
Today it is my turn to share my thoughts with you on Simon Lelic latest book The Hiding Place and my first experience of reading one of his many novels, a situation I will be rectifying shortly. As huge crime fiction fan, it seems I have been remiss in not discovering Simon’s books until now but on the flip side of this acknowledgement is my excitement in discovering a new author (to me) and his books. From the minute I turned the first page of this book, I was completely engrossed in the story. Simon pens a slick, sinister, and scintillating read indeed!
The story is told to us, through two perspectives over a dual timeline that of the detectives in the present and 22 years previously we see and hear things from the victim point of view, which certainly adds a growing and palpebral tension throughout the novel. The book opens with a boy in terror, hiding and hoping not to be discovered! We then return to the present with Detectives Fleet and Collins arriving at an exclusive and expensive boarding School; where in the old church on the campus a skeleton in a foetal position has been unearthed and you cannot help but think, how did we come to this; especially as you are pretty certain you know who the victim is (as are the detectives) but what trajectory of events and sinister circumstances led to murder and why haven’t they come to light until now, what deadly game was played and has it come to its fruition? I really admired Simon’s skill at moving us readers seamlessly back and forth between the two timelines and across his excellent plotlines without giving the game away and yet still providing us with ample hints and teasing suggestions about what occurred then and what is occurring now, making the reading exceptionally enticing and addictively engaging.
Ben Draper missing for 22 years; when we meet Ben, he’s being dropped off at yet another boarding school by his father (who is beyond unpleasant in manor) and you can tell that any trouble Ben gets himself into is as a direct result of dire parenting! Ben finds it difficult to connect with others, he doesn’t make friends and is constantly the victim of bullying but at this time, he is quickly allowed entry into a friendship group of three other students, who have labelled themselves as outcasts as well but it is unclear whether their intentions are good and Ben is wary, can they be trusted….it is all just a little bit suspicious! The School and these new so call friends to me anyway bare a sinister taint, made greater when Ben disappears during an ‘innocent ‘ game of hide & seek…and you know there was nothing innocent about this so-called game!! Back in the present, Detectives Fleet and Collins seek to unravel, the secrets and lies and I grew very fond of DS Nicola Collins in her black suit and converse; she doesn’t suffer fools and she’s a woman you don’t want to mess with, determined and diligent and she wants answers. I enjoyed the quick wit and amusing banter between her and Fleet, and I loved how they bounced ideas off each other regarding the complexities of this case. The biggest question of course, is can they ferret out the truth in this devious tangled web but that is for me to know and you to read the book and find out and be prepared to expect the unexpected!
I am thrilled to have discovered Simon’s books, this one was deliciously sticky, sinister and a sensational read, you can hardly put it down because you desperately want to know what happens next! If like me you are always looking for a new crime procedural to devour then Simon’s books are definitely ones you need to add to your crime library. I know I will be adding more to mine.
Happy Reading Bookophiles…
About the Author:
Simon Lelic is the author of seven highly acclaimed thrillers: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasey Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger), The House, The Liar’s Room, The Search Party and The Hiding Place. He has also written The Haven series for younger readers, twice shortlisted for the CrimeFest awards.
Please do read some of the other reviews on this blog tour.