By Melanie Golding
Releases November 2021
This thriller starts strong and carries its suspense well until the final quarter or so. By the time things were actively happening in present day (the novel jumps around in time every couple chapters), I was starting to tire of the story. There’s a unique twist to the novel, but it feels a little out of place as the manhunt continues.
I think the problem there is that the hinted twist comes and goes lightly from the story, never quite leaving the impact I desired from its teasing. But as it turns out, the author wrote the The Hidden with her folklore influence at the forefront, not as an afterthought. Unfortunately, I felt that it was inadequately used; it should have played heavier in the story, or not at all. Of course, this is just the opinion of someone who struggles with fantasy elements in crime fiction. Though I was intrigued at first by its implications, I was less interested by the end. In general, the finale left me wanting something… different.
Nevertheless, I was hooked for most of this story. The suspense was present and strong enough for most of the ride, even if things felt a tad rushed and uneven around the conclusion. I also enjoyed the villain’s backstory and vicious nature in hiding. If anything from this novel, I learned that Golding has the natural ability to write dark fiction in the category of crime and suspense. And that’s enough to leave me interested in reading more of what she has to offer.