Hidden by Emma Kavanagh

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Hidden by Emma Kavanagh

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Liz Green
Reviewed by Liz Green
Summary: Exciting page turner about events leading up to a shooting in a hospital.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: November 2015
Publisher: Arrow
ISBN: 978-0099588535

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Hidden is written backwards. Chapters One and Two open with a shooting in a hospital and the rest of the book tracks back in time, following various characters as events lead to the day of the shooting. Every chapter is told from the point of view of a different character, including a first person account by the murderer (whose identity is concealed until the end). This structure would be rather confusing were it not for the fact that each chapter is very short, and conveniently starts with the date, time and character's name, making it all very easy to follow.

In addition to the build-up to the shooting, there are a few side stories, too, that may or may not be relevant to the main plot. There are crumbling relationships, a child with a mystery illness, an investigation into a shooting by the police, a victim in a persistent vegetative state, a love affair that never quite gets off the ground... All of this is grist to the mill in Emma Kavanagh's more than capable hands, allowing her to produce a compelling and richly woven tale with a varied and interesting cast.

This book is a refreshing take on your traditional thriller. There is no lengthy police investigation after the event - instead, the entire book is devoted to events prior to the shooting. Less a 'who done it' than a 'who's going to do it?' And it works brilliantly, with Emma Kavanagh laying her bait cleverly. Just when you think you've worked everything out, she throws in a bit more information and you realise you're barking up quite the wrong tree. When you do find out the identity of the shooter, certain puzzling pieces fall into place quite satisfyingly. This is not to say that there are no loose ends. I felt there were several aspects of the plot that were either conveniently neat, implausibly coincidental or simply not tied up neatly enough. That said, the main plot works very well indeed.

Hidden is a very well-written book, packed with detail yet remaining a book so easy to read that you could devour it in just a few greedy gulps. Dialogue is relevant and characterisation is excellent, making for a most enjoyable, and layered, read.

The slight failings in certain aspects of the plot are minor but enough to make the book fall just short of the coveted five-star ranking so I'm giving it a 4½ plus plus plus.

For another slightly different take on the standard thriller, with multiple narrators, try You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes. And if you like books that break the mould of their genre, have a look at the wonderful kidnapping story, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica.

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Buy Hidden by Emma Kavanagh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hidden by Emma Kavanagh at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Hidden by Emma Kavanagh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hidden by Emma Kavanagh at Amazon.com.


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