Death Lurks In Plain Sight In Heather Graham’s ‘The Hidden’ [REVIEW]
April 2, 2016 Leave a comment
When a couple is found brutally murdered at a Colorado bed and breakfast, the deaths are eerily similar to an unsolved case that happened nearly 150 years before on that very spot. What is the connection between the new crime and the cold case? And will investigators be able to find out the truth before the killer strikes again? Death lurks in plain sight in Heather Graham’s latest thrill ride, The Hidden.
Initially, police think young historian and archaeologist Scarlet Barlow is a likely suspect, particularly after bloody photographs appear mysteriously on her camera. But soon her ex-husband, FBI agent Diego McCullough, and a special unit called the Krewe of Hunters, are on the case, determined to protect Barlow and get to the real heart of the mystery.
The Hidden is a fun, chilling read filled with old family legends; spooky, inexplicable clues; a large, colorful cast of possible suspects; and plenty of things that go bump in the night. Here, Heather Graham is caught doing what she does best. She lures us in with a perplexing mystery and keeps us guessing until the end, throwing in plenty of red herrings along the way.
As usual, Graham deftly utilizes setting to raise the stakes, and this time out the action takes place in the shadows of the cold, snow capped Rocky Mountains. She brings in familiar sights like the Stanley Hotel, which most of us recognize as the scene of Stephen King’s The Shining, even if we don’t recognize it by name. This connection could be enough to set our nerves on edge, but Graham doesn’t rely on ground previously covered to draw the noose tight about her reader’s throats.
Instead, she focuses on the fictitious Conway Ranch, just down the road from the Stanley, and infuses it with its own dark past and ominous specters. The Hidden is obviously Graham’s love letter to King, and even though she emulates his macabre style, she unleashes a new legend upon her own devoted readers.
The Hidden is a multi-layered novel that is reminiscent of the best of Poe, Shelley, Stoker and even King. It blends love story, mystery, and horror into a tale that is never gory, but always suspenseful, and in many ways even enlightening. Readers will happily lose themselves in Graham’s capable storytelling, find themselves rooting for Scarlet and Diego, as well as the rest of the Krewe, even as the author continues to carefully ratchet up the suspense.
Most of all, The Hidden is first class entertainment. The book should come with a tub of buttery popcorn, a large Coke and maybe even 3-D glasses, not only because this story is cinematic in scope, but because it is the kind of story readers used to delightedly lose themselves in at the matinee, back when horror masters like Vincent Price and Peter Lorre tried to scare us out of our wits. And just as we always kept going back to movie houses for more, readers won’t be able to put this one down until the last page is turned.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Graham is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than a hundred novels and novellas which have been published in approximately 20 languages.
A member of the Romance Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, she majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. She worked in dinner theater, sang back-up vocals and even tended bar before she sold her first book in 1982.