I have a confession to make. I’ve had Hidden on my Kindle for quite a few weeks, and due to being ill with the flu for about three of those weeks, plus a load of other (medical) dramas that regularly beset our household, it’s taken me a long time to read it. But not because I didn’t want to!
The story kicks off with the immediate aftermath of a gunman on a shooting spree in a hospital in Swansea. Local reporter, Charlie, is caught up in the middle of it, trying to make sense of what has happened. Chapter 2 takes us back 8 minutes, and the Shooter becomes our narrator. Through his eyes, we get to see what happens in the immediate lead-up to the shooting, right up to pulling the trigger for the first time.
After that opener, we’re taken back to be told the story through four different POVs: Charlie’s, Aden’s (a police firearms officer), Imogen’s (a psychologist), and the Shooter’s. Everyone else’s POV starts six days prior to the shooting, and work forward; the Shooter’s initially stays on the day of the shooting, and then moves to the day before.
In addition to the shooting at the start, we also have a boy in a coma in hospital after being shot by Aden’s colleagues, and an old school friend of Charlie’s, who has been run over in strange circumstances on the M4. Are any of these events connected to the Shooter?
My extended reading time did make the story a little more difficult to follow than it should have been, and I found that when I did have an hour plus to read, it made it much easier to follow. So this is my fault, and not the author’s. Certainly my recommendation would be to not tackle the book in the way I did – wait until you’ve got a bit of time to read it across a week or so, and you’ll be rewarded.
Although the end is at the start of the book, that, of course, isn’t quite the end, and there is a terrific build-up with some fast-paced action towards the physical end of the book. All-in-all a great read that will keep you guessing as to the identity of the killer. Just make sure you read it in less time than it took me!
Hidden was published by Emma Kavanagh on 23 April 2015.