Thursday, January 7, 2021

Review: Hidden by Laura Griffin

by Laura Griffin
Release Date: August 25th 2020
2020 Berkley Books
Kindle Edition; 328 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593197325
ASIN: B08274GMW4
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up.

Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands.

As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.
My Thoughts
Hidden is the first book in a new series, but it was definitely not my favourite book by this author.  I have enjoyed many books by Griffin, and usually love the blend of romance and suspense she creates in her stories.  I thought the storyline was fine, but just didn't feel that connection between the two main characters that elevated this story into romantic suspense that usually takes her books into a whole other level.  
Jacob and Bailey, the two main characters in this new series, are quite interesting in their own way.  Bailey is a firecracker of a reporter, demanding answers to questions she has about the crime and about the safety of the community.  I liked her personality and enjoyed her spirit as she definitely doesn't give in to those around her and is quite persistent.
Jacob, the lead detective in the case, is the opposite personality wise, much quieter and deeper, but I liked him quite a bit as well.  He is also very persistent and determined to get to the truth no matter what his higher-ups prefer.   I enjoyed learning more about what made him tick.
What I didn't like was the two of them together romantically, it just didn't work for me.  I thought they worked really well as a 'team', but it seemed like the author suddenly remembered she was writing romantic suspense and would add these scenes between them to add spark and sensuality between them, but it fell completely fall in my estimation.  I started to just skip over those scenes as I didn't believe in their 'romance'. Sorry, but the connection just wasn't there. The author just didn't flesh out her characters, and the story line, enough for me to believe they would find romance with the other. 
The other issue I had with this book was the investigation.  Usually I am caught up in the story line to the point I can't put one of Griffin's books down, but I had to force myself to continue reading this book.  I found it predictable (I even looked at the cover page to make sure I was actually reading a Laura Griffin book), and to be honest, a bit boring.   Don't get me wrong, the police procedural aspect is solid, with plenty to sink your teeth into, but it's simple, and sort of 'light' when I usually expect something dark and heavy and complicated. Maybe that's the problem as I wasn't expecting something like this from this author.

Hidden is one of those books that stays on the light side of some pretty dark issues without fully exploring the ramifications of those issues, something over which I was disappointed as I expected more.  I liked the two main characters, but they were definitely not fully fleshed out or developed and the romance between them didn't make a lot of sense.  Hopefully the next book in the series will be more up to her usual standards, but this one definitely fell a bit flat for me.  It was still interesting and I think a lot of people will enjoy it. 



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