Newest Review: ... to the layers of intrigue that Gardner lines up. Yet the book is never confusing. It's not one of those titles that is so labyrinthine in ... more
When your past catches up with you
Hide - Lisa Gardner
Member Name: Holland1
Hide - Lisa Gardner
Advantages: Lots of suspense, unusual storyline, can empathise with main character easily
Disadvantages: You won't want to put it down!
Annabelle Granger has spent her whole life running away from something....but she doesn't know what. She was seven years old when her parents uprooted her life by asking her to pack a few of her favourite items, and they moved away leaving their friends and neighbours behind, taking on a new identity. This pattern continued for years, until Annabelle reaches adulthood and becomes settled with her life following the death of her parents. Her world is turned upside down, however, when she hears of bodies being found in the grounds of a former mental health hospital, and one of the victims is reported to be..... Annabelle Granger. The identification is based on a locket bearing her name, which she had given to her best friend Dori when she was little. She visits the police and between them they try to uncover the secret of Annabelle's family history, hoping this will lead them to the person responsible for the murders.
As you would probably expect from a crime novel, there are quite a lot of characters to get to grips with in this book. This isn't helped by the fact the main character and her family have several aliases, so there were times when I had to think and backtrack to figure out who people were. The characters are introduced gradually though, so it doesn't become too confusing or overwhelming, and I wouldn't say I was confused or unsure what was going on at any time.
I found myself very empathetic towards the main character. Although obviously I have never experienced anything similar to what she is going through (thank goodness!), I warmed to her immediately and could put myself in her position to imagine what she must be feeling. There were times when I was genuinely scared for her safety, and found myself jumping at creaks in the house when reading in bed. As a person, Annabelle is very easy to warm to, and although she has been forced to lead the lifestyle of a recluse, she also has interests and things she is very passionate about, for example her sewing business and fabrics, and the love for her dog Bella is something many people can relate to. She has had a very difficult life and is a strong character on the outside, but obviously the reader is privileged to witness her more vulnerable side in terms of her feelings and fears.
As for the other characters, I found myself distrustful of pretty much everyone as I tried to work out who was looking after Annabelle's interests, and the people who couldn't be trusted. There are many suspects throughout the book, which is good if you are the kind of person who likes to get to the bottom of murder mysteries, as it will keep you guessing throughout the many twists and turns. I kept changing my mind about who I thought was responsible, and although I had figured out who could and couldn't be trusted, I didn't quite manage to put the pieces together to work out why.
The police duo in charge of the case are a male/female partnership (D.D and Dodge), and it's interesting seeing how these two work together and the chemistry they have. Although their relationship is difficult, they work well together and I was inwardly willing them to find some answers and crack the case. Interestingly, there is a romance element in the story, but even that is not as predictable as I expected.
I really enjoyed this novel, and am glad I decided to branch out into crime fiction. I have read similar books in the past, but I tend to find some of these "whodunit" books a bit similar. This one was different from the start, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the crime grabbed my attention immediately.
The pace of the novel is just right for me, although I found it took a little while to get going at the beginning. I think this was just me being impatient to find out what was going on, rather than the book being slow! The chapters alternate between Annabelle's perspective, and the investigating team's prospective. I think the fact Annabelle tells her story in first person helps us to relate to her, as we get a good idea of what is going on in her head. The other characters' feelings are described from the outside, so although we can imagine how they are feeling, some characters are focussed on more than others, so it's easy to become drawn to some rather than others. For example, we are told a lot about Dodge, but very little about his partner D.D, which means we are more likely to be on his side when they fall out over the progress of the case.
At the beginning of the book, I was struggling a little with some of the American terminology, and I think this is why I found it slow starting and didn't get into it immediately. After a while, however, I got used to this and found myself enjoying the American setting and terminology. The book is also quite descriptive, so I could picture the scenes myself based on my impressions of America from TV and films. This brought the book to life for me, as I love the scenery and city life scenes from American films and could just picture things like the flat where Annabelle lives, and so on.
There are a few sub-plots running alongside the main plot, which didn't detract from the main story but instead held my interest and made me want to continue reading. Each chapter is left on a cliffhanger, and there are many twists and turns throughout this book which keep you guessing and hold your attention.
Overall, I think this is an excellent crime novel, with a satisfying outcome. By that, I simply mean that I wasn't disappointed by the ending, and I felt that there were no loose ends which is something I have experienced with previous crime novels. Whether or not they all manage to resolve the case and live happily ever after....well, you'll just have to read it for yourself.
(Review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)
Summary: Fantastic book