Title: The Hidden by Melanie Golding
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 334 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Following her acclaimed debut Little Darlings, Melanie Golding’s newest folkloric suspense is a spine-tingling twist on Celtic mythology.
One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off.
Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers.
Every night, Ruby gazes into Gregor’s apartment, leading to the discovery of his secret family: his unusually silent daughter and his mentally unstable wife, Constance, who insists that she is descended from the mythological Selkies. She begs Ruby to aid in finding the sealskin that Gregor has hidden from her, making it impossible to return to her people.
DS Joanna Harper’s investigation into Gregor’s assault leads her to CCTV footage of the mother-daughter pair from town. Harper realizes she knows the woman almost as well as she knows herself: it’s her estranged daughter, Ruby. No matter the depth of Ruby’s involvement, she knows she will choose her daughter over her career.
Steeped in local legend and exploring the depths of what it means to be a mother, Melanie Golding’s newest novel is “a lyrical and atmospheric folktale for the modern age.” (Bustle, on Little Darlings)
The Hidden by Melanie Golding is a riveting mystery.
Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper and Police Constable Steve Atkinson are working on the attempted murder of Gregor Franks. The case is perplexing due to signs that a young child lived with him. Which is somewhat odd since as far as anyone knows, he does not have children. Joanna’s questioning of the neighbor below him turns into a possible lead. When she follows up on this detail, Joanna is shocked to discover a personal connection to the case.
Joanna keeps this information from Atkinson as she follows up by herself. She is also still investigating who tried to murder Gregor but she is very distracted as she tries to locate her estranged daughter, Ruby. They have not been in much contact for the past year and she cannot fathom how Ruby’s path crossed with the victim. Joanna is also trying to figure out how the young girl with her daughter is connected to Gregor.
The Hidden is an exceptionally well-written mystery that is fast-paced. Joanna knows she has a conflict of interest, but she is well aware she will be removed from the case if she tells her boss. While she tries to find the connection, a series of flashbacks prove to quite illuminating as they reveal exactly how Ruby becomes entangled the victim. As her regrets begin to pile up, Ruby is increasing danger. With absolutely stunning plot twists, Melanie Golding brings this thrilling, suspense-laden mystery to an edge of the seat conclusion.