Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

Title: The Hidden Girl    
Author: Louise Millar 
Published: August 2014, Atria/Emily Bestler Books  
Format: ARC e-book, 400 pages   
Source: Netgalley  

From “a writer to watch” (Booklist), this gripping psychological thriller follows a young woman who uncovers a terrible secret in her idyllic suburban neighborhood—but who will believe her?

Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start.

Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream.

Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will's, behaviour is severely testing the bonds of her trust.

Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to unbury a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she's ever wanted at risk.

But if she does nothing, the next victim could be her...

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Louise Millar and I decided to read it because I love psychological thrillers and am always looking for new authors in this genre.

This is a weird book. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but right from the start, I felt myself glued to the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen, feeling that sense of foreboding. The characters are all richly drawn and strange in their own right, adding to that sense of mystery and it's hard to know who can be trusted.

It's clear from the beginning that things aren't quite right between Hannah and Will. They've been through a lot even before the book begins and now that they've bought this country home outside of London, the stress seems to go way up. They are in the middle of adopting a child after many failed IVF and other fertility treatments. Wanting everything to be perfect, Hannah has created a tight schedule to get the house into ship-shape, but a snowstorm derails her plans when Will is stuck in London. And then, stuck in the house by herself, strange things start happening.

As I started my review out, I said this book was weird. There were strange things going on at the house that I wasn't sure about. Were they really happening? Or was it from all the stress that Hannah was under? I really was confused yet intrigued. I also found myself both rooting for and against Hannah and Will. There were times that I wanted them to fix their marriage, but other times that I felt they didn't belong together. I love when an author creates such a reaction towards characters. 

I think this is a book that I'm going to have to reread to fully appreciate it. Are there clues along the way that I missed? I still find myself thinking about it and despite it's weirdness, it was a really good book! It's addictive and kept me glued to the pages wanting to know how it all ends.


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8 comments

  1. I was a bit the same about this book... Wondering if I'd missed something!

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  2. Well that's two of you wondering the same thing! Psychological thrillers aren't my read of choice, but I can understand how they can be riveting.

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    1. I love them!!! Keeps my on my toes and thinking the whole way through, but can see how they aren't for everyone.

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  3. This sounds like an unusual read! I like books that really stick with you after you've read them and make you question what happened throughout. Thanks for sharing! I will have to look for this one.

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    1. It's definitely a good read! Will be interested to know your thoughts if you end up picking it up.

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  4. Oh an unreliable narrator..I love when you are constantly guessing and unsure if the protagonist is cray-cray or things are really happening!

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  5. This does sound kind of weird, but not in a bad way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in your concise review, Kristin. Have a good week of reading! :)

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