The prologue has Rowan, the nanny in prison for the death of one of her charges, writing letters that explain her situation. She explains wanting the job of nanny and taking a few shortcuts to obtain the lucrative position. The reader already knows she is in prison, but Rowan recounts the events that led to the death of the child for the lawyer (and the reader).
Is Rowan a reliable narrator?
I'm not sure the technique of using the prologue works that well--sometimes knowing the end works well, sometimes it doesn't. It may have been better to simply follow Rowan's journey from applying for the job and through the events that followed afterwards. There would still be plenty of perplexing circumstances to keep the reader in doubt about what is going on.
I looked forward to this one and wanted to like it more than I did.
A modern take on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, but lacking the chilling ambiguity.
Read in May; blog post scheduled for July 26.
Psychological Mystery. Aug. 6, 2019. Print length: 384 pages.
I adored Jamie Mason's Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie and so I expected the quirkiness of The Hidden Things.
Fourteen-year-old Carly Liddell is on her way home from school unaware that she has attracted the attention of a predator. Although a reasonably competent kid, the attack and her ability to fend off the attacker initiates some profound changes in Carly.
Her remarkable escape is caught on a security camera, and when Carly watches, she gains a new perception of what she is capable of accomplishing. The event is both traumatic and eye-opening for Carly.
The video helps the police catch Carly's assailant quickly; it also catches the public's attention and the video goes viral. Most people are simply impressed with Carly's ability to incapacitate her assailant and escape, but at least two people who see the video are interested in the painting hanging on the wall--a painting by Flinck that was part of the famous (and very real) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist in 1990.
Mason has the ability to create characters whose predicaments pull you in--and even the bad guys elicit some empathy. Carly, a girl on the cusp of womanhood, must reevaluate what she knows about family, trust, and things that have been hidden in all kinds of ways.
I just wish Jamie Mason would write faster. If you haven't read Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie you are missing something.
Read in June; blog review scheduled for July 26.
Mystery/Thriller. Aug. 13, 2019. Print length: 352 pages.