disclosure: the item mentioned has been received for the purpose of review
Today I’m taking part in a blog tour to celebrate the recent publication of the latest novel from Simon Lelic, called The Hiding Place. If you’re looking for a tense thriller with a great storyline then look no further.
The Hiding Place shifts between two timelines, 1997 and the present day. In 1997 Ben Draper was a troubled young schoolboy who has worked his way through a number of schools before being dumped by his father at the prestigious boarding school, Beaconsfield. Three older pupils take Ben under their wings and he believes that they want to be his friend. In just under four months, Ben will disappear without trace following a game of hide and seek with his new friends.
In the present day, a tip-off and a cryptic message result in the discovery of a body in the long-forgotten chapel crypt at the same school. Could Ben finally have been found? DI Robin Fleet and DS Nikki Collins are brought in to investigate and it isn’t long before the body is identified as Ben, and it is also very clear that his death was no accident.
The chapters in The Hiding Place flip between the build-up to Ben’s death in 1997 and the current day investigations as Fleet and Collins try to uncover the truth, much to the annoyance of the long-term headmaster Philip Harris who is more concerned with upholding the reputation of the school. The team also face pressure from above as political point-scoring hinders their investigation.
It would appear that the case centres around one of the original ‘friends’ from 1977, Callum Richardson, son of a school benefactor, who is now at the heart of politics. He is less than happy to talk to the police duo and appears to be a particularly unlikeable character. When Lance Wheeler, another member of the original ‘school friends’ is also found dead the story begins a series of twists and turns as Fleet and Collins seek to uncover the truth.
You can’t help but feel sorry for Ben, and it’s clear that with some love and guidance, the path of his life could have been very different. You are willing him to survive, even though you know he’s dead. The writer pulls you into the novel quickly and I found myself constantly questioning what would happen next. I certainly wasn’t expecting the ending and can thoroughly recommend The Hiding Place if you’re looking for a good read in the months ahead.
You can see what others thought of The Hiding Place as the blog tour continues, details are below.