Genres: Adult fiction, mystery.
These Things Hidden begins with Allison Glenn being released from prison after serving five years. For what crime, we’re not quite sure. All we know is that she is being shunned by her parents and her little sister, Brynn, refuses to speak to her. Allison desperately wants to connect with her family again and get her life back together, but the secret she has been holding onto for five years is about to be revealed.
The story, set in the small town of Linden Falls, Iowa, alternates between four viewpoints: Allison, Brynn, Claire – a bookshop owner and mother of Joshua, a five year old boy, and Charm – a young nursing student. I enjoyed slowly discovering the relationship between the four women and how they were all connected to the crime that was committed five years ago. My favourite characters were Claire and Charm. I thought the relationship between Claire and her son was a wonderful thing to read about. As for Charm, she grew up in a less happy family unit, until her mother married Gus. Five years on, Claire is now estranged from her mother and lives with Gus permanently, caring for him as he sick.
There were two main issues I had with the book: the crime that Allison had been charged with was not quite believable to me, even more so as the novel progressed. I thought that the ending was also quite dramatic and unrealistic – certain characters seem to change personality and state of mind extremely quickly.
Nonetheless, These Things Hidden is an enjoyable and surprisingly quick read. It’s a perfect novel for those who enjoy mystery novels that focus on human relationships, with the odd twist thrown in.
My Rating: ★★★½
Read as part of Adult Fiction Month