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Review of 'The Hidden' - Alison Knight

Secrets, nightmares, and a big black dog…

Montana, 1973.

Faye has found sanctuary in a simple cabin in the wilds of the Crazy Mountains in Montana with a dog called Bear. She’s a long way from her old life in England. But she knows that one day her peaceful life could be invaded by her enemies, and she keeps her guard up at all times.

Jeff returns home from Vietnam, a wounded, damaged hero, just weeks after his father’s sudden death. He finds hostile, secretive Faye living in his cabin and refusing to leave. The reading of his father’s will adds another layer of mystery to this woman’s presence.

The tension between them grows as Jeff tries to overcome his nightmares and expose Faye’s scars and secrets. The more he learns about her, the more enigmatic she seems.

When her enemies come calling, she needs Jeff to protect her. Can they learn to trust each other? And will Faye ever be safe?

Any regular readers of my reviews will know how much I adored the first book in this series - Mine so I've been trying to make time in between reading all the stuff I have to read, to get stuck into The Legacy, the second in the series. I've been getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to set aside some time to read it, so when I saw that The Hidden was available for review, I jumped at the chance to take part in Alison's blog tour, knowing that I would want to read Book 2 before Book 3.

Having now read all three, this is what I would say about The Hidden. Its tone is much darker than the previous two books and the tension level is ratcheted up - there is a far greater level of obvious threat than in either of the other two books. The series gets progressively darker and moves from a 'romance with a touch of tension and a dramatic twist' to an 'out and out thriller with the odd dash of romance'. The Hidden was utterly compelling and I read it in pretty much one sitting, only pausing to take my son to his tap class. I hurled him through the door, waving cheerily as I ran back to my car to finish it off.

This series as a whole is quite different to most others I've read. Whilst each book stands alone and could be enjoyed as an individual book, the second and third definitely have more impact if you've read the ones that come before. I think I was certainly far more invested in Faye's character because I'd read The Legacy and what came across really strongly throughout was the level of her personal growth. Her character in each was vastly different, but when you knew her back story, you could see how events had impacted upon her. The way the series is structured is that a minor event in Book 1 is the catalyst for Book 2 and the main event in Book 2 is the catalyst for the events of Book 3. The major characters in Book 1 are bit part players in the opening to Book 2 and the (relatively speaking) minor characters in Book 2 come to the fore in Book 3. With my writer's hat on, it's a really intriguing way to structure a series and I'm curious whether this was always Alison's intention, or whether it's something that grew organically out of the original book. Either way it provides a fascinating character study.

This is a fantastic book and is definitely part of a series that will eventually make its way onto my library shelves, where sit 'the best of the best'. If you loved Mine and The Legacy, you NEED to read this book. If you haven't read them yet, get all three, make yourself a cup of coffee, grab a blanket and a box of tissues and get stuck into them: you're in for a treat!

Alison Knight has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Alison currently has a trio of novels published by Darkstroke. The first, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

The Legacy, a drama set in London in 1969, was inspired by a scene in Mine, and explores how an unexpected legacy can be both a blessing and a curse. The Legacy looks at themes of greed and expectations, and the lengths people will go to when they are desperate.

The Hidden, available from September 2021, is a romantic suspense that picks up the story of one of the characters in The Legacy. Set in Montana in 1973, two wounded, damaged people are forced together, each guarding their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other? And will their nightmares ever end?

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2 comentários

29 de out. de 2021

Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful review. I'm so pleased you enjoyed The Hidden and the rest of the series. In answer to your question, the series wasn't intended. I wrote Mine to tell the story of real people who mean a great deal to me, but the scene where Miss Jarvis changed her will stayed in my mind and I kept wondering how her beneficiaries would react, so I just had to write The Legacy in order to find out. When I finished The Legacy, I kept wondering about Fliss - why was she such a bitch and what happened to her after the end of that story? I wanted to understand her better and find out whether…

03 de nov. de 2021
Respondendo a

Sorry for the late reply, I've only just seen this. I'm delighted you carried on their stories and although they were only in the first bit of The Legacy, it was lovely to have the characters from Mine appear. I had the same thought about Fliss so it was brilliant to get more of her story and really find out what made her tick.

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