Hide and Seek

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Maggie Bradford is on trial for murder, and this is the celebrity trial of the decade. Maggie is one of the most beloved singer/songwriters anywhere. She's also the devoted mother of two children. She seems to have it all. And so, the whole world wants to know, how could she have murdered not just one, but two of her husbands?

Maggie Bradford is one of the most beloved singer/songwriters anywhere. She's also the devoted mother of two children. She seems to have it ...

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Maggie Bradford is on trial for murder, and this is the celebrity trial of the decade. Maggie is one of the most beloved singer/songwriters anywhere. She's also the devoted mother of two children. She seems to have it all. And so, the whole world wants to know, how could she have murdered not just one, but two of her husbands?

Maggie Bradford is one of the most beloved singer/songwriters anywhere. She's also the devoted mother of two children. She seems to have it all. And so, how could she have murdered not just one, but two of her husbands? With unrelenting suspense, James Patterson answers that question.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If Thomas Harris's psycho-thrillers are the creme de la creme of the genre, then Patterson's (Kiss the Girls; Along Came a Spider) are the skimmed milk-fluid, but low in substance. In his new novel, the author again lays down a narrative line so gripping-an effect achieved partly through a plethora of one-sentence paragraphs, la Sidney Sheldon-that the reader may not notice, or care, that characterization and originality have fallen by the wayside. Patterson tells his story through two points of view: there's the the first-person voice of Maggie Bradford, who kills her abusive husband in the novel's flashback prologue and has now become a world-famous singer-songwriter (``I love your music, Maggie,'' Barbra Streisand tells her); and there's a third-person narration that is often filtered through the eyes of Will Shepherd, the celebrated soccer star who romances Maggie after her interim lover, an older tycoon, dies of a heart attack. The devastatingly handsome Will likes to hurt women (``there was a distinctly good part in him, but also a bad part''), however, and sometimes even to kill them. Will seems to want Maggie to save him from himself. Using his beauty and charm on her and her children, he wins her hand in marriage. That union sets up a major-league deja vu, two murder trials that aren't quite riveting and a final Big Twist that will only surprise those fresh to the thriller genre. Still, Will's descent into cartoonishness, and various loose threads, will probably not bother readers swept along by this lightweight pop fiction.
Library Journal
Beautiful Maggie Bradford seems to have it all: a successful career as a singer/songwriter, fame, money, and two precious children. However, she killed her first husband in self-defense and now she's in jail awaiting trial for the murder of her second husband, Will Shepherd, a charming, psychotic professional soccer player. At first, Maggie's marriage seems fine, but soon Will begins to act irrationally. The increasing tension comes to a head when Maggie comes to believe that Will has been sexually abusing her daughter; the resulting confrontation ends in Will's death and Maggie's arrest. Climaxing in Maggie's celebrity trial, this page-turner delivers a solid punch, complete with a surprise ending. Patterson (Kiss the Girls, Little, Brown, 1995) offers a vivid, emotionally revealing tale. Recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/95.]-Stacie Browne Chandler, Whitman P.L., Mass.
Donna Seaman
Patterson takes his titles from nursery rhymes and child's play: Along Came a Spider (1992), Kiss the Girls (1994), and here the somewhat menacing game of hide-and-seek, a perfect tip-off to the mix of sweetness and evil in this quick read about a celebrity murder trial. Now there's an original idea. At any rate, Patterson's protagonist is a tall, blonde songwriter named Maggie who had a rotten childhood, then made a rotten marriage. When hubby attacks Maggie and their three-year-old daughter, Maggie shoots to kill, does, and then, mercifully, isn't charged with murder. Life goes on, and Maggie channels her grief into her music, moves to New York, and BAM! she's a star. The money pours in, she plays to adulating crowds, her music fills the airwaves. She falls in love with a wonderful man. Then he dies. Two down. Meanwhile, a very nasty boy named Will--whose mother abandoned him and his brother, whose father committed suicide, and whose aunt seduced him at a dangerously young age--is becoming a lethally nasty man. Will, a soccer star, is also famous and just happens to love Maggie's songs. When they marry, the media goes wild; when Will is shot dead, they're positively frenzied. Is the lovely songstress a killer, a black widow? Oy. This ranks right up there with chewing gum, but, hey, sometimes that's all you want, or can handle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736633796
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

James Patterson
Not making any bones about his bid for success, James Patterson once declared he wanted to be known as “the king of the page-turners.” While that may seem like a pretty grand ambition, Patterson is as worthy of that title as any author working today.


James Patterson had been working as a very successful advertising copywriter when he decided to put his Masters degree in English to a somewhat different use. Inspired by bestselling hair-raising thrillers like The Day of the Jackal and The Exorcist, Patterson went to work on his first novel. Published in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number established him as a writer of tightly constructed mysteries that move forward with the velocity of a bullet. For his startling debut, Patterson was awarded the prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel—an auspicious beginning to one of the most successful careers in publishing.

A string of gripping standalone mysteries followed, but it was the 1992 release of Along Came a Spider that elevated Patterson to superstar status. Introducing Alex Cross, a brilliant black police detective/forensic psychologist, the novel was the first installment in a series of bestselling thrillers that has proved to be a cash cow for the author and his publisher.

Examining Patterson's track record, it's obvious that he believes one good series deserves another…maybe even a third! In 2001, he debuted the Women's Murder Club with 1st to Die, a fast-paced thriller featuring four female crime fighters living in San Francisco—a homicide detective, a medical examiner, an assistant D.A., and a cub reporter. The successful series has continued with other numerically titled installments. Then, spinning off a set of characters from a previous novel (1998's When the Wind Blows), in 2005 he published Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Featuring a "flock" of genetically engineered flying children, the novel was a huge hit, especially with teen readers, and spawned a series of vastly popular fantasy adventures.

In addition to continuing his bestselling literary franchises, Patterson has also found time to co-author thrillers with other writers—including Peter de Jonge, Andrew Gross, Maxine Paetro, and Howard Roughan—and has even ventured into romance (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, Sam's Letters to Jennifer) and children's literature (santaKid). Writing at an astonishing pace, this prolific author has turned himself into a one-man publishing juggernaut, fulfilling his clearly stated ambition to become "the king of the page-turners."

Good To Know

Patterson's Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas was inspired by a diary his wife kept that tracked the development of their toddler son.

Two of Patterson's Alex Cross mysteries (Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls) have been turned into films starring Morgan Freeman; in 2007, a weekly television series premiered, based on the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels.

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    1. Hometown:
      Palm Beach, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newburgh, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Hide & Seek

By James Patterson

Warner Books

Copyright © 1996 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-60371-6

Chapter One

Early winter, 1984

More snow. Another Christmas season. Almost a year after Phillip's death-or as some would have it, his murder.

I sat back in the yellow cab as it bounced and plowed through the slush-filled New York streets. I was trying to put my mind in a calm place, but it wouldn't be still for me. I had promised myself I wouldn't be afraid-but I was very afraid.

Outside the streaked, wet taxi window, even the Salvation Army Santa Clauses looked miserable. Nobody sane or sensible was out walking today; those who were would not take their hands from their pockets to make a donation. The traffic cops looked like abandoned snowmen. The pigeons had disappeared from every windowsill and rooftop.

I glanced at my own reflection in the cab's window. Very long, blond hair, mostly with a mind of its own, but my best physical attribute, I thought. Freckles that no amount of makeup would ever cover. Nose a little out of proportion. Brown eyes that had, I knew, regained at least some of their half-forgotten sparkle. A small mouth, thickish lips-made, as Phillip joked in the happy days, for fellatio.

The thought of him made me shudder. The idea sex still makes me afraid, and much worse.

It had been a year since the terrible shooting at Point. My recovery was slow, both physically and mentally, and it wasn't complete. My leg still hurt, and brain didn't function with the clarity I'd once taken pride in. I found myself frightened by small noises. I saw threats in nighttime streets when none existed. Previously in pretty good control of my feelings, I had lost that control. I would cry for no reason, grow angry a neighbor's kindness, be suspicious of friends and afraid of strangers. There were times when I hated myself!

There had been an investigation, of course, but no trial. If Jennie hadn't been so badly beaten, if it had been only me with bloodied hair and a damaged leg might have been sent to prison that first time. But the fact that my three-year-old was injured too made our claim of self-defense more convincing.

No prosecutor wanted to take on the case, and the military academy was only too happy to have it hushed up.

Officers, it was a well-known fact, did not attack their wives and daughters. Wives and daughters really didn't exist at the Point. We were decorative.

So I took flight, and traveled to New York City, where I rented a two-bedroom apartment. It was a second-floor walkup in a dreary brownstone on West Seventy-fifth Street I located a day school for Jennie. Our lives began to move at a slower pace.

But I hadn't found what I wanted most: an end to the pain, a beginning to a new life.

I was twenty-five years old. I wore the letter M. I had taken someone's life, even if it had been in self-defense.

No guts, no glory, I urged myself on. I was definitely moving on sheer guts that day. I was chasing a dream I'd held on to and cherished for more than a dozen years.

Perhaps today that new life would start. But was I doing the right thing? Was I ready for this? Or was I about to make a horribly embarrassing mistake?

I tightly held a briefcase in my lap, filled with songs I had written during the past year. Songs-the music and the words-were my way of exposing my pain and expressing my hopes for the future.

Actually, I'd been writing songs since I was ten or eleven. Mostly in my head, but sometimes on paper. The songs were the one thing that everybody seemed to like about me, the one thing I did well.

Were they any good? I thought maybe they were, but Jennie and a squirrel named Smooch were the only ones who had heard them, and, eager for praise as I was, I knew enough not to trust the opinion of a four-year-old, or a squirrel.

Soon, though, there would be another listener. I was on my way to audition the songs for Barry Kahn, the Barry Kahn, the singer-composer who had electrified America a decade ago and now was one of the most important record producers in the world.

Barry Kahn wanted to hear my songs.

Or so he said.


Excerpted from Hide & Seek by James Patterson Copyright © 1996 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2001


    when i read this book it was not what i expect it to be. Because i borrowed it from my world history teacher, when i was in my freshman year, and what i read was teenfiction. Not that i didn't stray to grownfiction every now and than. So i didn't really expect the book to be good. Until i read the first chapter than i became hooked on it like a starved kitten. Each plot and twist was fasinating, i've grown attached to Max, as if she was a relative. every word was brillant and i hope he comes out with a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2001

    The best book I have read yet!

    I thought this book was great it kept me guessing on what was going to happen at the end. It kept at a point were i couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it if you have a great imagination and if you love twist in books!

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