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Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

3.7 34
by James Patterson

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It was the trial that electrified the world. Not only because of the defendant, Maggie Bradford, the woman whose songs captivated the world's heart. Not only because of the victim, Will Shepard, the world's most glamorous athlete. But also because everyone said Maggie had murdered not just one husband, but two. And because in Maggie's world - the world she feared and


It was the trial that electrified the world. Not only because of the defendant, Maggie Bradford, the woman whose songs captivated the world's heart. Not only because of the victim, Will Shepard, the world's most glamorous athlete. But also because everyone said Maggie had murdered not just one husband, but two. And because in Maggie's world - the world she feared and despised but could not escape, the world of the powerful, the rich, and the ruthless - both death and life could never be what they seemed. From James Patterson, bestselling author of KISS THE GIRLS and ALONG CAME A SPIDER, comes his most brilliantly realized thriller, a story that will shatter your expectations...and hold every last one of your nerves in thrall, with each twist of the plot and every turn of the page.

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.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.12(d)

Read an Excerpt

Hide & Seek

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.

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Brief Biography

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

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Hide and Seek 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm back and just finished this great book!!! This is such a good book. Its got the best surprise ending I've ever read in a good book, something you'd never expect to happen. I LOVE this book !!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started this book around 2:oo this afternoon and its only 8:30 in the evening and I'm half done and I love this book !!! I'll come back and do another comment when I'm done. Good Book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't a big reader, but the moment I opened this book I couldn't put it down. I'm hooked on Patterson books now! The plot was always taking different turns, but was easy to follow. Always keeps you guessing and on the edge. The ending was the absolute best part of the book! This is a DEFINATE must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the others who said that this novel is fascinating right from the very start. I have read two of his other novels, Black Friday and The Thomas Berryman Number , and found them to be very boring. This is such a departure . His story telling fleshes out the character of Maggie so well and bounces back and forth between her story and that of her second husband. It kept me wanting to catch up to see what would happen next and when their two lives would collide. Very good reading material. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry. I guess I'm just not a James Patterson fan. Because some of his books have been made into well-known movies, and because he is a prolific writer with an obviously strong following, I thought I should enjoy his books as well. I was wrong. The main characters are all either extremely goody-goody or psychotic. I couldn't relate. I read a second book of his just to see if this one was a fluke, but that seems to be the case with his other book as well. His formula seems to work for him, though, so I would say judge for yourself.
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It started slow, but I pushed on knowing some books are that way. I kept pushing, and pushing waiting to get hooked. It's flat. Characters not well developed, plot okay but important details are totally ignored.
Virtually NO investigation of the lead actress Will nearly killed? Come on, and NO reason as to why she didn't point to him as her attacker. And CERTAINLY when Will faked his own death, SOMEONE would have noticed Palmer missing...even at the funeral...at work...nada. There would
have been drag marks where Will placed the body. The ending of Will being in the psychiatric institution babbling jibberish was incredibly lame, and even lamer was her visit there-no way she would. I do not recommend this book. A big disappointment because other James Patterson's are really quite good.
georgiaangel191 More than 1 year ago
WOW, what a book! Starting off it was rather boring in a way but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I was on edge the whole time wondering what would happen next. The ending I never would have guessed it took me by complete surprise! Great job on yet another great book Mr. Patterson!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the storyline and the different surprises that popped up now as well as the creepy ending. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to any James Patterson fan but it is simply not my favorite book of his.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Most of the james patterson stories are good. Highly recommended for mystery lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
james patterson is my favorite author. I will and try to read all that he publishes. i couldn't connect with any of these characters and just basically this book was not a good read to me. i liked the storyline and maybe the lifetime channel will make a movie of it. i gave it 2 stars, 1 for just being written by james patterson, and 1 for the storyline
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book you start reading before you go to bed, and become forced to finish it all in one night. IT IS SO FAST!! The plot turned and twisted almost every different page. The ending was the most unexpected ending of any book I have read. GREAT GREAT BOOK
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my least favorite book by James Patterson. For some reason, it just didn't grab my attention like the others have. It wasn't very interesting and I could have cared less to what happened to any of the characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best part of it all is that Paterson is very decsriptive and thats what makes you want to read it more and the endings are unexpectable, I would allow anyone to read this book, its a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was Excellent! I don't like reading one bit, but this book kept me up all night.