The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

by David Bell
3.8 15


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The Hiding Place 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
I am in love with David Bell! Last year his novel Cemetery Girl blew me away and his new book The Hiding Place delivered a tale that was suspenseful, mysterious and delved into small town issues. David had my attention from the first sentence, “What do you remember from that day Janet?” and held me firmly till the last. He spun a tale with fleshed out characters that at times stole my breath away. The tale begins around the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day four year old Justin Manning went missing while at the park with his seven year old sister Janet. Janet is now a single Mom who has moved back into her childhood home. She is helping her father who lost his job at the local factory. The newspaper is running a piece about the murder and conviction of Justin's killer. The first article is about Dante Rogers, a black man from the wrong side of the tracks who was convicted and served his sentence for the murder of Justin. He is now living back in town and still claiming his innocence. A young, eager reporter begins to make Detective Stynes, the police officer involved and Janet question events that took place all those years ago. The tale that unfolded kept me enthralled as we pieced together that day in the park. David Bell has an uncanny ability to create characters that blur the lines of fiction and become real. I connected with them all and felt like they could be neighbors. Janet has suffered from guilt, the loss of her mother and the stigma of being an unwed mother in a small town. She is incredibly tough and mourns what she has lost. Her Dad has shut down; refusing to rehash the past and his coldness hurts Janet. Ashleigh is Janet’s fifteen year old daughter, she is bright and inquisitive. She overhears a young man tell her mother he had answers about that day. When her mother doesn't act, she takes it upon herself to find him. Kevin is Ashleigh friend and she likes him, but they both feel the town’s stares at this interracial friendship. Detective Stynes is single, fatherless and questions how he and his partner handled the investigation all those years ago. He was only a rookie, and despite concerns he deferred to his partner. I liked him and thought he was fair. Michael was Janet’s best friend back then, and she had a huge crush on him. He is troubled by memories and has returned to seek answers. Janet leans on Michael but he may not be able to give her the support she needs. The world-building was splendid as Bell took us from past to present, revealing emotions, secrets and small town quirks. The tale was believable and I imagined it unraveling in small towns across the world. The story unfolded at a wonderful pace with peaks and valleys where I was able to catch my breath and absorb what had happened. With nothing more than a simple conversation between two characters he opened up thoughts, emotions and truths that kept me riveted. The monsters in this novel will surprise you and the tale will stay with you long after you close the book. I want to thank Penguin for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of turns and questions raised, keeps the reader engaged
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a few chapters to really get into it, but I really enjoyed it! I would also recommend A Dog Among Thorns by Joshua R. Fields!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first read by David Bell. The book was captivating and kept my curiosity peaked through the entire book. Really enjoyed the charachter development and follow through with each charachter. Strongly recommend this one!
THaskins More than 1 year ago
When I read the summary of this book, I was hopeful I would enjoy it. It appeared to be the kind of book that would hold my interest (which is difficult to do!). I was not one bit disappointed! All the way to the very last page! I don't want to say too much, to give the story away. What I will say is this: when I read books, any books, even for pure pleasure, I read every word. I might reread a section or two, to be sure I understand every character and how they fit in the story. I want to be certain I understand completely every angle/twist and turn (when I get to the end); I like to see how critical parts of the story are intertwined to make the story flow when reading. As I read this story, everything came together perfectly. I don't know how else to say it; parts I read earlier in the story, which I gave no real weight, fit so nicely as the story concluded. I already purchased Cemetary Girl, the book David Bell wrote prior to The Hiding Place, and can't wait to get started on it! I believe he has another book out, which I will, no doubt, purchase after I finish this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This wasn't an action packed mystery novel, but it didn't need to be for it to be an amazing read. It was a nice break from the usual mysteries. The characters and plot are enough to hold your attention from beginning to end. This is my first book by this author and I'm about to start my second!
LostLenoreLL More than 1 year ago
Twenty-five years ago, Janet Manning was seven years old and Justin Manning four. Being a big sister, Janet had the responsibility, for the first time, to go to the park with Justin and to keep an eye on him. Not a big task after all but when Michael, Janet friend and crush appear, she had forgotten all about her little brother and just like that, in a blink of an eye, Justin had disappeared and was found dead later. Some black guy with pedophile behavior was seen playing with Justin earlier and with witnesses and proofs that the guy did it, the case was closed. Now, on the twenty-five anniversary of Justin death, strange things start to happen. A strange person comes at night to Janet house telling her that things were not the way everybody thought. The reporter give hints about racism in the easy conviction, Michael returns home and acts strangely and even Janet and the detective in charge start to have doubts. What if the wrong man was sent to prison? What if Janet was instructed to say those things that many years ago? Was Justin really dead? So many what ifs to be questioned that everything will change again to the Manning family. I loved this book. Since the first sentence, that you realize that this story is not what is supposed to be. So many questions that you (reader) ask yourself in order to understand the plot. For instance, who is the parent that lets a seven year old in charge of a toddler? And why? As I continued to read, the plot thickens and I could not stop reading it and I was so deep within that I could sense the hope and angst and even the pain of this family. They were stuck in the past, separated by secrets and lies and illusions. When I realized who was the "bad guy" I felt shocked and sad but I realized that it could not be any other way.  Brilliantly written, captivating and a little disturbing (but in a good way).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started off slow for me but then it caught my attention. A good mystery about a death of a young child and the impact on the family. Would recommend for a book club. Lots of discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
David Bell introduces the reader to the family of Justin Manning, a boy who was murdered twenty-five years ago, when he was only four years old, his body found six weeks after he had disappeared, buried in a shallow grave in the woods near a playground. His sister, Janet Manning, who, at the age of seven, had been entrusted for the first time with the care of her brother in the park where he had been playing, compounded by her mother’s death a few years later from (as they said) a broken heart, has been plagued with guilt for all the intervening years. The anniversary of the boy’s disappearance brings it all back to the forefront of the consciousness of the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. Discrepancies in various accounts of the day of Justin’s disappearance come to light in the aftermath of the front-page newspaper article commemorating the murder, and for the first time questions arise about the guilt of Dante Rogers, a black youth seventeen years old and living, literally, on the other side of the tracks at the time of his arrest. Convicted by an all-white jury, he had been paroled three years ago after serving 22 years in prison. The novel explores the relationships among the Manning family members: Janet, in her early thirties, office manager for the dean of the local college and the single mother of fifteen-year-old Ashleigh, and Janet’s dad, 62 years old and unemployed for the last two years, Janet and her daughter living with Janet’s dad to assist with finances. Janet is determined to get to the truth of her brother’s death, with the assistance of one of the cops who originally investigated the crime, leading to the exposure of long-buried secrets and one unexpected, and shocking, turn of events after another. The author has crafted a well-written, intriguing tale, exploring as it does the part played by memory, trauma, and the relationships among and between family, friends, and others whose lives one may only tangentially touch, but to great and long-lasting effect. A gripping, fast-paced novel, and one which is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NookieSH More than 1 year ago
SERIOUSLY! The paperback is $4.48 and the NOOK BOOK IS $12.99?!?!?!?!?