“Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…
It’s Boxing Day and your friendship group has planned a hike.
You know tensions are running high.
You’ve heard the rumours flying around.
But this trip is a chance for you to reconnect.
As you head into the reserve, everyone is quiet.
It almost feels like you’ve imagined the rift.
But as the sun sets, you hear a gun shot.
One of your group is dead.
And someone you know killed them…”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Hide by Nell Pattison. Hide is published by Avon Books today (that’s Thursday 9th December 2021) and is available in paperback and digital formats. I chose to read and review a free ARC of Hide but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to El at Avon Books for sending me a proof copy.
There’s nothing I love more than a snowy setting in my psychological thrillers. There’s something about the isolation, the unpredictability and the sheer force and speed at which events can turn, that just draws me in. So when I found out that Nell Pattison’s new standalone novel, Hide, takes place in a deserted nature reserve, the day after Christmas, as the snow begins to fall, I leapt at the chance to read it. And I am so very glad I did.
Lauren has persuaded her boss at the nature reserve to allow her nature group exclusive access to the grounds on Boxing Day for their monthly meet up. The seven of them, including her estranged sister, haven’t seen each other since the incident at the Christmas party the week before and understandably, tensions are running high. For this group of wildlife enthusiasts, the chance to see the starling murmuration is an opportunity for the group to bond once again and hopefully, put the past behind them. But as a gunshot rings out across the reserve, the rest of the group suddenly realise what terrible danger they are in. They’re the only people out on the reserve as far as they know, which can mean only one thing. The victim, and the killer, is one of them…
Hide is a page-turning read where the weather, the unusual terrain and those around you pose an immediate, somewhat deadly threat. I enjoyed getting to know the nature group and watching as some relationships blossomed, whilst others were well past saving. They’re an interesting bunch with several seeing themselves as ‘experts’ in the field, and not afraid to let everyone know it. Others were the opposite. Happy to watch, listen and learn – just enjoying the company. The one thing I would not describe the group as is ‘friends’. A shared common interest bringing them together and keeping them together, rather than a sense of loyalty to one another. Which gives the author a wonderful amount of free rein and the ability to hide her killer in plain sight. Which Pattison does incredibly well.
The story is paced well with lots of shocks and surprises along the way to keep the reader engaged. The more you learn about the group, the more you start to question their motives. Sisters Lauren and Emily lead the way with bolshie Lauren taking charge. She feels her knowledge of the reserve, as an employee there, is second to none. Volunteer Morna, just as knowledgeable as Lauren but pushed to one side due to Lauren’s seniority, also takes a stand which ends up separating the group and possibly hindering their escape. All of the characters are well written but special mention must be made of Emily who I found fascinating. Following an infection in her childhood, Emily is deaf. For those of us who can hear imagine being lost in the woods, in total darkness, disorientated by a sudden snow storm and not being able to hear someone approach. I loved the character. I don’t think, from memory, I’ve read a psychological thriller featuring a deaf character before but I want more please! A different perspective which really added to the story.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Hide is a claustrophobic psychological thriller which had me glued to the pages. I was very keen to find out whodunit and more importantly why-they-dun-it, so was hesitant to put Hide down for any length of time. It’s a slow burn of a read but full of atmosphere and tension, with a number of characters you’ll take pleasure in disliking. All in all, a great book and I would happily read more by this author. Recommended.
I chose to read and review a free ARC of Hide. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Hide by Nell Pattison was published in the UK by Avon Books on 9th December 2021 and is available in paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop |
Nell Pattison is the USA Today bestselling author of THE SILENT HOUSE, SILENT NIGHT and THE SILENT SUSPECT, the crime thriller series featuring British Sign Language interpreter Paige Northwood.
After studying English at university, Nell Pattison became a teacher and specialised in Deaf education. She has been teaching in the Deaf community for 14 years in both England and Scotland, working with students who use BSL. Nell began losing her hearing in her twenties. She lives in North Lincolnshire, England, with her husband and son.