A reminder of what the blurb says:
A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He’s unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.
Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman – before it’s too late.
To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety – both for her, and her young niece who’s been recently admitted. She’s heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?
As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman’s next target will be. But he’s there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks…
Charlie Solomon is a journalist with the local Swansea paper when she witnesses a horrifying shooting spree carried out by a lone perpetrator. As if being witness to this event were not enough, she knows some of the victims.
We are then taken back to the events leading up to this day and introduced to the characters who will form the basis of the book: the shooter, Imogen who is is a psychologist, her boyfriend, her sister Mara and niece Amy, Aden a police fire arms expert.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book, and the examination of the relationship between the characters. Told in the form of a series of first (Charlie and the shooter) and third person narratives, this is a book that requires you to keep focus, as the narrative switches temporally and has frequent changes of voice. Sometimes I did have to go back a page to work out what timeline I was in which was slightly irritating.
The story itself is quite disturbing and dramatic, and the characters are engaging and tightly written. The descriptions are excellent, painting a picture not just of believably real characters, but also of the kinds of lives they lead and their surroundings. When you read about the despair of the family in the Mumbles, you feel it, too.
The sub plots intertwine well with the main story, especially the story around Charlie’s friend, Emily, who is tragically killed on the M4 after a night out on the town, though there is one storyline involving Mara and her daughter Amy which could, I felt, have been more thoroughly concluded.
The shooter element was creepy and very satisfactorily cast of doubt on a number of characters, though I had worked out by the end who the perpetrator was.
Altogether a strong storyline, worked through coherently and with enough pace to keep me reading past my bedtime.
hidden is published on April 23rd by Cornerstone Digital