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Hide, by Lisa Gardner and Maggi-Meg Reed (Narrator)


Hide, by Lisa Gardner

Once again Lisa Gardner shows that she is one of the better authors of the "whodunit" genre. She weaves a story that will hold your interest from start to its shocking conclusion. The story starts with a 32-year-old woman who has recently returned to Boston. Annabelle lives in a small apartment with her Australian sheep dog, works in a Starbucks and is living a drab life. Looking at the morning paper she finds out that she is dead. The story says that six bodies enclosed in sealed plastic bags were found buried in a pit on abandoned land that once was a mental institution. The police can identify only one of the six very young girls, and the victim's name is Annabelle M.Granger. Annabelle goes to the police to tell them she's alive, and the compelling story begins.

When she was seven, she came home from school to find her parents and 5 suitcases in the living room, ready to move to what would be the first many new cities and new identities. Annabelle spent 15 years running and hiding, but she never knew why. Her parents are now dead, and Annabelle has returned to Boston. Lead investigator on the case of the murdered girls, D. D. Warren, recruits Detective Bobby Dodge, because the burial of the girls in a pit reminds her of what happened to a victim in one of Bobby's cases. Catherine Gagnon, the woman whose life Bobby saved in Gardner's Alone, had also been imprisoned in a pit as a young girl.

Gardner's book is full of suspense and conjecture. Listening to the book is like trying to put together a mental jigsaw puzzle where the pieces change color and shape as you move them around. Unexpected connections between the mental hospital where the bodies have been stashed and an assortment of characters and crimes make this a spellbinding story. Her use of descriptive language allows the listener to get into Annabelle's head. When Annabelle expresses feeling "dipped in ugliness and suffocated by violence," it's easy to see why she's a loner. Maggi-Meg Reed does an excellent job of narrating this story. She's able to convey both Annabelle's strength and vulnerability as well as create the tension and anticipation needed in a good thriller.

As expected in a mystery, the conclusion is the unexpected. In this case, Gardner doesn't disappoint. Hide is an excellent book, superbly crafted and expertly narrated. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to play amateur detective and who wants to be rewarded with the thrill of listening to a chilling account of bizarre, but plausible events.

John Mormon

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