‘A twisty and compelling thriller about a tangled web of secrets in a close-knit suburban community’
[ About the Book ]
CLOSE YOUR EYES
The game of hide and seek is over, everyone has gone home, but little Lily Murphy hasn’t been found. Her parents search the woods and tell themselves that the worst hasn’t happened – but deep down they know this peaceful Dublin suburb will never be the same again.
COUNT TO TEN
Years later, Joanna moves into a new house. It seems perfect in every way, until she learns that this was once Lily Murphy’s home. From that moment onwards, a sense of dread seems to follow her from room to room.
AND WHEN YOU OPEN THEM, YOUR CHILD IS GONE
As Joanna unravels the secrets at the heart of this close-knit community, her own dark past begins to resurface. Because she thinks she knows what really happened to Lily – and if the truth gets out, it might be her undoing…
[ My Review ]
Hide and Seek by Andrea Mara will be released in Ireland July 28th and August 4th in the UK. It is described as ‘the unmissable new crime thriller for 2022 from the top ten Sunday Times bestselling author of All Her Fault‘ and is the perfect addictive read to keep you turning those pages fast.
What really happened to little Lily Murphy over thirty years ago? Why is a local community so cagey of questions? What secrets is Joanna Stedman keeping close to her chest? These are some of the questions you will ask yourself when reading Hide And Seek.
When Joanna and Mark Stedman move into their new home with their young family in a well-to-do Dublin suburb they are excited at the prospect of their life ahead. A nice home, a bit of a fixer-upper, with a big garden and plenty of potential is just what they wanted. It is also near to Mark’s parents which has its benefits but what Joanna hadn’t realised is that the house has a dark history. In conversation with one of her new neighbours, Joanna discovers that their new home was once the family home of Lily Murphy, a three-year-old little girl who went missing in the eighties, following a game of hide-and-seek. Her parents, Robbie and Mary Murphy, had been a glamorous couple who hosted dinner parties and were popular in the community but, after Lily disappeared, nothing was ever the same for the residents of Rowanbrook.
Joanna has an immediate feeling of apprehension and a foreboding descends on her. Discombobulated within the walls of her new home, Joanna needs to discover the truth about Lily Murphy’s disappearance for the sake of her own peace and for that of her family. Through talking to neighbours she picks up snippets of information but it’s all very vague. Adamant that there is more to this story, Joanna expands her search online and starts to make some very frightening discoveries.
Andrea Mara has been dubbed ‘the queen of the cancel-your-plans thriller’ and it is easy to see why. With twists and turns aplenty the reader is taken on a very unsettling journey as the past is slowly drip-fed, increasing the tension and the suspense as the chapters unfold. Joanna’s personal history is wonderfully intertwined throughout leaving the reader guessing at every stage of the reveal. Character-wise Andrea Mara has created a brilliant ensemble, with an almost stage-play-vibe off some of the scenes. It is very easy to visualise the nosey neighbour, the cold neighbour, the friendly one, the curious one, the suspicious one and so on as vital clues are unearthed and we get to see behind the scenes of this very close-knit community.
A missing child is the stuff of nightmares and in Hide and Seek Andrea Mara perfectly executes the ripple effect that such a tragic event can cause. Joanna, as a narrator is excellently depicted as someone we never really get to know. There is a mystery to Joanna, leaving the reader at times frustrated and at other times having empathy for her. Her behaviour is erratic but as the story develops, we slowly discover the truth.
Hide and Seek is a smart and compelling read offering the reader a wonderfully unpredictable experience right down to the very final page. Andrea Mara is a class writer. She understands people. She understands suburbia. She understands children and she most definitely understands her readers and what they now expect from her books. A highly enjoyable, multi-layered dual-time mystery, Hide and Seek is another original tale from this exciting Irish writer.
[ Bio ]
Andrea Mara is a Sunday Times and Irish Times top ten bestselling author, and has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband and three young children, and also runs multi-award-winning parent and lifestyle blog, OfficeMum.ie.
Hide and Seek is her second thriller to be published in the UK and internationally.
Twitter ~ @AndreaMaraBooks