Jeff Manning is hit by a car and killed on his way home from work. In the wake of this tragedy, two women are left to mourn him, his wife Claire and his co-worker Patricia ‘Tish’ Underhill, with whom it appears Jeff has had an affair. Told from the perspective of these three characters, in the days and weeks following Jeff’s death, through the grief and shock, we slowly piece together the struggles and alienation growing between Jeff and Claire and witness the blooming relationship between Jeff and Tish.
Hidden, Catherine McKenzie’s fourth novel is a nicely written, quiet, slow burn story that quite realistically delves into a topic that all couples deal with sooner or later in their relationships or marriages. How well do you know your spouse? What secrets are they keeping and if something were to happen to you, what secrets would be uncovered in your life? Ultimately, do we really want to know everything, every secret about the person we love?
I only had one criticism that unfortunately diminished my enjoyment of Hidden somewhat. With such a great, attention grabbing prologue, I was hooked and intrigued, looking forward to getting to know these characters and their stories. Although their histories develop nicely enough, everything just kind of rolls along and as I was reading, I kept waiting and hoping for the other shoe to drop, for emotions to intensify, for some yelling, screaming even crying. Anything actually, to show that these characters truly cared for one another.
Was this on par with Catherine McKenzie’s other novels? Not quite, but a good read nonetheless. Perfect for a quiet, rainy, lazy day read.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.