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The Hidden

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One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off. Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers. Every One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off. Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers. Every night, Ruby gazes into Gregor’s apartment, leading to the discovery of his secret family: his unusually silent daughter and his mentally unstable wife, Constance, who insists that she is descended from the mythological Selkies. She begs Ruby to aid in finding the sealskin that Gregor has hidden from her, making it impossible to return to her people. DS Joanna Harper’s investigation into Gregor’s assault leads her to CCTV footage of the mother-daughter pair from town. Harper realizes she knows the woman almost as well as she knows herself: it’s her estranged daughter, Ruby. No matter the depth of Ruby’s involvement, she knows she will choose her daughter over her career.


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One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off. Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers. Every One dark December night, in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother finally arrives, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent case of a toddler running off. Gregor, a seemingly single man, is found bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment, but the discovery of children’s toys raises more questions than answers. Every night, Ruby gazes into Gregor’s apartment, leading to the discovery of his secret family: his unusually silent daughter and his mentally unstable wife, Constance, who insists that she is descended from the mythological Selkies. She begs Ruby to aid in finding the sealskin that Gregor has hidden from her, making it impossible to return to her people. DS Joanna Harper’s investigation into Gregor’s assault leads her to CCTV footage of the mother-daughter pair from town. Harper realizes she knows the woman almost as well as she knows herself: it’s her estranged daughter, Ruby. No matter the depth of Ruby’s involvement, she knows she will choose her daughter over her career.

30 review for The Hidden

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Hidden by Melanie Golding, Narrated by Penelope Rawlins DS Joanna Harper is a favorite character of mine, now that I've enjoyed two books where she makes an appearance. She played a smaller part in Little Darlings but in this book she is one of the main characters. I love being in her head because it's a funny, cynical place to be. I hope she shows up in future books by Melanie Golding. Harper is investigating what appears to be an attempted homicide. As she digs deeper, this case could also i The Hidden by Melanie Golding, Narrated by Penelope Rawlins DS Joanna Harper is a favorite character of mine, now that I've enjoyed two books where she makes an appearance. She played a smaller part in Little Darlings but in this book she is one of the main characters. I love being in her head because it's a funny, cynical place to be. I hope she shows up in future books by Melanie Golding. Harper is investigating what appears to be an attempted homicide. As she digs deeper, this case could also involve a missing mother and her toddler. Harper goes from career driven cop mode to protective mother who will do anything to protect her child mode when she sees CCTV footage of her estranged daughter carrying the toddler. I was entranced by the audiobook of The Hidden even though I had to set aside my overly critical thinking and just go with the flow. The child's mother insists that she is descended from the mythological Selkies. The adversary in this story seems to be all powerful and all knowing. And both Harper and her daughter, Ruby, make some extremely questionable decisions. But still, the story had me hooked and I did like Harper, Ruby, and little Leonie so much that I had to see exactly what was going on and how things would end. I so hope we see Harper again. The narration of the audiobook was very good. Not everyone can do the voice of a toddler very well but I loved hearing Leonie voiced in this story. I wanted to reach out and hug that little girl, she seemed so real and so adorable. Publication: November 9th 2021 Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meredith (WIFI is working! Slowly catching up!)

    Enthralling! A Selkie, a mysterious man, and an abandoned child are connected in an enchanting yet disturbing mystery revolving around mythical beings and motherhood. The Hidden begins with almost 2-year-old Leonie found alone on a cold December night by shops in a seaside town crying for her mother. At the same time, a man is discovered near death in his apartment. When DS Joanna Harper discovers a personal connection to both cases, she risks her career to save the one she loves the most. The ti Enthralling! A Selkie, a mysterious man, and an abandoned child are connected in an enchanting yet disturbing mystery revolving around mythical beings and motherhood. The Hidden begins with almost 2-year-old Leonie found alone on a cold December night by shops in a seaside town crying for her mother. At the same time, a man is discovered near death in his apartment. When DS Joanna Harper discovers a personal connection to both cases, she risks her career to save the one she loves the most. The timeline switches between December in the present and December one year ago. The reader is introduced to all of the main characters early on: Ruby, DS Joanna Harper, Constance, Gregor, and Leonie, but how they are all connected and how Leonie winds up on her own is slowly unraveled in the past timeline. Ruby and Joanna are the primary narrators. Both characters are sympathetic and easy to root for. Leonie stole my heart. This was my first book by Melanie Golding, and I loved her writing style. She adds a layer of originality with the Selkies. This element could have felt over-the-top and ridiculous, but she seamlessly weaves the mythical creatures into the storyline. The atmosphere is dark, tense, and menacing. On the surface, The Hidden seems to be a procedural/mystery/suspense novel, but it is much more. It is about fact vs. myth, the turbulent relationships between mothers and daughters, and the power of the invisible. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars rounded up** The Hidden was one of my most anticipated Adult Mysteries of the year. As you can see by my rating, it didn't disappoint. I absolutely loved Little Darlings by Melanie Golding when I read it back in 2019 and was very anxious to see what she would come up with next. At the time, I thought that was a stand-alone novel. Because of that, I was absolutely elated when I discovered Golding was writing this new book also featuring DS Joanna Harper. Harper's character really drew me **4.5-stars rounded up** The Hidden was one of my most anticipated Adult Mysteries of the year. As you can see by my rating, it didn't disappoint. I absolutely loved Little Darlings by Melanie Golding when I read it back in 2019 and was very anxious to see what she would come up with next. At the time, I thought that was a stand-alone novel. Because of that, I was absolutely elated when I discovered Golding was writing this new book also featuring DS Joanna Harper. Harper's character really drew me in during the investigation in Little Darlings, so I was psyched to get the opportunity to crack another case with her. Called to the home of a seemingly-single man, Joanna initially believes it will be a homicide investigation, as the man was found bludgeoned to a pulp, unconscious in his bathtub, but it turns into much more than that. Observing children's toys and other evidence of a family, Joanna wonders where they could be. Just prior to the man in the bathtub, in a small seaside town, the police are called after a little girl is found wandering alone down a beachside street. After the stricken mother suddenly appears, she is briefly questioned and the officers involved believe it to be an accident; the child slipped away, nothing more. Mother and child are released. Watching video footage of the abandoned toddler incident, Joanna is shocked to discover she knows the alleged mother. It's her estranged daughter, Ruby. Are these two cases related? That's what Joanna needs to find out, and if they are, what is Ruby doing with this little girl? It's certainly not her child, is it? I love Golding's writing style. The way she sets up her stories with that captivating is it supernatural, is it not supernatural feel. I absolutely adore it. In this story, there is a character who purports to be descended from the mythical selkies. I loved how that lore was woven into this story. There were many different layers to the mystery and I was completely engaged the entire way through. As it all started to come together, my mind was spinning, how was it going to end!? Golding did a great job of pulling it together, while also continuing to build intensity. Additionally, I loved having the opportunity to learn more about Joanna and her family. I hope this means this won't be the last we see of her. I did listen to the audiobook and I would highly recommend that. There is an element related to the selkie lore that required a bit of singing on the narrator's part, and wow, what a great job she did! It was haunting. I felt the narration style truly added to the story. I was hooked once I started listening. Thank you so much to the publisher, Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I had such a great time reading this novel and will be keeping my fingers crossed that Golding delivers more DS Joanna Harper in the future!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Following the success of Little Darlings, Melanie Golding brings us another psychological thriller that again includes a little folklore, this time involving selkies. A little girl ( Leonie ) is found outside a seaside corner shop, on a cold winter’s evening. The Social Services are called, and arrive around the same time as a young woman who is claiming to be Leonie’s mother. Meanwhile, not too far away, DS Joanna Harper is called to the home of Gregor Franks, found in his bath with serious inj Following the success of Little Darlings, Melanie Golding brings us another psychological thriller that again includes a little folklore, this time involving selkies. A little girl ( Leonie ) is found outside a seaside corner shop, on a cold winter’s evening. The Social Services are called, and arrive around the same time as a young woman who is claiming to be Leonie’s mother. Meanwhile, not too far away, DS Joanna Harper is called to the home of Gregor Franks, found in his bath with serious injuries, and close to death. How the two cases are connected is what DS Harper has to establish. However, the case will bring about a conflict of interest for Harper, a fact she chooses not to share with her team. The storyline places great emphasis on mother/ child relationships - what would you do for your child, how far would you go? An unusual plot, interesting characters, and some heart stopping moments made this a great follow up to Little Darlings. *I was invited to read The Replacement by the publisher, and have given an honest unbiased review in exchange*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    3.5 Stars Folklore blended into a mystery involving sea creatures that transform into human form. A remote island, a woman from the sea, an onlooker and assumed explanations for what happens next. DS Joanna Harper returns from the author's first novel Little Darlings and is on a new case. A child has been abandoned at a small seaside town. There are questions about why the child was allowed to leave with a mysterious woman claiming to be her mother. Many other aspects to the story are taking place - 3.5 Stars Folklore blended into a mystery involving sea creatures that transform into human form. A remote island, a woman from the sea, an onlooker and assumed explanations for what happens next. DS Joanna Harper returns from the author's first novel Little Darlings and is on a new case. A child has been abandoned at a small seaside town. There are questions about why the child was allowed to leave with a mysterious woman claiming to be her mother. Many other aspects to the story are taking place - A man in yoga pants performing in front of his window, a woman who watches him regularly (she refers to him as "Yoga Man"), a murder investigation and a strange, glassy eyed woman. I was entertained throughout reading this, but was also confused by the bouncing timeline and it took some time to come together. Lots of moving parts, questions about motherhood and tough decisions that mothers are faced with. Recommend if you are looking for a unique read and enjoy some legend weaved into mysteries of the sea. This one will capture your attention. Thanks to NG and the publisher for my review copy. OUT November 9, 2021

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really admire Melanie Golding for blending folklore into her mysteries. I adored Little Darlings and The Hidden is an impressive sophomore effort. If anyone told me that I was going to enjoy a book about Selkies, or seal people for those that aren't in the know, I would have laughed at you right in your face but here we are and there you have it. Joanna Harper returns but this time the stakes are much more personal for her. A young girl, a toddler, was found abandoned outside a store front. Au I really admire Melanie Golding for blending folklore into her mysteries. I adored Little Darlings and The Hidden is an impressive sophomore effort. If anyone told me that I was going to enjoy a book about Selkies, or seal people for those that aren't in the know, I would have laughed at you right in your face but here we are and there you have it. Joanna Harper returns but this time the stakes are much more personal for her. A young girl, a toddler, was found abandoned outside a store front. Authorities are called but the mother returns claiming her daughter ran off and that she's been searching for her for the last 20 minutes. Satisfied with what she has to say they are released and free to go about their business. Joanna Harper is called to a scene in which a man lays near death in his tub. What's strange is the bedroom filled with children's toys. Where did the child go? We also have Ruby a young lonely woman and violinist. She strikes up a friendship with her neighbor, Gregor. Ruby had no idea that Gregor still lives with his ex Constance and their daughter together, Leoni. Gregor claims that Constance is mentally ill and agoraphobic so they stay together for the sake of the child. Ruby thinks something is amiss and the more time she spends with Constance and Leoni she is sure Gregor isn't who he is claiming to be. These storylines will connect in a most fascinating way. The pacing of this is on the slower side but it's riveting nonetheless. The atmosphere, the not knowing that the heck is going on, will keep you glued to the pages. I can't wait to see what Golding thinks up next! 4 stars! Thank you to Edelweiss and Crooked Lane Books for my copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    A young child is left on her own in Cleethorpes, her mother Constance Douglas is missing but Ruby Harper is her Replacement. An overflowing bath leaks into the apartment below with a body in it which proves to be that of Gregor Franks. The apartment shows signs that a child lives there. DS Joanna Harper investigates. The story is told from multiple points of view but principally Ruby and Joanna. This is such a good read as it’s an original blend of the folklore of the Selkie with that of a polic A young child is left on her own in Cleethorpes, her mother Constance Douglas is missing but Ruby Harper is her Replacement. An overflowing bath leaks into the apartment below with a body in it which proves to be that of Gregor Franks. The apartment shows signs that a child lives there. DS Joanna Harper investigates. The story is told from multiple points of view but principally Ruby and Joanna. This is such a good read as it’s an original blend of the folklore of the Selkie with that of a police mystery and it’s compelling reading to see how it connects. I love the folklore element and the author takes us to Barra in the Outer Hebrides, what a treat for a lover of the islands like myself!! There’s a fantastic atmosphere created at times, it’s very creepy and chilling with moments of fear, suspense and tension which then veers towards the mythical and mystical. This is a very well written novel with the plot threads interweaving well, taking us on plot conundrums with multiple twists and turns and questioning what is true and what is false. There is some very powerful imagery at times, some of which is quite dark. I thoroughly enjoy the motherhood theme that permeates throughout and which poses the question of just how far you would go for the love of a child. Overall, this is an intriguing and riveting read which is very hard to put down, it’s multilayered and just that bit different which I really appreciate. 4+ With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HQ for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "In Norse and Celtic mythology, selkies (also spelled silkies, sylkies, selchies) or selkie folk (Scots: selkie fowk) meaning "seal folk" are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin."-Wikipedia Melanie Golding has created another engaging book relying on folklore and mythology. If you have read Little Darlings, you will recognize DS Joanna Harper as the lead investigator in that book. She is back, along with Ruby and her parents in "In Norse and Celtic mythology, selkies (also spelled silkies, sylkies, selchies) or selkie folk (Scots: selkie fowk) meaning "seal folk" are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin."-Wikipedia Melanie Golding has created another engaging book relying on folklore and mythology. If you have read Little Darlings, you will recognize DS Joanna Harper as the lead investigator in that book. She is back, along with Ruby and her parents in this book. It was nice to see them again and with Ruby having a major part in this book. The book begins as a female toddler is found abandoned in a seaside town. When her mother arrives moments later, claiming the child ran off and she has been frantically looking for her, the authorities present decide to release the pair instead of investigating further. When a man is found clinging to life in a bathtub in his apartment, DS Joanna Harper and her team are called in. Even more troubling, children's toys are found as is a bedroom with a padlock on it. Strange and worrisome indeed. Where is the child? Where is her mother? What happened to the man? Could the missing child be the child that was found abandoned in the small seaside town? DS Joanna Harper believes the abandoned child is the missing child. When CCTV footage is examined, Joanna recognizes the woman with the child - Ruby (her daughter)!!!! CCTV also showed another woman running toward the sea leaving behind the child. Who was she? Ruby gave a fake name when she claimed the abandoned child. Why use the name Constance? Who was Constance? Could she be the woman running toward the sea, the one who abandoned her daughter? What will a mother do to protect her child? What lengths will she go to? What choices does she have? Through the various flashbacks in the book, readers learn more about Ruby and her relationships to various characters in this book. We learn who the man in the tub is, who the child is, and who the child's mother is. That is all you are getting from me. I feel it is best to go in as blind as possible. I enjoyed how she began each chapter with quotes/passages that pertain to the subject matter in this book. I loved the merging of folklore and mythology with fiction. I also enjoyed the look at motherhood and the choices mother's make. What does it mean to be a mother? This book builds slowly, setting the stage for the second half of the book which picks up speed as it brings us to the conclusion. This book, like an onion, has layers. There is what you think you know, what you are told, and then what really is happening. Told through multiple POV, this book drew me in with its mystery, the danger, and the investigation. After the halfway mark, I did not want to put this book down and it became a real page turner for me. I enjoy Golding’s writing and how she manages difficult subjects while blending dread, suspense and hope all together. Fans of mythology will enjoy this one. If you have read Little Darlings, you will know what to expect. If you have not read that book, I highly recommend it. Can you read this book without reading Little Darlings? Absolutely! But it is nice knowing more of the backstory of Joanna Harper and her family. Another hit by Golding! She writes books that I want to read and upon fishing this book, I am looking forward to her next. Be sure to read the Author's note at the end. She described how she was inspired to write this book. Beautifully written, riveting, and full of tension. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    That was really rather beautiful, a wonderful story. I was excited to get this book after I had enjoyed her previous work, Little Darlings, but I think this one is even better. After weeks of spying on Yoga Man from her 7th floor window, Ruby finally meets him, Gregor Franks, and they become friendly. He seems sweet and shy. She is soon invited over and meets Constance the willowy and wilting mother of his child Leonie, almost two years old. Constance is apparently quite deranged but Gregor takes That was really rather beautiful, a wonderful story. I was excited to get this book after I had enjoyed her previous work, Little Darlings, but I think this one is even better. After weeks of spying on Yoga Man from her 7th floor window, Ruby finally meets him, Gregor Franks, and they become friendly. He seems sweet and shy. She is soon invited over and meets Constance the willowy and wilting mother of his child Leonie, almost two years old. Constance is apparently quite deranged but Gregor takes his responsibilities seriously. Soon Ruby finds herself with feelings for Gregor that she cannot act upon as she has agreed to look after Constance and the child when Gregor, who normally works from home, has to go out. Eventually the two women become friendly and Constance starts to trust her with the truth about Gregor. He is not what he seems. So the women concoct an audacious plan so that Constance can go back to her people and she will come for Leonie later - which takes us to the start of the book where Constance is supposed to hand Leonie over to Ruby and disappear. This is not a spoiler it’s right at the start of the book. But things don’t go to plan and Ruby has to disappear with Leonie in a desperate effort to keep her safe. I can’t say anymore about the plot but it was so well done. DS Joanna Harper is Ruby’s much older sister, sort of, and she gets involved with the search for the child. She is also investigating an attempted murder which had everything to do with the rest of the story. It was good to see how both Constance and Ruby gained confidence as they learned to trust each other. It was interesting to watch Harper realise that family is everything and it was scary to watch what Gregor became. I don’t normally enjoy paranormal elements in my books (and I knew it was coming in this one) but it worked in this story. It was a very light touch and it just suited this slightly ethereal story. This is a book I really enjoyed. And who could go past that beautiful cover which represents the book so well? Many thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Yes! Ms. Golding who wrote deliciously original debut “Little Darlings” : a mystery meets dark fantasy which reminded us of Neil Gaiman and Grimm Brothers’ kind of whirlwind, complex tales returned back with her next book! We’re introduced to DS Joanna Harper at the first book : investigating a mother’s missing twins’ case: the mother insists her kids have been replaced by fairy changelings. At this new book, she also investigates a case related with Roane a.k.a selkies: a special cult connect Yes! Ms. Golding who wrote deliciously original debut “Little Darlings” : a mystery meets dark fantasy which reminded us of Neil Gaiman and Grimm Brothers’ kind of whirlwind, complex tales returned back with her next book! We’re introduced to DS Joanna Harper at the first book : investigating a mother’s missing twins’ case: the mother insists her kids have been replaced by fairy changelings. At this new book, she also investigates a case related with Roane a.k.a selkies: a special cult connected with seal worship which have special ritual to wrap themselves with sealskin coat on each solstice or equinox, dropping them into the sea and swimming until dawn. Aren’t you already as intrigued as like me? Joanna is summoned to the crime scene at the Christmas Eve, a bath brim full of bloody water as a man lying unconscious inside, suffering from head trauma. This is not suicide attempt! From the angle of the gash on his head, he couldn’t accidentally harm himself. Somebody tried to kill him. They identified him as Gregor Frank. They also find toys belong to a little child as like the neighbor downstairs mentioned who heard a child and a mother whisper each other a few days ago. But there is no record Gregor has a child and a partner. Joanna has no idea in the meantime her own daughter Ruby ( she gave birth to her when she was a teenager and she let her mother raise her as her own child and they are raised as sisters) is saving that missing child from the hands of social service by acting like she’s the mother. When we keep reading the flashbacks we understand that Gregor and Ruby are neighbors and Gregor lives with Constance whom he had one night stand relationship ended with her pregnancy and their ultra smart, nearly three years old kid Leonie also lives with them. But Constance suffers from agoraphobia and delusions. She thinks she’s some kind of sea creature, a member of clan, looking for her sealskin coat. Good hearted Ruby already left her alcoholic grandmother/ mother’s house because of harsh things she told her. She starts living at the community building, estranged relationship with Joanna, writing letters to her old love Sam who also suffers from trauma, living secluded, lonely life, healing herself with the music she played. She forms a habit to stalk her neighbor’s yoga seances in the middle of the night when she can not sleep. One day at the outside, they bump each other and with special classical music interest of yoga man a.k.a Gregor intrigues her. He invites her in his house, introducing Constance and his child. Ruby starts to stop by playing her instrument and hanging out with this weird kind of family trio but as she starts to learn more about their dysfunctional relationship patterns and their secrets, she finds herself in a very dangerous path. Joanna also deals with the most stressful case she’s ever gotten: she’s trying to track her own daughter as person of interest. Why Ruby acted like Leonie is her own daughter? Why Constance and Leone left the apartment? Who tried to kill Gregor? Will he survive? What are the secrets they both keep from each other? A delicious combination of myths, urban legends, dark tales and murder mystery. I loved the second book more than the first one. We get closer look to personal life of Joanna Harper. The author’s genuine, realistic approach to the motherhood and emotional conclusion of the story made me cry. I loved it! It was weird, quirky, original and interestingly riveting, unputdownable ! I’m rounding up 4.5 stars to 5 epic, sealskin, motherhood, complex stars! I’m looking forward to read more DS Harper books ASAP! They are truly addictive! Special thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Melanie Golding’s sophomore novel is like her first, ‘Little Darlings’, an unconventional blend of psychological thriller, police mystery and mythology. The intuitive young detective from the first novel, DS Joanna Harper, also makes a welcome return as the detective in charge of this case. In the novel’s opening scene, a small girl is found alone on the street of a small seaside town of Cleethorpes on the English east coast. The police are called, but shortly afterwards a relieved woman appears Melanie Golding’s sophomore novel is like her first, ‘Little Darlings’, an unconventional blend of psychological thriller, police mystery and mythology. The intuitive young detective from the first novel, DS Joanna Harper, also makes a welcome return as the detective in charge of this case. In the novel’s opening scene, a small girl is found alone on the street of a small seaside town of Cleethorpes on the English east coast. The police are called, but shortly afterwards a relieved woman appears claiming to be the child’s mother. She tells them the child ran away when her back was turned and she’s been looking for her everywhere. Since the little girl clearly knows her, she is eventually allowed to take her and leave, without the police realising she is not the little girl’s mother. In Sheffield, DS Joanna Harper has been called to an apartment where a man called Gregor Franks has been found floating in an overflowing bath, beaten and close to death. She discovers a child’s cot, clothes and toys in the apartment, but the neighbours have never been aware of anyone else ever living in the apartment. Why would Gregor keep it a secret? As she’s leaving the scene of the crime, Joanna notices that her estranged sister Ruby’s flat is in the building opposite. She hasn’t heard from Ruby for quite a while as she isn’t answering her phone and wonders how she’s doing. A talented violinist, she loves her job at a music school and, the last time she spoke to Joanna, mentioned making some new friends, so Joanna hopes she is happy. Nothing is as it seems on the surface of this novel. Relationships are more complex than they appear and at the centre is one frightened woman who only wants to return to her home and her clan while keeping her daughter safe. A central theme of the novel is the enduring bond between mothers and their children. There are several different types of mothers in this novel, with different relationships to their children, but all of them would do whatever it takes to protect their child. The events leading up to Gregor’s near death and the search for those involved is told from a range of viewpoints, giving insight into the thoughts and actions of the main characters. A slow boiler of a mystery, stratling revelations are gradually released as all the pieces start to slot together. At times the mood of the novel is atmospheric and almost dark with the wild and restless ocean playing a major role. The folk-lore element of the plot blends in superbly with the modern day mystery, resulting in immersive and engrossing read. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy an unusual element in their crime novels. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for a copy to read. This original review was first published in Mystery & Suspense Magazine https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/re...

  12. 4 out of 5

    James

    The Hidden is the second book written by Melanie Golding that I've read. Part mystery/thriller part fantasy, her stories are etched from tales about mothers and creatures with dark histories. Just crossing a line that I can relate to, not so much that it's a world of unknown. The hook is the eerie sense of reality that lurks beneath the surface, calling readers like a mermaid's siren. Could this really happen today? Told in a few POVs and time periods, we learn what happened THEN and what's happe The Hidden is the second book written by Melanie Golding that I've read. Part mystery/thriller part fantasy, her stories are etched from tales about mothers and creatures with dark histories. Just crossing a line that I can relate to, not so much that it's a world of unknown. The hook is the eerie sense of reality that lurks beneath the surface, calling readers like a mermaid's siren. Could this really happen today? Told in a few POVs and time periods, we learn what happened THEN and what's happening NOW. Our police investigator has a familial connection to one of the women who apparently is involved or connected with the recent attempted murder of a man in an apartment building. As the story unfolds we learn Gregor wasn't exactly whom he claimed to be... and his hold over Constance can be quite alarming. Ruby wants to protect the couple's little girl, but she's got her own family issues keeping her from accepting her own lot in life. How are these people all connected? And what is the seal creature coming out of the sea? On the plus side, the story is beautiful, ephemeral, almost effervescent. The words sing to readers like Ruby's violin or the seal creature's sirens. It flows at a great pace, drawing you in to guess the hidden meanings. On the forehead-wrinkling side, the tale of the seals and the woman who comes from a faraway land is too murky for me to really sink my teeth into as much as I'd like. It's strong, but I wanted more to overwhelm me. Instead, Constance came across as a bit too needy, and she made some poor decisions. Had I understand what she went through in her prior days, I might've been more forgiving and accepting. The good far outweighed any concerns, tho. Enjoyed the book. Glad to have read it. Will look for more from Golding in future releases.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret M (New Year, New Challenge, 12 Days 8 Genres)

    Four stars for a book that appeared predictable at the beginning until a series of surprise twists, constant story building, and multi layered plots created a story that was gripping thrilling and unexpected. The story opens with a young woman, called Ruby, being questioned by police while her two-year-old daughter Leonie, is held in a separate car by Child Services. However, we know from the start the child is not Ruby’s, but Ruby must maintain a calm composure and act with confidence when being Four stars for a book that appeared predictable at the beginning until a series of surprise twists, constant story building, and multi layered plots created a story that was gripping thrilling and unexpected. The story opens with a young woman, called Ruby, being questioned by police while her two-year-old daughter Leonie, is held in a separate car by Child Services. However, we know from the start the child is not Ruby’s, but Ruby must maintain a calm composure and act with confidence when being questioned by police to retrieve the child she claims had just run off a few minutes ago. Believing this to be an isolated incident, the police release both and leave the event unrecorded in the police files. A mistake they realise too late when pictures of the same woman and child emerge in connection with the attempted murder of a thirty-eight-year-old man who was found with severe head trauma at his home. Intrigued I was, especially when a series of unpredictable events and sub plots emerge in the story. - The woman who boards the train with a child at Sheffield is not the same woman who alights the train near Grimsby, although they are wearing the same clothes. - The detective in the story is the mother of the girl in the CCTV images, but Ruby believes Joanna is her sister not her mother. - The child in the story has learned to suppress tears when injured, sad or punished – why such abnormal behaviour in such a young child? and why has the child’s birth never been registered? Local authorities do not even know of her existence. Without giving too much away and how the story comes together, we also know there is a psychopath in the mix, multiple missing persons, recorded deaths with no bodies and a series of bundling police attempts at solving the case. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author introduces many characters and events that are connected in some way, but the author does well to reveal only a little at a time without causing confusion. The constant plot building was particularly well done and adds to the suspense and tension in the book. A novel that is well written, and although we flip between the ‘then and now’ throughout the story and different narrators, the story was easy to follow, yet nothing was compromised. The characterisation was excellent, and the plot was great. A book well worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Hidden by Melanie Golding is a thriller novel that has a touch of fantasy in the story. One of the characters in this one believes she’s a Selkie, which is a creature in Celtic and Norse mythology that can change form from a seal to human. I’d say really the book reads more like a thriller novel than fantasy coming from a fan of both genres. The book is also one that changes the point of view between characters and also has chapters that are in the past along with the current timeline. One ni The Hidden by Melanie Golding is a thriller novel that has a touch of fantasy in the story. One of the characters in this one believes she’s a Selkie, which is a creature in Celtic and Norse mythology that can change form from a seal to human. I’d say really the book reads more like a thriller novel than fantasy coming from a fan of both genres. The book is also one that changes the point of view between characters and also has chapters that are in the past along with the current timeline. One night in December police are called to two different locations for two very different reasons. At a store along the waterfront a young child is upset she can’t find her mother but soon a woman who claims to be the child’s mother arrives and says the girl ran off. At an apartment DS Joanna Harper is called in when a man is found beaten in a bathtub barely clinging to life. Soon Joanna finds evidence that the two cases may be related and that her estranged daughter may be involved. I’m not sure how others will feel about this one but I loved how Melanie Golding took the mythology and wove it into a thrilling novel. For me the story flowed well as it changed between characters with each being distinctive along the way and also as it flashed back to show the reader how everything came to be that day. The story was definitely a compelling one as I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how the investigation and the fantasy side turned out in the end. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This is the first book by Melanie Golding (ahem ... not to be confused with Megan Goldin!) that I've read although I have Little Darlings on my TBR. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book but it turned out to be quite different from what I anticipated. I felt like the author kept dropping bombshells that I was totally unprepared for, like the fact that Ruby is Joanna's daughter rather than her sister. I don't consider this a spoiler since it's mentioned in the blurb as well as in a lot This is the first book by Melanie Golding (ahem ... not to be confused with Megan Goldin!) that I've read although I have Little Darlings on my TBR. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book but it turned out to be quite different from what I anticipated. I felt like the author kept dropping bombshells that I was totally unprepared for, like the fact that Ruby is Joanna's daughter rather than her sister. I don't consider this a spoiler since it's mentioned in the blurb as well as in a lot of reviews but I read them a while ago and was taken aback when it came up. Then there was yoga man and his connection to the woman and child from the seaside. Sometimes it's an advantage when you don't remember what you've read previously! The story is told from different POVs and switches between "then" and "now" but I found it fairly easy to follow once I got used to it. I'll be honest though; more than once I had to go back and re-read some of the earlier narrative. I'm not sure if I wasn't paying attention when I read parts or what was going on but I'd suddenly find myself saying "Whaaat?!" and back I'd go. I enjoyed the story as a whole and I'd definitely recommend it. In case you're hesitant because of the folklore part of the story (I was at first), it really wasn't that outlandish and I enjoyed the excerpts from various poems and folktales at the beginning of some of the chapters. Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read an ARC of this novel. All opinions expressed are my own. Publication Date: November 9, 2021

  16. 5 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    Melanie Golding’s The Hidden is a thriller that has a selkie legend woven thru it. There are multiple voices in the story, one belonging to Ruby the estranged daughter of Detective Joanna Harper, the second one to Joanna herself, then the voice of the injured man, and an occasional voice of the mother Constance. Then the author also works out ways to screw our minds by introducing the THEN and NOW technique and it all boils down to an engrossing read. The opening chapter of a toddler abandoned in Melanie Golding’s The Hidden is a thriller that has a selkie legend woven thru it. There are multiple voices in the story, one belonging to Ruby the estranged daughter of Detective Joanna Harper, the second one to Joanna herself, then the voice of the injured man, and an occasional voice of the mother Constance. Then the author also works out ways to screw our minds by introducing the THEN and NOW technique and it all boils down to an engrossing read. The opening chapter of a toddler abandoned in the harshest winter outside a shop followed up with blood water dripping out of the ceiling, YIKES, that was one hell of a way to hook the reader in, but the pacing becomes a tad slower as the THEN comes into the picture of Ruby’s history with her neighbor and his mentally incompetent wife and their 2 yr old daughter. As Joanna’s investigation zooms into a crunch when she realizes the presence of her daughter in the unconscious victim’s life, objectivity becomes lost as Joanna struggles to remain as a copper rather than a mother. By weaving the Selkie fairy tale, there’s a sense of unreality to the whole story of Constance and even though excellently done by the author, that knuckle-worthy tension did seem to lose steam at the end. The description of the islands was so beautiful, and the music of the seals played thru the violin, now that is something I wouldn’t mind hearing every day! But by the end of it all, it was not the thriller that had me thinking about the story but the question raised by the author in her acknowledgment about the choice of a woman in captivity to return to her roots leaving her children to fend for themselves. It is a question that will never have a completely indisputable answer, isn’t it? Compelling 4 stars☂️☂️☂️☂️ Many thanks to Net Galley, Crooked Lane Books, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily. This review is published in my blog Rain'n'Books, ##Goodreads, ##Amazon India, ##Book Bub, ##Medium.com, ##Facebook, ##Twitter.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    Though there were a lot of interesting things in this story, I had a lukewarm reaction to it. I want a suspense novel to build the tension so much I don’t want to put the book down, and that just wasn’t the case with The Hidden. In one part of a seaside village, police and social services are called when a two-year-old is found wandering alone in the cold. The mother shows up, chastened and frantic. Authorities assume it’s a simple case of a toddler darting away without her mother seeing where s Though there were a lot of interesting things in this story, I had a lukewarm reaction to it. I want a suspense novel to build the tension so much I don’t want to put the book down, and that just wasn’t the case with The Hidden. In one part of a seaside village, police and social services are called when a two-year-old is found wandering alone in the cold. The mother shows up, chastened and frantic. Authorities assume it’s a simple case of a toddler darting away without her mother seeing where she went and let the pair go. In another part of town, Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper is investigating a man known as Gregor who is close to death after suffering a head injury. When she sees the surveillance tape, she recognizes the woman as her estranged daughter Ruby. Except their relationship is more complicated than it seems, as is their relationship with their parents. Ruby befriended a woman who believes she’s a selkie, or a part of a group known as “seal people,” who, when they shed their skin, can appear human. A selkie is mythology for many people, but Constance believes it’s real. Naturally, Ruby thinks she might have some mental health issues but wants to help. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES NOVEMBER 9, 2021.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This is Melanie Golding’s second book and The Hidden is another atmospheric thriller. This suspenseful tale begins: a young child is left on the footpath outside a shop; a woman eating a sandwich gets red water falling on her from an overflowing bath with a man in it; and another woman is running late for a meeting. Then Detective Joanna Harper is introduced as the team leader investigating the assault of a man unconscious in hospital. As the story unfolds all these separate events converge to r This is Melanie Golding’s second book and The Hidden is another atmospheric thriller. This suspenseful tale begins: a young child is left on the footpath outside a shop; a woman eating a sandwich gets red water falling on her from an overflowing bath with a man in it; and another woman is running late for a meeting. Then Detective Joanna Harper is introduced as the team leader investigating the assault of a man unconscious in hospital. As the story unfolds all these separate events converge to reveal an enthralling four-star whodunnit. With thanks to Crooked Lane Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced review copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and are made without fear or favour.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    I received a free e-copy of The Hidden by Melanie Golding from NetGalley for my honest review. A thrilling read filled with Celtic folklore. A little girl is found abandoned in a small seaside town. A man that is found badly injured in a bathtub. DS Joanna Harper begins to investigate the crimes and realizes that the two crimes might be related. But, not everything is as it seems. . .

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    ❤❤❤❤+ Stars I read Melanie Golding’s Little Darlings and thought it was great ~ true dark and creepy but I have been looking forward to reading another one of her stories. In that story we are introduced to Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper. Well she is back in this one. Story starts off with a lot going on. Nearly three-year old Leonie is drawn to a shop with a Christmas tree; the shop keeper is worried she has been abandoned by her parents and calls an Officer. Diane from Social Services is call ❤❤❤❤+ Stars I read Melanie Golding’s Little Darlings and thought it was great ~ true dark and creepy but I have been looking forward to reading another one of her stories. In that story we are introduced to Detective Sergeant Joanna Harper. Well she is back in this one. Story starts off with a lot going on. Nearly three-year old Leonie is drawn to a shop with a Christmas tree; the shop keeper is worried she has been abandoned by her parents and calls an Officer. Diane from Social Services is called. A woman identified herself as the mother states the child just wondered off. The little girl is calling Momma. The woman says yes “Baby Girl, Momma Bee is here. She identifies herself as Constance (which just happens to be the real mother’s name ~ however her name is Ruby.). Next we hear about the apartment with a serious leak. In the flat below, Mrs. Stefandis is concern about the leak on her ceiling from the apartment above and calls the Super to check. When he arrives his Master key doesn’t work. Police Constable Steve Atkinson and D. S Joanna Harper are called and force the door open. There they a young man Gregor Franks injured floating in the tub. Paramedics are called and he is rushed to the hospital. Joanna Harper and is in on this investigation, the apartment is checked. They find toys suitable for a young child, two bedrooms ~ one neat with men’s belongings and the other messy with an adult bed as well as a child’s bed. The plot gets even thicker when Joanna finds out that her own daughter Ruby is involved. (Joanna was just thirteen when she had Rudy ~ her mother raised Ruby as Joanna’s sister). Okay I presented you with a lot and YES! It all happens in the beginning. We find out more about each of these characters, including a connection with the “selkies” (a cult connected to seals and the ritual connection with sealskin coats). In this case a mother who is letting her child go in order to have a better life. (It seems so shocking that a mot Then there is the additional story of mother/daughter relationships. Starts out Wow slows downs and then Wow pops up again!!! There is a lot going on this story; definitely more complex than my typical psychological thriller with twists and turns. I am definitely looking forward to DS Harper’s next adventure. I always enjoy reading the ‘Author’s Notes’. In this Melanie Golding talks about her research and that the “Selkies” folklore does exist in Ireland, England, Scotland, as well as many other Scandinavian countries. The Folktales are told in different versions in all different parts of the world! Oh I would love to participate in an “Interview with Melanie Golding”! Let me know if you hear of one!!! Want to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this eGalley. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for professional review purposes. Publishing Release Date scheduled for November 9, 2021

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karine

    What would it take for a loving mother to leave her young child in the middle of a street during one of the coldest days of the year? A young family lives in a secluded penthouse in London: Gregor is a charming father and Constance a troubled but loving mother to their little toddler. In comes Ruby, a chance encounter, and she becomes almost like a second mother to the child, attracted by Gregor's charm and intrigued by the mysterious Constance. Then Gregor ends up almost dead in his bath and b What would it take for a loving mother to leave her young child in the middle of a street during one of the coldest days of the year? A young family lives in a secluded penthouse in London: Gregor is a charming father and Constance a troubled but loving mother to their little toddler. In comes Ruby, a chance encounter, and she becomes almost like a second mother to the child, attracted by Gregor's charm and intrigued by the mysterious Constance. Then Gregor ends up almost dead in his bath and both woman and child are running for their lives. What happened? By coincidence, it is police officer Jo who is assigned to the case, who happens to be Ruby's sister. Little by little we learn that nothing is as it seems, and all the characters have their troubled pasts and hidden truths. The one thing that stand out is that Constance believes she is a selkie, a creature that can live on land as a human and at sea as a seal. It is up to the reader to believe this or not, as the story can easily be read as a complex mental health issue of Constance, or even that she is part of a cult living on the Hebrides. Either way, the child is in danger and needs saving. The book reads easily, and the characters and surroundings are well detailed. However, the lead character - Ruby - is very unlikable. She is stubborn, makes all the wrong decisions and she could have avoided both her very complicated family life and the whole situation with Constance if she just would have done the right thing. The selkie folklore contributes nicely into the story, something that I wouldn't have expected and I was intrigued by it. I've hovered between 3 and 4 stars, but I'll settle with 4, as I must say I that even if there are just too many coincidences to make it fully believable, the plot is original and I genuinely liked it. A genuine thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 One dark December night , in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother arrives twenty frantic minutes later, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent accident of a toddler running off. But when a man is found beaten and left for dead in his apartment and a bedroom is discovered to contain a padlock and - most worryingly of all - children's toys DS Jenna Harper begins to suspect the little girl on the seafront was not who 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 One dark December night , in a small seaside town, a little girl is found abandoned. When her mother arrives twenty frantic minutes later, authorities release the pair, believing it to be an innocent accident of a toddler running off. But when a man is found beaten and left for dead in his apartment and a bedroom is discovered to contain a padlock and - most worryingly of all - children's toys DS Jenna Harper begins to suspect the little girl on the seafront was not who her mother claimed. The pace is slow to begin with as we get some background and character information. We are then taken on a dark journey which could be terrifying at times. The story is told over a dual timeline and from multiple points of view. The book combines a police procedural with a bit of folklore and mystery. The characters were an interesting bunch. I would like to thank #NetGalley #HQ and the author #MelanieGolding for my ARC of #TheReplacement in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    When a small unaccompanied girl is found wandering into a shop the owner calls the police. A short time later a woman arrives and claims to be the child’s mother. Nearby a mans body in found injured and near to death in a bathtub and a woman walks naked into the sea. A slow moving thriller with some folklore and a few interesting characters. Thank you to NetGalley and Blogger HQ for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    3.5 stars The blend of fantasy and thriller made this story a unique read for me. It was told using alternating perspectives and timelines. One involves detective Joanna working on the case of an attempted murder in present time. The other involves her sister/daughter Ruby getting involved with a couple and their young daughter in the past. The two timelines eventually merge. This was an entertaining audiobook. The narrator’s voices were superb. The story itself was slow to start but picked up as 3.5 stars The blend of fantasy and thriller made this story a unique read for me. It was told using alternating perspectives and timelines. One involves detective Joanna working on the case of an attempted murder in present time. The other involves her sister/daughter Ruby getting involved with a couple and their young daughter in the past. The two timelines eventually merge. This was an entertaining audiobook. The narrator’s voices were superb. The story itself was slow to start but picked up as it went along. The author did a good job of building suspense. The ending was a tad predictable but I enjoyed it. Overall a well told mystery that was engaging. It won’t win any awards but was entertaining and successfully weaved in the magical realism. Thank you to Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for an advanced audio copy in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Apoorva

    A freaking 770 pages! A sizeable victory for me as I barely possess the patience to read a lengthy novel. But honestly, I never even felt the burden of it from the first page as it was so engaging. The very initial page & episode usually help us understand how it's gonna pan out for the rest of the novel. A blend of lore & mystery was the first one for me & the writer set it superbly. We usually hear tales of our ancestors that's come down for ages, but mixing it into such a magnificent book is n A freaking 770 pages! A sizeable victory for me as I barely possess the patience to read a lengthy novel. But honestly, I never even felt the burden of it from the first page as it was so engaging. The very initial page & episode usually help us understand how it's gonna pan out for the rest of the novel. A blend of lore & mystery was the first one for me & the writer set it superbly. We usually hear tales of our ancestors that's come down for ages, but mixing it into such a magnificent book is no mean feat. Plus, it revolves around seals which had me further involved. (Tell me, how can information on shape-shifters not get anyone's notice.) I haven't read the author's first fiction & after seeing this one, I can't wait to land my hands on it. The novel is composed of multiple POVs meeting different timelines. In some areas, I observed I was getting a tiny bit lost analyzing the timelines beside the POVs, but later, the overall narrative got all together. After I completed the account, it got me to ponder, what if all those stories are very true & how I would respond to it if I had to endure it sometime. I would like to thank NetGalley, Author Melanie Golding & Publisher Crooked Lane Books for the e-ARC of the novel. I am giving my review voluntarily in exchange for a complimentary copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    4.5 stars The Hidden by Melanie Golding is a psychological thriller. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Crooked Lane Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) DS Joana Harper is called to investigate the assault on Gregor Franks, who was found badly bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment bath.  He may not survive. Gregor' 4.5 stars The Hidden by Melanie Golding is a psychological thriller. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Crooked Lane Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) DS Joana Harper is called to investigate the assault on Gregor Franks, who was found badly bludgeoned and left for dead in his apartment bath.  He may not survive. Gregor's apartment brings more questions, as they discovered a crib and children's toys, but neighbours insist he lived alone. Ruby has been quietly falling for Gregor.  She has been watching  his apartment, from her own apartment  window across the way.  One day she sees another woman and a child in the window, and eventually meets Constance, the mentally troubled wife of Gregor, and their daughter Leonie.  Constance insists that Gregor has hidden her sealskin from her, and without it she cannot return to her people, the mythological Selkies.  Ruby realizes that not all is as it seems, but she is very worried bout Leonie.  She agrees to help Constance escape. One evening in December, Constance leaves Leonie outside a shop, and Ruby "rescues" her. Meanwhile, Joana, investigating Gregor's beating, spies Ruby on a CCTV camera with Leonie, and knows trouble is brewing.  Ruby is her daughter.  If it becomes a choice between her job and her daughter, Ruby will win. My Opinions:    First, this isn't being touted as a series, but DS Joana Harper plays a major role in this book, and she was in this author's last book, Little Darlings.  I agree, they don't have to be read in order. This book is about motherhood, and family dynamics.  How far a mother will go to protect her daughter, or herself, and that sometimes the choices aren't clear.  The story is told from the perspectives of Joana, Ruby, and "The Injured Man", and in two timelines.  It is all very straight-forward. This book mixes mystery and folklore in such a way that the reader starts second-guessing themselves -- well I did.  I loved the legend of the Selkies (seal people).  The author wove the story in and out of the legend, and the whole thing was riveting. Absolutely loved this book (although it was a little long). For a more complete review of this book and others (including my reason for choosing to read this, author information and a favorite quotation or two from this book), please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

  27. 4 out of 5

    Indieflower

    Mystery and crime with a generous sprinkling of mythology and folklore, what's not to like? Melanie Golding is now on my auto request list, I really enjoy the blending of genres that seems to be her thing. I loved the Selkie folklore, it's not something I've come across much in books (though there is a little known but lovely Irish movie called Ondine that's worth checking out) and I found it really interesting. Intriguing characters and story, 4 stars. Mystery and crime with a generous sprinkling of mythology and folklore, what's not to like? Melanie Golding is now on my auto request list, I really enjoy the blending of genres that seems to be her thing. I loved the Selkie folklore, it's not something I've come across much in books (though there is a little known but lovely Irish movie called Ondine that's worth checking out) and I found it really interesting. Intriguing characters and story, 4 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    In The Hidden, Melanie Golding brings back the detective she introduced readers to in Little Darlings. Joanna Harper is investigating another strange case and, this time, it’s personal. Two events - a seemingly abandoned child with a mother who swoops in to claim her just as authorities arrive and a man who has suffered a serious head injury after an attack in his own home - prove to be connected. Joanna quickly discovers another connection that involves her own daughter, with whom she has a comp In The Hidden, Melanie Golding brings back the detective she introduced readers to in Little Darlings. Joanna Harper is investigating another strange case and, this time, it’s personal. Two events - a seemingly abandoned child with a mother who swoops in to claim her just as authorities arrive and a man who has suffered a serious head injury after an attack in his own home - prove to be connected. Joanna quickly discovers another connection that involves her own daughter, with whom she has a complicated relationship. Additionally, some obscure Celtic mythology is woven into this dark tale! Melanie Golding set the stage well in The Hidden. The first half proved magical, suspenseful, and intriguing. While some of the dialogue felt clunky, I was, overall, enjoying the story. My perspective began to crumble somewhere around the 50% mark. With the incorporation of the Celtic myth, there are fantastical moments and those are not the moments I took issue with as my ability to suspend disbelief faltered. It was the elements that mirrored real life that became increasingly implausible, steering me away from my initial enjoyment. Aside from that, I also felt the story began to drag and I was not wholly satisfied with how the author wrapped things up. Although I wanted more than what the ending gave me, there is no denying that the epilogue included some touching elements that brought tears to my eyes. This certainly wasn’t a bad story. While it didn’t completely work for me, I think Golding offered plenty of aspects that may thrill other readers. I am immensely grateful to Dreamscape Media for my audio review copy through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. The Hidden will be out on November 9, 2021.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Loved this. I'm a fan of fiction that takes on something of mythology and I'm a fan of psychological thrillers so The Replacement was a pretty perfect book for me. A girl gets lost but her mother isn't far behind her. Is she though? This is how this kicks off then the author takes you on a darkly imaginative journey which is at times beautiful and at other times horrifying. It is an enthralling tale that I was sad to leave behind me, one that was unpredictable, often strange but always addictive. Loved this. I'm a fan of fiction that takes on something of mythology and I'm a fan of psychological thrillers so The Replacement was a pretty perfect book for me. A girl gets lost but her mother isn't far behind her. Is she though? This is how this kicks off then the author takes you on a darkly imaginative journey which is at times beautiful and at other times horrifying. It is an enthralling tale that I was sad to leave behind me, one that was unpredictable, often strange but always addictive. Difficult to describe without giving too much away but I highly recommend this edgy, gorgeous story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Summer Reads

    This is my second book written by Melanie Golding. I absolutely loved her debut novel Little Darlings so I was super excited to read a copy of her latest. The Hidden begins with a small girl named Leonie who seems to have been abandoned in a seaside town. Shortly after, a woman named Ruby shows up and claims that Leonie is indeed her daughter and that the child had simply run off from her. The police believe Ruby and they give Leonie over to her. At the same time, a man named Gregor is found alm This is my second book written by Melanie Golding. I absolutely loved her debut novel Little Darlings so I was super excited to read a copy of her latest. The Hidden begins with a small girl named Leonie who seems to have been abandoned in a seaside town. Shortly after, a woman named Ruby shows up and claims that Leonie is indeed her daughter and that the child had simply run off from her. The police believe Ruby and they give Leonie over to her. At the same time, a man named Gregor is found almost dead in his bathtub. Someone had seriously harmed him and left him for dead. It is left up to Detective DS Joanna Harper(who readers first met in Little Darlings) to solve this terrible crime and soon after, she discovers how these two situations are related. This story is told from multiple points of view with alternating timelines. I listened to the audiobook version of The Hidden. It was narrated by Penelope Rawlings and she did a fantastic job reading this one. I am a huge fan of Norse Mythology so I love how Melanie incorporates that and local folklore into her novels. Little Darlings focused on the mythology of changelings but The Hidden centers around selkies. According to Norse Mythology, the selkies are beings who are capable of changing from a seal to a human. The beginning is pretty slow-paced so it took a bit longer for me to get invested in the story. But the second half is filled with fast-paced action and the conclusion ends the story perfectly. I enjoyed all of the characters in this one but I loved the fact that Melanie brought back Joana Harper into her second novel. I loved her character in Little Darlings so it was wonderful to learn more about her. The Hidden is an eerie, atmospheric, and suspenseful novel that centers around a mystery. Overall I enjoyed this audiobook and I would highly recommend this one. I believe that readers who loved Little Darlings will enjoy The Hidden as well. Many thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the gifted audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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