HIDING by Jenny Morton Potts, Review: Enigmatic lead characters

Jenny Morton Potts’ Hiding is a gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice. Read our full review of this top quality novel.

Hiding Book Synopsis

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

(Jenny Morton Potts, February 2018)

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime-Detective, Adventure

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Firstly, bravo to the creator of Hiding‘s cover art — striking and evocative story representation; impossible to walk past, or in my case ‘say no to’ in ebook format.

And secondly, going against current trend, the synopsis was mercifully short — just enough to pique this reader’s interest. But would Potts’ prose live up to the high expectations now set? Thankfully, yes.

I really enjoy thrillers with alternating first-person narrative structures. And in this case, the dichotomy between these characters’ upbringing and geographical settings only enhanced the sense of intrigue as to how on earth their lives might one day intersect.

In Hiding, Potts judiciously develops her uniquely flawed and enigmatic lead characters, Rebecca and Keller, and the other personas and events that shaped their lives — Keller perhaps most successfully.

There had been four of them in their gang. Steve, Keller, Lemi and Angelo. All a bit misfit, none of them ever part of the main event. The four of them were like the scraps Lemi’s mom would pare from her pastry pies.

Both with dark thoughts, and feelings of alienation and isolation.

The longing to know swirled in on the Atlantic wind. It slapped her dark hair against her face as she looked out of the window and watched the ocean spume, as if it was daring her.

Rebecca Brown made up her mind on her 10th birthday. She was going to get some answers. She’d waited long enough.

Though well-paced, concise and compelling, I admired Potts’ often reflective and literary turn of phrase:

He was a man of award-winning emotional restraint in a community satiate of the trait.

It served as a pleasing counter-weight to the rawness and brutality of other events depicted.

But after Jenny Morton Potts’ wonderful attention to detail and complex, yet measured plotting, Hiding ended more abruptly and with slightly less gravitas than I had expected. That said, up until that point I had been engrossed, and I look forward to reading more from this clearly talented storyteller.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

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UPDATE: I have since enjoyed this author’s next thriller JUST, so much so that it earned a place in my Best Books of 2018 list.

About the Author, Jenny Morton Potts

Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart, dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone else’s life. Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and living with inspirational child in Derbyshire.

Jenny writes contemporary novels and plays. Her screenplay for ‘Piano from a 4th Storey Window‘ was filmed recently in Sussex. Check out her website and connect with her on Twitter.

* My receiving a copy of Hiding from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.

This review counts towards my participation in the 2018 New Release Challenge.