Friday, September 16, 2022

Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

“I loved it." —Stephen King

From Jason Rekulak, Edgar-nominated author of The Impossible Fortress, comes a wildly inventive spin on the classic horror story in Hidden Pictures, a supernatural thriller about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets.

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.

Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 10th 2022
 by Flatiron Books
4.5/5 stars

You could say I went into this book semi-blind. I knew it had something to do with drawings from a young child but it was really the cover that drew me in and this new to me author.

I wasn’t expecting such a well written captivating read, it didn’t take me long to get immersed in the story which I read over the space of a couple days.

Mallory isn’t sure what she is in for when she starts a babysitting gig for the summer. It sounds idyllic with it's large house with all the amenities, big property, a swimming pool and even her own private cottage at the back of the property. But what she gets is more sinister, creepy and mysterious. The story was well written with enough tension and suspense making it a hard book to put down. The conclusion took me by surprise and totally worked. I loved it.

Hidden Pictures is the story of family, addiction, starting over, standing up, trying to fit in and taking a leap of faith.  There are supernatural elements that totally worked. I am new to this author and will be checking out his backlist.  

Hidden Pictures was also wonderfully illustrated by Will Staehle and Doogie Horner, that was definitely needed to grasp this story.

This book was part of my 2022 reading off my shelf challenge #64

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