Author: Jason Rekulak
Published by: Flatiron Books on May 10, 2022
Genres: Horror, Mystery/Thriller
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Flatiron Books
Book Rating: 8/10
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.
Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, 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.
As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.
With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.
Intense, eerie, and dark!
Hidden Pictures is a haunting, character-driven thriller that takes you into the life of recovering addict Mallory Quinn who, after recently being hired to nanny the delightful five-year-old Teddy, whose love for drawing and his imaginative friend Anya become creepier day by day, discovers quickly that something isn’t right in this seemingly perfect home of Ted and Caroline Maxwell, and that someone or something is determined to reveal the secrets they’re desperately trying to hide.
The prose is unsettling and taut. The characters are suspicious, troubled, and wary. And the plot is a simmering, sinister tale of familial drama, class division, tension, deception, violence, and desperation, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.
Overall, Hidden Pictures is a tight, creepy, atmospheric tale by Rekulak that, with its quick pace and disturbing illustrations, kept me unnerved and highly entertained right from the very first page.
This book is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Flatiron Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.