Hidden Pictures | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐1/2
"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."
Hidden Pictures is a standalone horror book by Jason Rekulak.
I had high hopes going into this book because it's been making its rounds on the internet and is pretty hyped up. Unfortunately for me, I really should have lowered my expectations because I didn't have the best time reading this.
For the majority of the book, I was pretty apathetic since I just wasn't really into it. The first strike for me was the introduction of the main character. She is a former drug addict who has been clean for some time now, which would have been fine if that hadn't raised a red flag right away for me. I really don't like unreliable narrators, so once that part of her character was established I was worried about the direction of the story.
Oddly enough, it wasn't the possibility of her being unreliable that bothered me the most, it was her lack of thinking in certain situations. Without spoiling anything, there was one scene in particular that blew my mind with how little she thought through things. She also could have figured out things earlier if she, well, actually tried to figure it out. This also went to show that once it started to ramp up though as the story started to head straight toward the climactic reveals is where my experience went kind of downhill.
As I said earlier, I wasn't too interested in the plot, and part of that is because it didn't go in the direction I expected it to in several areas. Then when everything started to come together I felt like it was falling apart instead since the reveal just wasn't very good, at least to me.
Overall, this was just a really disappointing book, which is a huge letdown because of how hyped it was.