My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kendra Elliot’s Hidden (Montlake Romance 2012) is a fast-moving romance thriller (don’t be mislead by the classification as ‘thriller’; it isn’t) with everything you’d expect in the genre. Dr. Lacey Campbell, a forensic odontologist, is drawn into the ten-year old murder of her best friend when the skeleton shows up in the basement of a rundown apartment building and she is called in to identify it. The de rigeur love interest arrives in the guise of the building owner and they are thrown together as the murders pile up, all connected to one or both of them. After an uninspiring opening with the predictable scenes of boy meets girl, boy is swept away by girl’s beauty and strength, girl can’t stopping thinking about boy’s roguish smile, the plot builds rapidly, deftly weaving their mutual attraction with the serial killer’s deadly plans. Each scene includes equal amounts murder mystery and romance, something thriller readers aren’t used to, but romance lovers are.
Elliot does only an acceptable job with the characters. They’re appealing, but carry the typical, tried-and-true baggage that makes main characters appealing to readers–vicious ex-husbands, murder and death in their background, rigid strength at all the right times for the female and a faux-playboy demeanor for the male. It takes the author about half the book to establish them as individuals, unique in their thoughts and actions, and worthy of your time as a reader. If you can get past that and if you’re an aficionado of the romance-thriller genre, you’ll like this book.
If you like your thrillers with more action and less steamy looks, bulging manly muscles, curves in all the right places, you may want to pick a different title.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade, creator of two technology training books for middle school and four ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.