Review: Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

Hidden PicturesHidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mallory Quinn is in her early-20s and at a time when many of her peers are charging through the college experience, Mallory is just over a year into her new found sobriety.

After a personal injury, Mallory unfortunately plummeted down a hole many Americans before her have suffered through; opioid addiction.

She’s not proud of the choices she made in the depths of her addiction, some having life-long repercussions. Mallory harbors a lot of guilt from that time.

With the help of her sponsor, and his encouragement to return to the sport she loves, Mallory has made huge strides. Now it is time to secure some independence.

Mallory applies for a position as a summer nanny in the high-end suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey. The Maxwells, Ted and Caroline, have a 5-year old son, Teddy, who will be her only charge. The job seems perfect.

Teddy is such a smart, sweet little boy, who seems to take a shine to Mallory right away, and the property is gorgeous. She can get used to playing poolside all day.

Even though Mr. Maxwell seems to be quite concerned about Mallory’s past drug use, she still ends up securing the position. She’s elated. Now it is time to prove herself. This is her chance to rebuild her life.

Mallory moves into a pool house on the property and begins to develop a healthy schedule with Teddy. Teddy seems to be a budding little artist and spends at least an hour a day quietly drawing.

At first, Mallory is impressed with his skill and imagination, but when Teddy’s drawings begin to take a very dark turn, she becomes concerned.

When Mallory suspects that the scenes in the drawings may tie to a alleged murder that happened on the property in the 1940s, which she initially learns about from a nosy, eccentric neighbor, things escalate quickly.

Along with her new friend, Adrian, Mallory begins to deep dive into the history of the property and the suspected murder of the woman who once lived there.

Additionally, Mallory feels like Teddy’s imaginary friend, Anya, may be the missing woman in question and she clearly is trying to communicate with them.

Seriously though, can Mallory’s opinion even be trusted? Is she using again? She definitely seems to be spiraling. Right? I mean, ghosts aren’t real…

Or are they?

I had so much fun with this story. I could not put it down once I started, finishing the audiobook in a day. I was so captivated with this story.

It’s not complicated. It’s fairly linear and I was happy to just sit with Mallory and hear her tell it. It was just classic, eerie fun. This would make a great movie!!

I really enjoyed Mallory as a character. I feel like she was super likable and relatable. I loved the sinister vibe, even though I wasn’t 100% on what I should be afraid of at first.

The way Rekulak built up the tension and then slowly revealed the truth behind what has happening at the Maxwells was really fun. It flipped what I thought was happening on its head. I wasn’t shocked, but I was pleased that it ended in a unexpected direction.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

This is the first novel I have read from Rekulak and I am definitely excited to pick up more! Hidden Pictures is releasing tomorrow, Tuesday, May 10th.

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