Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller #GhostThriller

“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.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak is a psychological thriller where mysterious pictures help solve a murder mystery.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):

The cover, title, and blurb all drip with creepiness. Ghost stories scare me, so my first thought is that I hope it’s not too scary for me. My initial expectations are that it will be quite a thrill ride of a story just dripping with creepiness if it is not too frightening.

Actual Reading Experience:

Cold chills, goosebumps, and complete focus are some of the things I experienced the whole time I read Hidden Pictures. Putting it down to do something that I had to do was even more difficult, and as a result, I finished this book in just over a day. If I hadn’t had to go to work. I would have completed it in one sitting, I am sure.

The writing pulled me in from page 1 with its immersive quality and quick pace. The creepiness doesn’t begin right away. Instead, it develops throughout the story until it explodes in a jaw-dropping conclusion with twists and turns that I could never have imagined. The clues were all there, but my imagination took the story down the paths of the subtle red herrings dotted throughout the tale.

Mallory Quinn tells the story of the summer she babysat for Teddy in first-person narration, which flowed naturally and kept the suspense high throughout most of the story. I constantly questioned whether or not she was a reliable narrator or an unreliable one. I wanted to believe her, but enough contrary evidence is given to put that in doubt. I’m not telling you which she is because that question is part of the fun.

I loved the inclusion of the pictures, which often caused those cold chills and goosebumps. You know the saying, “a picture is worth 1000 words.” Well, these pictures scream an endless stream of words,

and all of them are chilling. I also loved that even with all these chills, the story never crossed the line to true and unmistakable horror. Now, I wouldn’t say that reading it before bed was a good idea for me, but I never felt like running far away from it, either.

Characters:

Mallory Quinn is the main character and narrator. A young woman in recovery, she is eager to take this next step in her progression towards leading an everyday life. But she is hiding many secrets, and those secrets will come back to haunt her repeatedly.

Reminds Me Of:

I haven’t read anything like this before, so to me, it is an original, fresh take on a psychological thriller. One that I am happy that I read.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you love psychological thrillers, you will be missing out if you don’t read Hidden Pictures this summer!

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

14 Replies to “Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller #GhostThriller”

  1. Lovely review, Tessa! I like that you found this book to be original and not something you’ve seen before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally right! I’m so glad it was a thriller and not one that crossed the line into real horror. And what a thriller it is! Excellent story ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are going to love it! It is so chilling and those twists. I never could have suspected them. It’s an excellent and original psychological thriller.

      Like

  2. The supernatural aspect of this calls to me, and I know it’s a book I’d enjoy. You finishing it so quickly says a lot. Great review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you totally would. It was attached to my hand no matter where I went. I even came close to taking it to work. Lol 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent review Tessa. From the blurb I would steer clear as I am not a horror fan, but it seems it is more of a thriller than horror?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely more thriller. I didn’t feel it ever crossed that line into horror but it was very creepy and those twists were excellent surprises!

      Liked by 1 person

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