Wednesday 5 October 2022

HIDDEN PICTURES by Jason Rekulak


Mallory is delighted to have a new job looking after gorgeous four-year-old, Teddy. She's been sober for a year and a half and she's sure her new nannying role in the affluent suburbs will help keep her on the straight and narrow.

That is until Teddy starts to draw disturbing pictures of his imaginary friend, Anya. It is quite clear to Mallory and to Teddy's parents, even in his crude childlike style, that the woman Teddy is drawing in his pictures is dead.

Teddy's crayons are confiscated, and his paper locked away. But the drawings somehow keep coming, telling a frightening story of a woman murdered... and they're getting more sophisticated. But if Teddy isn't drawing the pictures anymore, who is? And what are they trying to tell Mallory about her new home?

It's October, so I'm in the mood for creepy, dark stories, and this one caught my eye.

Mallory is a recovering addict with a great sponsor who recommends her for a summer babysitting gig. When she gets the job, she's excited about moving to the suburbs because she likes the little boy, Teddy. She's staying in a small cottage in the Maxwell's backyard and gets a chance to go for a run every day. However, when she finds out about a crime that happened in the cottage decades ago and Teddy starts drawing disturbing pictures, she realises something weird is going on...

This is such an excellent book. I was hooked!

As soon as I started following Mallory's problematic life, I found it hard to put the book down because I wanted to find out exactly what was going on at the Maxwell house. As well as what happened in her past, because she was hiding quite a bit.

Mallory's voice, the writing style, and those awesome illustrations, captured my attention all the way through. She's a flawed characters with plenty of secrets and finds it too easy to slip into lies. Yet, she's also a great character because even though it's sometimes easy to doubt her and get frustrated by her decisions, she's still very likeable and I wanted everything to turn out okay for her.

Adrian and Teddy are just as likeable. While Anya is creepy as hell.

Hidden Pictures is an intriguing thriller with horror elements and a very interesting supernatural slant. It's also got several shocking twists and turns that kept me glued to the page.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy.

Hidden Pictures, June 2022, ISBN 9780751583717, Sphere

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