Title: Hidden Pictures
Author: Jason Rekulak
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 10, 2022
Ratings: 5 stars
Plot Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she 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.
Hidden Picture by Jayson Rekulak is an absolute gem of a novel that effortlessly blends mystery, nostalgia, and a coming-of-age narrative into a captivating and heartwarming story.
Rekulak’s writing style is both vivid and evocative, capturing the essence of the 1980s with remarkable precision. His attention to detail is commendable, as he effortlessly recreates the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of a bygone era, immersing readers in a nostalgic cocoon that will resonate with anyone who grew up during that time. The author’s ability to transport readers to a different time and place is truly remarkable, and it adds an extra layer of richness to the narrative.
The plot of Hidden Picture is carefully crafted, seamlessly blending elements of mystery, adventure, and personal growth. Rekulak masterfully weaves together Mallory’s quest to uncover the truth behind the hidden picture with her own personal journey of self-discovery. The pacing is impeccable, with just the right amount of suspense and surprises to keep readers eagerly turning the pages. The mystery unfolds organically, allowing readers to piece together the clues alongside Brian, creating a sense of shared excitement and anticipation.
Hidden Picture is a remarkable novel that deserves every bit of praise it receives. Jayson Rekulak has crafted a compelling and nostalgic tale that will transport readers back to their own youth while captivating them with an engrossing mystery. With its relatable characters, masterful storytelling, and evocative setting, this book is a must-read for fans of coming-of-age stories and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted and heartwarming narrative. Hidden Picture earns a well-deserved five-star rating and solidifies Jayson Rekulak as a gifted storyteller with an undeniable talent for capturing the essence of both a time and the human spirit.