Book Review: THE HIDING PLACE by David J. Bell



Publisher: NAL Trade
Released: October 2, 2012
Source: Borrowed from the library

Twenty-five-years ago, the disappearance of four-year-old Justin Manning rocked the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. After his body was found in a shallow grave in the woods two months later, the repercussions were felt for years…

Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder—who spent more than two decades in prison—really be innocent? Janet’s childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet’s door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.

Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet’s brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.


THE HIDING PLACE is another amazing book going on my 2012 favorites list. It’s a haunting story of a terrible crime, and the family secrets and lies surrounding it that finally surface over two decades later.

A young boy was murdered, his accused killer sent to prison. But on the 25th anniversary of the crime, there’s a renewed interest in the case. The victim’s sister and one of the detectives who investigated the murder are having doubts the right man was convicted.

Through his characters, the author shows the toll a tragedy like that can have on a family, especially if there are doubts about what really happened and who was responsible.

The premise of this book was a sad one, and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. It was very well-written, the kind of mystery that keeps me glued to the pages wanting to know how it ends. There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep me guessing.

THE HIDING PLACE is an engrossing police procedural with a touching human element as well. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4½ Stars