Author: Jason Rekulak
Published: May 10, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 28- August 3, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.
Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, 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.
As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.
With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.
Hidden Pictures is definitely the book to read and it has illustrations to go along with the story which is the icing on the cake! This one is definitely a page turner and I read it in just a few days! I actually binged about half of it on a Saturday which is saying something for me!
We have Mallory who is a recovering addict who is given a chance to be a nanny for a family with their young son Teddy. Mallory enjoys the job and adores Teddy. But then he starts to draw for her. At first the drawings are innocent and age appropriate, but then then evolve into the sinister and creepy and well beyond the capabilities of a five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect something is going on and that it has something to do with a long-ago murder of where she is staying. She goes all in to find out what is going on now and what happened all those years ago.
This novel is not really a horror novel, but suspenseful and definitely creepy with a side of paranormal added in. It takes you in for a ride that you cannot put down! The illustrations make the novel 1000% better! They definitely enhance the story and add that creepy factor that would be missing otherwise. Rekulak definitely won with having both Staehle and Horner illustrate.
Around the last 50ish pages when it got to the big twist I sent a text that said ‘WTF!’ to one of my friends because I knew she had already finished it. My mind was totally blown and I want to read it again sometime knowing the ending now.
If you enjoy thrillers this is THE NOVEL to pick up this year! If you have small children around Teddy’s age, I apologize in advance for your reaction to the next drawing they make for you. Grab Hidden Pictures now and you can thank me later!