#BookReview: THE HIDING PLACE by Simon Lelic @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK

Publication: 5th May 2022 – Viking Books


‘It was only a game’… Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt’… But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun’… Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

THE WHISPER MAN meets THE GUEST LIST in this gripping story; DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…



Following the events of the previous novel, The Search Party, DI Robin Fleet has been relegated to a desk job, going through cold cases with the only help of DC Nicky Collins. An anonymous tip leads them to a crypt at Beaconsfield, a prestigious boarding school, where they find the remains of Ben Draper, a 17-year-old pupil who had disappeared in 1997 during a game of “hide and seek” with three friends.

The case becomes entangled in politics when it turns out that one of the friends Ben was last seen is Callum Richardson, now a high-profile politician who constantly challenges the government, and there are many people who would like him to fail.  

The story switch between the past and the present. In 1997, Ben has just arrived at Beaconsfield after being kicked out from yet another school. He is angry at his father and at the world in general. The other pupils are not very friendly, except for three other students who take Ben under their wing. In the present, DI Robin Fleet wants to solve the case without the interference of his bosses who are looking for a scandal to stop Callum Richardson’s career and his investigation into Beaconsfield uncovers a toxic environment where students are bullied and humiliated.

The Hiding Place is an addictive read. I like the character of DI Robin Fleet and I enjoy his easy and comfortable relationship with DC Nicky Collins. Also, we get a few glimpses into his personal life, which is almost as much as complicated as the case he is investigating, and I look forward to reading more about it. Ben’s story is heart-breaking. He is a young boy who wants to be accepted first by his father and then by his new friends, who, like him, struggle to accept that they are not wanted by their own families.

Full of twists and suspense, The Hiding Place is a dark, gripping, and thrilling police procedural with quite a few intriguing characters and an immersive well-crafted plot. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Viking and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Simon Lelic is the author of seven highly acclaimed thrillers: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasey Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger), The House, The Liar’s Room, The Search Party and The Hiding Place. He has also written The Haven series for younger readers, twice shortlisted for the CrimeFest awards.

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