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Hidden Pictures

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From Jason Rekulak, Edgar-nominated author of The Impossible Fortress, comes a wildly inventive spin on the classic horror story in Hidden Pictures, a creepy and warm-hearted mystery about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets. Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babys From Jason Rekulak, Edgar-nominated author of The Impossible Fortress, comes a wildly inventive spin on the classic horror story in Hidden Pictures, a creepy and warm-hearted mystery about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets. 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.


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From Jason Rekulak, Edgar-nominated author of The Impossible Fortress, comes a wildly inventive spin on the classic horror story in Hidden Pictures, a creepy and warm-hearted mystery about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets. Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babys From Jason Rekulak, Edgar-nominated author of The Impossible Fortress, comes a wildly inventive spin on the classic horror story in Hidden Pictures, a creepy and warm-hearted mystery about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets. 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.

30 review for Hidden Pictures

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak On track for a university athletic scholarship her senior year in high school, Mallory had a golden life ahead of her. But a tragedy stopped her in her tracks and the injuries led to an addiction to OxyContin and more. Now eighteen months clean, Mallory is ready for her next rehab step, a live in babysitting job, taking care of five year old Teddy for an affluent working couple. Mallory is such a likeable character, filled with guilt for something in her past, but Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak On track for a university athletic scholarship her senior year in high school, Mallory had a golden life ahead of her. But a tragedy stopped her in her tracks and the injuries led to an addiction to OxyContin and more. Now eighteen months clean, Mallory is ready for her next rehab step, a live in babysitting job, taking care of five year old Teddy for an affluent working couple. Mallory is such a likeable character, filled with guilt for something in her past, but so determined to do the right things in the future. She's got a great sponsor who checks in on her and her clients know about her past. Still, she doesn't like to talk about it and during her off time likes to run and watch Hallmark movies (not likely to trigger drug thoughts). She even sees the potential of a boyfriend in her clients' lawn guy. Teddy is a gentle, sweet, boy. He doesn't want to play with other boys and instead loves to play alone and draw pictures. But as the days progress, Teddy's pictures become dark and the work of someone much older than five years old. Where has he seen the violent things he is drawing? Is this little boy okay? Mallory tries to discuss Teddy's emotional state with his parents but they just brush her off and tell her to mind her own business. Mallory is caught between needing this job and wanting to do what is right for Teddy and she can't help Teddy if she doesn't have the job. Something very strange is going on with Teddy and, as time goes on, even with Mallory. There is a supernatural feel to some events but who is going to believe Mallory, recovering drug addict? This story was full of twists and turns and was a very interesting buddy read with Jayme, DeAnn, and Susan. Publication: May 10, 2022 Thank you to Macmillan Publishers/Flatiron Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    4-5 stars ⭐️ Happy Publication Day! I GUARANTEE you won’t guess where this one is going! If you are looking for something FRESH and ORIGINAL and you don’t mind mysteries with a SUPERNATURAL vibe, then this is the book for you! Mallory Quinn was a victim of OxyContin. Now clean for 18 months, her sponsor Russell has lined up a job interview for her with Caroline and Ted Maxwell, an affluent family looking for a babysitter for their preschooler, Teddy. Getting the job, and the chance to live in the 4-5 stars ⭐️ Happy Publication Day! I GUARANTEE you won’t guess where this one is going! If you are looking for something FRESH and ORIGINAL and you don’t mind mysteries with a SUPERNATURAL vibe, then this is the book for you! Mallory Quinn was a victim of OxyContin. Now clean for 18 months, her sponsor Russell has lined up a job interview for her with Caroline and Ted Maxwell, an affluent family looking for a babysitter for their preschooler, Teddy. Getting the job, and the chance to live in the tiny poolside guest cottage seems like it would be a dream come true-a fresh start-so she is thrilled when she is offered the job. The story begins as a bit of a slow burn, as Mallory and Teddy bond over imaginative games, and the drawings he sketches with the pencils he is never without. The Maxwells are thrilled, as Teddy’s only “playmate” before Mallory was his imaginary friend, Anya. But, as his pictures take on a more sinister tone, and start to become too detailed and complex for a 5 year old to draw, Mallory begins to worry. “Scritch Scritch Scritch” Teddy’s latest drawing is of a man in a forest dragging a woman’s body and Mallory’s cottage has a disturbing past-an artist named Annie Barrett, who had been living in it years ago, disappeared-leaving behind a trail of blood and an unsolved mystery. Could she be trying to share what happened to her through Teddy’s sketches? As, I write this review, I pondered on whether to rate this 4 or 5 stars, and I have decided to round up for originality and the fact that I loved Mallory, and her devotion to Teddy. The last chapter really moved me emotionally and earned the final star! A fun buddy read with DeAnn, Marilyn and Susan! Be sure to check out their always amazing reviews! I received a free ARC of Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    Having recently completed a stint in rehab, Mallory takes a job as nanny to 5-year-old Teddy. His parents, Caroline and Ted are Type A overprotective and uptight, but she and Teddy bond and they spend their days happily in each other’s company. But, before long, Teddy begins to draw strange pictures of a gruesome murder, and Mallory learns of the house’s dark past. Are dark forces at work to bring secrets to light? With the help of a couple of new friends in the neighborhood she sets out to unco Having recently completed a stint in rehab, Mallory takes a job as nanny to 5-year-old Teddy. His parents, Caroline and Ted are Type A overprotective and uptight, but she and Teddy bond and they spend their days happily in each other’s company. But, before long, Teddy begins to draw strange pictures of a gruesome murder, and Mallory learns of the house’s dark past. Are dark forces at work to bring secrets to light? With the help of a couple of new friends in the neighborhood she sets out to uncover the mystery. The middle of the book had a YA feel (perhaps because this was the author's first book for adults?) and Mallory was a bit too perfect for someone with her history, but my reading buddy, Marialyce, and I continued on. And then the story jumped the shark. At around 75-80% it turned into a dumpster fire. The parents apparently have a personality transplant - or maybe they are inhabited by aliens? Because at this point literally NOTHING they do makes any sense whatsoever. The first big reveal is head scratching. I’m telling you there is zero chance of Mallory not knowing the truth within hours of starting her job. To think this could have been kept a secret is eye-rolling ridiculous. Each new revelation made me laugh, but not in a good way. The author did not intend it to be funny. I laughed and my eyes rolled because it was so absurd. Along the way the author threw in a kitchen sink full of social issues, and not-as-subtle-as-he-thought political and religious jabs. I wish I could give details (i.e. rant) but no spoilers here. I expect some implausibility in my reading but there’s a tipping point and this book exceeded it. Topping off this delight was a very long confession monologue, which automatically knocks a star off my rating. Obviously not recommended by this reader. * I received an audio copy for review via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    This was a fun listen. The twists threw me off completely! Mallory Quinn is a recovering addict, she's been clean and lucky to land a live-in nanny job at the Maxwells in an affluent neighborhood in Spring Brook, NJ. Mallory connected with Teddy, a sweet five-year-old right away. Teddy loves to draw and has an imaginary friend called Anya. Initially, Teddy's drawing is normal for his age, but soon it became too sophisticated and of a dead woman. Mallory and her newfound friend Andrien dig into th This was a fun listen. The twists threw me off completely! Mallory Quinn is a recovering addict, she's been clean and lucky to land a live-in nanny job at the Maxwells in an affluent neighborhood in Spring Brook, NJ. Mallory connected with Teddy, a sweet five-year-old right away. Teddy loves to draw and has an imaginary friend called Anya. Initially, Teddy's drawing is normal for his age, but soon it became too sophisticated and of a dead woman. Mallory and her newfound friend Andrien dig into the history of the area and try to solve the message from the disturbing drawings. I want to say more, but I won't want to ruin it since I went into this half-blind and was hooked right from the start. I really enjoyed this one and as with mysteries that I can't figure out, I try to have multiple wild guesses. The clues had me confused and I wasn't sure what was going to happen. It all made sense in the reveal! If you enjoy mysteries with some creepy vibes you gotta try this book! The audio read by Suzy Jackson was fantastic. Thank you Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for this DRC. Available May 10, 2022!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maiden Misty's Musings

    Whew, I know you are supposed to suspend some belief when it comes to horror, but come on man. The further along I got, the more wild it became. I was snickering in some places because there is no way this would happen even in today's crazy world. The best part of the book was the pictures. So I gave it an extra star for that. Whew, I know you are supposed to suspend some belief when it comes to horror, but come on man. The further along I got, the more wild it became. I was snickering in some places because there is no way this would happen even in today's crazy world. The best part of the book was the pictures. So I gave it an extra star for that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Mallory Quinn is in her early-20s and at a time when many of her peers are charging through the college experience, Mallory is just over a year into her new found sobriety. After a personal injury, Mallory unfortunately plummeted down a hole many Americans before her have suffered through; opioid addiction. She's not proud of the choices she made in the depths of her addiction, some having life-long repercussions. Mallory harbors a lot of guilt from that time. With the help of her sponsor, and his Mallory Quinn is in her early-20s and at a time when many of her peers are charging through the college experience, Mallory is just over a year into her new found sobriety. After a personal injury, Mallory unfortunately plummeted down a hole many Americans before her have suffered through; opioid addiction. She's not proud of the choices she made in the depths of her addiction, some having life-long repercussions. Mallory harbors a lot of guilt from that time. With the help of her sponsor, and his encouragement to return to the sport she loves, Mallory has made huge strides. Now it is time to secure some independence. Mallory applies for a position as a summer nanny in the high-end suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey. The Maxwells, Ted and Caroline, have a 5-year old son, Teddy, who will be her only charge. The job seems perfect. Teddy is such a smart, sweet little boy, who seems to take a shine to Mallory right away, and the property is gorgeous. She can get used to playing poolside all day. Even though Mr. Maxwell seems to be quite concerned about Mallory's past drug use, she still ends up securing the position. She's elated. Now it is time to prove herself. This is her chance to rebuild her life. Mallory moves into a pool house on the property and begins to develop a healthy schedule with Teddy. Teddy seems to be a budding little artist and spends at least an hour a day quietly drawing. At first, Mallory is impressed with his skill and imagination, but when Teddy's drawings begin to take a very dark turn, she becomes concerned. When Mallory suspects that the scenes in the drawings may tie to a alleged murder that happened on the property in the 1940s, which she initially learns about from a nosy, eccentric neighbor, things escalate quickly. Along with her new friend, Adrian, Mallory begins to deep dive into the history of the property and the suspected murder of the woman who once lived there. Additionally, Mallory feels like Teddy's imaginary friend, Anya, may be the missing woman in question and she clearly is trying to communicate with them. Seriously though, can Mallory's opinion even be trusted? Is she using again? She definitely seems to be spiraling. Right? I mean, ghosts aren't real... Or are they? I had so much fun with this story. I could not put it down once I started, finishing the audiobook in a day. I was so captivated with this story. It's not complicated. It's fairly linear and I was happy to just sit with Mallory and hear her tell it. It was just classic, eerie fun. This would make a great movie!! I really enjoyed Mallory as a character. I feel like she was super likable and relatable. I loved the sinister vibe, even though I wasn't 100% on what I should be afraid of at first. The way Rekulak built up the tension and then slowly revealed the truth behind what has happening at the Maxwells was really fun. It flipped what I thought was happening on its head. I wasn't shocked, but I was pleased that it ended in a unexpected direction. Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This is the first novel I have read from Rekulak and I am definitely excited to pick up more!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan - on semi hiatus

    Not so Still Life. Mallory is hired as a live-in nanny for lovely five year old Teddy. He’s mostly mindful, but he has so many questions! What happens after you die? Where does a person go after their body is no longer alive? To answer him according to his family’s values is a challenge for Mallory - especially since she doesn’t know herself. To his parents chagrin, Teddy is also receiving advice from an imaginary friend. When this ‘friend’ begins exerting too much influence, Mallory decides to loo Not so Still Life. Mallory is hired as a live-in nanny for lovely five year old Teddy. He’s mostly mindful, but he has so many questions! What happens after you die? Where does a person go after their body is no longer alive? To answer him according to his family’s values is a challenge for Mallory - especially since she doesn’t know herself. To his parents chagrin, Teddy is also receiving advice from an imaginary friend. When this ‘friend’ begins exerting too much influence, Mallory decides to look deeper which changes the trajectory of the plot. I wasn’t sure where this was headed and the category wasn’t clear. Was this a Domestic thriller, ghost story, or something entirely different? I was wonderfully misdirected because I’d glossed over clues without thinking they meant anything. Aren’t those the best Gotcha moments when you reflect back? That was my thinking. I had fun reading and discussing this with several friends even though I was lagging a bit behind. Please check out DeAnn, Marilyn, and Jayme’s reviews for their perspectives. Thank you to NetGalley, Jason Rekulak, and Macmillan & Flatiron Books for my advance reader’s copy. Due to be published on May 10, 2022.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JaymeO

    Mallory Quinn is a recovering drug addict. When her sponsor recommends she interview for a nanny position with the Maxwell family in affluent Spring Brook, New Jersey, she believes she is ready to make it on her own. After meeting their sweet five year old son, Teddy, she instantly believes this is the perfect job. Promising to take frequent drug tests, the Maxwells welcome her to their guest house. Teddy loves to draw. However, when his drawings slowly become more sinister and appears beyond the Mallory Quinn is a recovering drug addict. When her sponsor recommends she interview for a nanny position with the Maxwell family in affluent Spring Brook, New Jersey, she believes she is ready to make it on her own. After meeting their sweet five year old son, Teddy, she instantly believes this is the perfect job. Promising to take frequent drug tests, the Maxwells welcome her to their guest house. Teddy loves to draw. However, when his drawings slowly become more sinister and appears beyond the ability of a five year old, Mallory questions who is the real artist. Are the drawings related to an unsolved murder? How could Teddy know about it? With the help of a supernatural force, a cute landscaper, and a quirky neighbor, Mallory attempts to figure out the meaning of the drawings before it is too late. I was intrigued by the unique premise of this book and by all of the glowing early reviews. The audiobook, read by Susie Jackson, is fantastic. She grasped my attention immediately and I was able to finish it in three days. I highly recommend this format! Was this a scary book? No. The scariest thing about the book is the cover! However, Rekulak absolutely got me with the twists! I didn’t see ANY of them coming, which is difficult for a prolific thriller reader not to spot! However, I did subtract a star for believability. I am all for suspending my belief in the name of fiction, but several of the reveals didn’t feel very authentic. Overall, I really loved Rekulak’s writing. He is a great storyteller and I am looking forward to reading more from him. 4/5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    OMG! This is freaking great! There are tons of things I adored during my reading: The eerie setting of guest house, my famous horror movie themes including “Ring” , “Insidious”, the gripping storytelling , spin tingling, creepy somebody is watching over me sensation and the final twists that slap you across your face because you never see them coming! I think this is one of the best things I have read lately! Horror- psychological thriller-mystery- suspense genres blended in perfectly! Here’s t OMG! This is freaking great! There are tons of things I adored during my reading: The eerie setting of guest house, my famous horror movie themes including “Ring” , “Insidious”, the gripping storytelling , spin tingling, creepy somebody is watching over me sensation and the final twists that slap you across your face because you never see them coming! I think this is one of the best things I have read lately! Horror- psychological thriller-mystery- suspense genres blended in perfectly! Here’s the quick recap of events take place in this book: Mallory Quinn is only 21, a survivor of tragic past and addiction problem,is ready to move on with her new life after 18 months long sobriety. With the help of her sponsor, she finds a nanny job for summer to take care of 5 years old Teddy who is the son of Caroline and Ted Maxwell. The parents are great believers of science, atheists who insist not to say “ God Bless You” , vegans, giving her lists of rules she has to follow including not doing drugs and fooling around. Mallory seems pleased to find a roof over her head and a job pays enough to save money for her future plans . But the scratching sounds coming out of her guest house in the middle of night and the eerie feeling of being watched by someone make her restless. When she learns a woman might have been killed at the same guest house, her agitation level gets skyrocketed! On top of that, little Ted keeps talking with his eerie imaginary friend Anya behind the closed doors, drawing pictures of her: as somebody is dragging her into the woods, burying her into a hole. At each day Ted’s drawings look more detailed and professional as if they have drawn by an adult. The neighbor next door who might be an oracle keeps warning her a spirit might connect with the little boy, using his body as a vessel. When Mallory talks with the parents about her theories, they think she’s losing it. What will Mallory do as the threat of something sinister may ruin everything in this house? Could she protect little Ted or even herself? The story unfolds in an unconventional way that I truly enjoy! Highly absolutely and extremely recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab and in need of a job. Her last job did not end well, and she really needs something fast. When the opportunity presents itself to babysit Ted and Caroline Maxwell's five-year-old son Teddy, Mallory accepts. She will get to live in their guest house and finally have some stability in her life. How hard can it be to entertain a five-year-old? She thinks it will be easy - except Teddy begins drawing very disturbing pictures. Intrigued, Mallory attempts to decipher Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab and in need of a job. Her last job did not end well, and she really needs something fast. When the opportunity presents itself to babysit Ted and Caroline Maxwell's five-year-old son Teddy, Mallory accepts. She will get to live in their guest house and finally have some stability in her life. How hard can it be to entertain a five-year-old? She thinks it will be easy - except Teddy begins drawing very disturbing pictures. Intrigued, Mallory attempts to decipher the pictures and gets help from the groundkeeper and a neighbor with an unusual gift. Soon, it is evident that something isn't quite right, but what? Who will believe her? I found myself quickly engrossed in the story and wanting to learn more about the pictures and the strange things happening around/in the house. This book had an eerie feel to it. I was right there with Mallory trying to figure out what was happening and why Teddy was drawing such disturbing pictures. Was something paranormal/supernatural going on? Or was there another reason altogether? I really enjoyed coming up with my own theories and was nowhere close when the final reveal occurred. The author did a great job surprising me. Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

    I agree there are some very puzzling parallels between Anya’s drawings and my own personal history. And yes, I have struggled with lapses and false memories and all the other psychological fallout of drug addiction. But I have twelve more drawings back at my cottage that stink of death and there’s only one person responsible. “Anya drew these. Not me.”I received a free ARC of Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Mallory Quinn is a 21-year-old recovering I agree there are some very puzzling parallels between Anya’s drawings and my own personal history. And yes, I have struggled with lapses and false memories and all the other psychological fallout of drug addiction. But I have twelve more drawings back at my cottage that stink of death and there’s only one person responsible. “Anya drew these. Not me.”I received a free ARC of Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Mallory Quinn is a 21-year-old recovering drug addict. She gets hired to spend the summer nannying for a five-year old named Teddy. Things are great, at first, but they take a turn when Teddy starts drawing violent pictures that all seem to involve a man dragging a woman through a forest. Mallory begins to believe that Teddy is being influenced by a supernatural presence tied to something that happened on the property generations ago. And this being is a novel she might be right, and the race is on for her to figure out what’s happening before it’s too late. For most of this novel, Hidden Pictures was a solid 4-star read. I liked Mallory, was moved by her backstory, and was rooting for her. The beats of her relationship with Adrian were a bit predictable but still effective. Best of all, the story did a really good job coming up with alternative, non-supernatural explanations for everything that was happening, including the pictures, so that it was not clear what was really going on before the final reveal. Unfortunately, at about the 80% mark, Hidden Pictures went completely off the rails. First, there was a key part of the final reveal that just did not make any logical sense. It might have made sense for a day or two, but not for as long as it went on. Worse, over the book’s final pages, several characters—starting with Mallory—made a decision that was so inexplicable that it broke the suspension of disbelief that had been sustaining the story. It’s too bad, but the disappointing ending overshadowed what had been a promising story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    1.5 stars only bc of the beginning! Mallory Quinn is a recovering addict. Due to a horrible car accident in which her sister died, she is left in enormous pain so the drug prescribed was Oxycontin, which we know today is highly addictive. When she couldn't get oxy she moves onto heroin and other drugs. However, once she winds up in rehab after so many frightening occurrences, she gets a job as a mother's helper in a very posh neighborhood. Caroline and Ted Maxwell are the parents of Teddy, a swee 1.5 stars only bc of the beginning! Mallory Quinn is a recovering addict. Due to a horrible car accident in which her sister died, she is left in enormous pain so the drug prescribed was Oxycontin, which we know today is highly addictive. When she couldn't get oxy she moves onto heroin and other drugs. However, once she winds up in rehab after so many frightening occurrences, she gets a job as a mother's helper in a very posh neighborhood. Caroline and Ted Maxwell are the parents of Teddy, a sweet five-year-old. All goes well as Mallory and Ted strike up a friendship and Mallory discovers that Teddy likes to draw. Initially Teddy's drawing is typical of a five-year-old, stick figures and the like. When Mallory comes across a drawing of a man dragging a woman, a dead woman, Mallory knows that something is definitely amiss. As time moves on Teddy gets more proficient at his drawing as they become more detailed and frightening. Teddy also has an imaginary friend he called Anya, and time and circumstances make Mallory believe that the spirit of Anya is operating through the art of Teddy and then invading Mallory also seems also to be influenced by the spirit. There is definitely something supernatural going on and Mallory is connected somehow. At one point she learns there was an unsolved murder in the woods behind the house. Her neighbor, who is a psychic, turns up dead, there adds another aura to the tale. Previously, Mallory meets a young man who she grows close to and together they try to figure out the mystery before it is too late. Well I wish I could say that the end or even the middle, had the same momentum as the beginning, but sadly, that’s not what happened. We went to rolling right along to strange and then ludicrous speed. It seems like the author decided to follow the “kitchen sink” philosophy which of course wound up to have this reader doing tons of 😂! Think of all the craziness one could and the issues of today and you might come close to the absurdities the author threw at us. What a huge shame as this book had some things going for it like 🧖‍♀️ 👻And some crazies! 🙀. 🙀 Jan and I listened to this one but 😮 wow, it went off the rails as fast as a 🚂 that lost its brakes. So buyer beware on this one 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♂️On this one! Thank you to NetGalley for the audio copy of this story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Mallory Quinn is a 21-year old former student and addict who has been in recovery for eighteen months, living in South Philadelphia. She’s got a great support network and is offered an opportunity to be the nanny for five-year old Teddy, the son of Caroline and Ted Maxwell who recently moved to Spring Brook, New Jersey. She gets the job, falls for young Teddy, and feels herself getting even healthier, able to resume her running and live privately in a cottage on the Maxwell’s property. Teddy lov Mallory Quinn is a 21-year old former student and addict who has been in recovery for eighteen months, living in South Philadelphia. She’s got a great support network and is offered an opportunity to be the nanny for five-year old Teddy, the son of Caroline and Ted Maxwell who recently moved to Spring Brook, New Jersey. She gets the job, falls for young Teddy, and feels herself getting even healthier, able to resume her running and live privately in a cottage on the Maxwell’s property. Teddy loves to draw, creating the typical scenes you’d expect from a child his age…until they start taking a dark turn. Soon Mallory begins to believe something unnatural is going on, especially when she learns of the rumored history of the cottage. She believes that the young woman rumored to have been murdered there is trying to tell her story through Teddy and his pictures. Well, I was with Mallory. Something was very wrong with Teddy and his pictures but unlike her, I would have run for the hills! But Mallory had bonded with Teddy and was just as worried about him as she was curious to learn what the ghostly apparition was trying to tell them in pictures. The Maxwell’s dismiss her fears and begin to look at Mallory with suspicion, given her history. No one seems to believe her accept for the affluent landscaper’s son, Adrian, who is home for the summer from college and befriends Mallory. Is this story creepy? Absolutely. I’m not normally a fan of ghost stories but what attracted me to this one is how the ghost was working through a child and pictures. Blessedly absent are the predictable visions of the supernatural being showing up to spook everyone as this was much more complicated and intriguing. There’s an extremely twisty moment that I can honestly say I never saw coming and it shifted everything. The ending is over-the-top exciting and had me racing to finish. I listened to the story and loved that the narrator sounded like I thought Mallory would. She also captured Caroline and Ted so well and distinctively that I thought there was a second performer. This story turned out to be so much more than I’d anticipated, a über sinister story that I hadn’t imagined. I enjoyed everything about it. Posted on Blue Mood Café (Thanks to to Macmillan and NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Whoops. Forgot to post this! Published U.K. today! At the age of 19 Mallory Quinn takes part in a strange experiment, she’s not in a good place and tries to recall the incident correctly but can she trust her drug addled memories? She is now in recovery, she’s done the 12 steps and it is a teachers aid and has been clean for 18 months. Her sponsor gets her an interview for a nanny position for the summer at the lovely home of Caroline and Ted Maxwell, looking after five year old Teddy. Teddy lik Whoops. Forgot to post this! Published U.K. today! At the age of 19 Mallory Quinn takes part in a strange experiment, she’s not in a good place and tries to recall the incident correctly but can she trust her drug addled memories? She is now in recovery, she’s done the 12 steps and it is a teachers aid and has been clean for 18 months. Her sponsor gets her an interview for a nanny position for the summer at the lovely home of Caroline and Ted Maxwell, looking after five year old Teddy. Teddy likes to draw, some are acutely childish and enchanting but one is odd and out of context. He says it’s his special friend Anya who sleeps under the bed. So let’s sketch out and paint an illustration for the five star rating. First of all, Teddy. What a lovely, imaginative and curious child who magically takes a place in your heart. I love Mallory too, she’s clawed her way out of her issues, she’s so patient and kind to Teddy and she’s intuitive, sensitive and full of pluck. I love the imaginary games they play, it’s heartwarming and delightful. I enjoy the changing perspectives on Caroline and Ted with Mitzi next door adding an initially bonkers but latterly a very interesting part in the storytelling. The setting is fantastic, the house, the grounds, the forest especially after dark and the little Guesthouse Mallory sleeps in are used cleverly to heighten the tension and I’m on high alert! Add in urban legends of boogeymen or women and then a devil house and we have us a mystery. The super creepiness builds, in fact it’s sort of sidles up on you and the hidden pictures element almost raises the hair off my scalp. It’s extremely powerful and disturbing with the author using all the senses to try to convey meaning and it almost freaks me out! There are parts that are breathtaking and I am agog unable to put the put down and it’s a one session read. The suspense! The jigsaw puzzle pictorial mystery! The tension! All by the truckload. The reveal when it comes is one I do not see coming and all the surreal aspects start clicking firmly into place. It’s dramatic because you have no idea how it will play out. The actual ending feels right I’m very authentic and truthful. Overall, this has a very refreshing and welcome originality to it and I have no hesitation in awarding five stars. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Little Brown Book Group /Sphere for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    but what was up with the weird political undertones that didn’t even match up throughout the whole book lmao also these plot twists were questionable, wack, and didn’t actually make sense if you thought about it for more than a second

  16. 4 out of 5

    chantalsbookstuff

    Mallory Quinn, a recovered drug addict takes a job looking after little Teddy. She forms a really great bond with Teddy. He loves to draw, and soon his drawings becomes dark and tells a story of their own. Saying anything more would give the story away. This book was amazing! Full of suspense and thriller aspects this one will keep you up until you have finished it. Loved it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I listened to the audiobook and absolutely loved the narrator! I went into this with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed. I liked the writing style and the characters. The plot twist I definitely did not see coming! It was creepy, atmospheric, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Definitely enjoyed this one. Mallory Quinn leaves rehab and accepts a job a babysitter in Spring Brook, New Jersey for Caroline and Ted Maxwell. She moves into their adjacent cottage and looks after their five year I listened to the audiobook and absolutely loved the narrator! I went into this with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed. I liked the writing style and the characters. The plot twist I definitely did not see coming! It was creepy, atmospheric, and kept me on the edge of my seat. Definitely enjoyed this one. Mallory Quinn leaves rehab and accepts a job a babysitter in Spring Brook, New Jersey for Caroline and Ted Maxwell. She moves into their adjacent cottage and looks after their five year old son Teddy. Teddy loves to draw and is frequently found with his pencils and pad. He likes to draw various things such as bunnies and trees. However, one day his drawing take a disturbing turn. A man in the forest dragging a woman’s body. Eventually Teddy’s drawings become more troubling and the simple stick figures turn into professional looking artwork. Mallory doesn’t know what to make of this but suspects that a supernatural influence is attempting to leave clues about a murder that happened long ago. Mallory joins forces with her wacky neighbor and her handsome new friend to solve the mystery. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This could’ve been a solid ghost story mystery! Mallory was an easy character to root for and I enjoyed how the pieces of the mysterious Anya came together. Where this story frustrated me was with the political innuendo. The stereotypes, the twist.. all added up to a disappointing/eye-rolling conclusion. I honestly don’t even know how to express my anger that the insertion of political issues in novels is becoming so intentional and blatant. I listened to this on audio and Suzy Jackson was amazi This could’ve been a solid ghost story mystery! Mallory was an easy character to root for and I enjoyed how the pieces of the mysterious Anya came together. Where this story frustrated me was with the political innuendo. The stereotypes, the twist.. all added up to a disappointing/eye-rolling conclusion. I honestly don’t even know how to express my anger that the insertion of political issues in novels is becoming so intentional and blatant. I listened to this on audio and Suzy Jackson was amazing. Her voice really worked for me and I’ll definitely be looking for more of her work. Her narration was the only thing that kept me from throwing this one in the DNF pile. Unfortunately, this is not a novel that I can recommend. 2.5 stars. ***ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4.5 suburban nanny stars - now available Mallory Quinn, sober for over 18 months, is heading for a job interview as a nanny with her sponsor. The job is in the suburbs of New Jersey for a 5-year-old boy named Teddy. Mallory’s meant to watch him for the summer before he starts kindergarten in the fall. It’s actually a dream job, complete with her own cabin in the back yard, a pool, and a forest right next to the house. It’s easy to capture Teddy’s attention with interactive play and Mallory is able 4.5 suburban nanny stars - now available Mallory Quinn, sober for over 18 months, is heading for a job interview as a nanny with her sponsor. The job is in the suburbs of New Jersey for a 5-year-old boy named Teddy. Mallory’s meant to watch him for the summer before he starts kindergarten in the fall. It’s actually a dream job, complete with her own cabin in the back yard, a pool, and a forest right next to the house. It’s easy to capture Teddy’s attention with interactive play and Mallory is able to keep up with her running at night. They both befriend Adrian, a neighborhood college student who cuts the grass during the summer. However, some sinister things start to happen when Teddy is in his room for quiet time. He brings Mallory disturbing drawings, and she worries for his mental health. Mallory confides in Adrian and a kooky neighbor. What is going on? Is there a ghost haunting the house? Does it have to do with the unsolved crime years ago in the cabin where Mallory is staying? I really liked Mallory’s character and this author’s writing style. The book went in a very different direction and for that I have to upgrade my rating! This one made for an awesome buddy read with Susan, Marilyn, and Jayme. Thanks to Macmillan/Flatiron for my ARC. It was my pleasure to share an honest review!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I really enjoyed this haunting and lyrical mystery with a healthy dose of the supernatural. Our heroine, Mallory Quinn, is a recently-clean addict who gets a too-good-to-be-true job watching the bright little boy of a wealthy and upscale couple. But the kid, Teddy, has a creepy imaginary friend...and draws terrifying pictures of Anya, a scary otherworldly figure Mallory comes to believe is a ghost. Anya is clearly trying to communicate something through Teddy's drawings, but what? This book is a I really enjoyed this haunting and lyrical mystery with a healthy dose of the supernatural. Our heroine, Mallory Quinn, is a recently-clean addict who gets a too-good-to-be-true job watching the bright little boy of a wealthy and upscale couple. But the kid, Teddy, has a creepy imaginary friend...and draws terrifying pictures of Anya, a scary otherworldly figure Mallory comes to believe is a ghost. Anya is clearly trying to communicate something through Teddy's drawings, but what? This book is a slow burn at first, but then becomes totally creepy and otherworldly, spooky and suspicious, and the pages pretty much turn themselves. The final twist is the one you will NOT see coming, yet is not so totally out of left field as to be unfair to the reader. A really well-executed mystery and ghost story in one with a fantastic ending. I found this book to be head and shoulders above some of the other thriller and supernatural stories out there in the genre today, distinguished by its unique plot and superior quality of writing. The characters were truly special and compelling, too. Jason Rekulak is a fantastic and atmospheric writer with a beautiful knack for mystery and the supernatural. I was creeped out and fascinated with every page I turned. Rekulak, it turns out, is also a longtime book editor who has written multiple books under pen names and who Alain had the idea for Horrorstor and discovered & hired Grady Hendrix to write it. It makes sense that such a creative mind would be equally powerful at executing his own books. This is the kind of writer you discover and savor and immediately turn to his backlist. I also have to mention the fabulous narration of the audiobook. Suzy Jackson is a wonderful narrator and actress who beautifully brings the characters, especially Teddy and Mallory, to life. It was really a pleasure listening to her performance which I am certain really enhanced my enjoyment of the book. My first true 5 star book in awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed this scare! Many thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this excellent ARC. I can't wait to dive into Jason Rekulak's previous book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    I...absolutely loved this book! I am definitely going to be a in a reading slump after picking up Jason Rekulak's HIDDEN PICTURES. This book is like a perfect concoction of every horror film I've ever loved and combined with the freights of Alex North's The Whisper Man, to create one of my favorite books of the year. This book focuses on a young woman, Mallory Quinn, and her journey through sobriety and her first job post-rehab. Mallory is referred to a childcare / nanny position for a wealthy fa I...absolutely loved this book! I am definitely going to be a in a reading slump after picking up Jason Rekulak's HIDDEN PICTURES. This book is like a perfect concoction of every horror film I've ever loved and combined with the freights of Alex North's The Whisper Man, to create one of my favorite books of the year. This book focuses on a young woman, Mallory Quinn, and her journey through sobriety and her first job post-rehab. Mallory is referred to a childcare / nanny position for a wealthy family in Spring Brook, New Jersey. Ted and Caroline Maxwell and their son Teddy seem to have the perfect life and Mallory is excited for this next chapter of her life. As Mallory's job begins, Teddy's obsession with drawing grows more and more sinister, with pictures (showcased amazingly in the book. I legit got freaked out!) that are beyond the capabilities of a little boy. These pictures show a murder and lifelike portrayals of something much more evil than Mallory could ever expect a little boy to have envisioned. As Mallory begins to investigate these drawings, she knows she has to be careful. Not only will people possibly think she's relapsed, but these stories portrayed through Teddy's art seem sinister and if someone is behind it, they'll surely not want Mallory to find out what's going on. Hidden Pictures gave me a few freights, but it also was such a unique story in the way it was conveyed. Using drawings to convey the story worked perfectly and really kept me intrigued even during slower parts of the story. I started this book right before bed and finished before lunch time the following day because I just could not let go of the story. I don't think I'll ever let go of this story. It's definitely going to be in the top reads of the year. If you like horror / thrillers that teeter on the balance of paranormal, like The Whisper Man mentioned above, this is your book! I am a complete fan of the genius that is Jason Rekulak and will be thinking of this book for a long time. I loved it 100%.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dutchie

    This was all setup to be a 4 star read! It had everything you could want in a book: it was captivating, it had great character development and had a bit of supernatural eeriness to it! And those drawings interspersed were an excellent touch! I spent tons of time relooking at them to try and see if there were “hidden pictures” in them. Then the ending came and my draw dropped…not in an omg that’s awesome way but an omg nooooooo whyyyyyyy😩 This author certainly held my attention and would totally t This was all setup to be a 4 star read! It had everything you could want in a book: it was captivating, it had great character development and had a bit of supernatural eeriness to it! And those drawings interspersed were an excellent touch! I spent tons of time relooking at them to try and see if there were “hidden pictures” in them. Then the ending came and my draw dropped…not in an omg that’s awesome way but an omg nooooooo whyyyyyyy😩 This author certainly held my attention and would totally try future works….but the ending on this made me toss the book in frustration. Obviously based on other reviews pretty much everyone I know enjoyed this (I did too…until ending) so please give it a try as it was really good for the majority of it Final thought…The Annie storyline was thrown to the wayside too quickly…that had potential to b really good

  23. 4 out of 5

    Justin Chen

    2.75 stars Is tolerating absolute mediocrity worth it for a decent twist (or two) at the end? Hidden Pictures is the perfect book to ask that question — and the answer really depends on one's patience for bland writing, weak character work, and a slew of genre cliches. Hidden Pictures is Jason Rekulak's first novel marketed primarily towards adults, but it still reads very early-YA in execution; the writing is basic and plain to a fault, never establish the tension and mood this conceptually dark 2.75 stars Is tolerating absolute mediocrity worth it for a decent twist (or two) at the end? Hidden Pictures is the perfect book to ask that question — and the answer really depends on one's patience for bland writing, weak character work, and a slew of genre cliches. Hidden Pictures is Jason Rekulak's first novel marketed primarily towards adults, but it still reads very early-YA in execution; the writing is basic and plain to a fault, never establish the tension and mood this conceptually dark story desperately needs. The physical book compensates the lack of flavor in writing by having pictures physically inserted throughout, but this multimedia approach feels more like a last-ditch effort than a clever supplement to an already self-sufficient material (I also received my ARC as an audiobook, so this visual aid has no benefit to me). For veteran thriller/horror readers, the first half of Hidden Pictures will test one's patience with its explosion of cliches: an unreliable young female narrator with traumatic past who constantly makes dumb decisions, creepy kid 101 (draws disturbing pictures, doesn't make friends, has imaginary playmate, talks to the air), and responding to these strange occurrences with the most worn-out methods (Ouija board, baby monitor, library research, etc.). There's nothing fundamentally wrong with any of these elements, but when a story in 2022 is still trying to sell baby monitor with static noises and ghostly visuals as one of its pivotal, climatic scares, then there's a problem. Now, those twists... I have to admit I didn't see them coming (based on general consensus there are 2 major ones): one is pretty laughable and as it was revealed I immediately see logistic plot holes, but I commend the author for even going there. The other is objectively decent, and actually turns earlier events on their head. Hidden Pictures will find its audience in readers who just transitioned to adult fiction, someone who's new to the thriller/horror genre, or someone who's willing to let a few good twists to erase all sins — everyone else can stay clear. **This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!**

  24. 5 out of 5

    Creya

    Dude, I don’t even know. This book was so WEIRD! I think I would have liked it better if it didn’t go off the rails from the ghost story it initially appeared to be, but man… Jason Rekulak packed so much emotion in the book’s last page that really stuck with me. This is one of those novels where it is hard to write a review, as I don’t want to give too much away. I think if you are expecting a supernatural tale, you will be disappointed. While this didn’t exactly live up to the hype and rave rev Dude, I don’t even know. This book was so WEIRD! I think I would have liked it better if it didn’t go off the rails from the ghost story it initially appeared to be, but man… Jason Rekulak packed so much emotion in the book’s last page that really stuck with me. This is one of those novels where it is hard to write a review, as I don’t want to give too much away. I think if you are expecting a supernatural tale, you will be disappointed. While this didn’t exactly live up to the hype and rave reviews in my opinion, I’m glad I read it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Okay, I think I've heard enough. This tale begins with Mallory, a recovering addict living in a halfway house. She's 18 months sober and ready to move on with her life. I have loved ones in recovery so I felt like I would really be into this. Her mentor, which should be a woman but is a man for some reason against any 12 step rules, turns her on to a job babysitting for a kid named Teddy. This is where things quickly go downhill for me. Teddy's mom is warm and inviting. She works with addicts and v Okay, I think I've heard enough. This tale begins with Mallory, a recovering addict living in a halfway house. She's 18 months sober and ready to move on with her life. I have loved ones in recovery so I felt like I would really be into this. Her mentor, which should be a woman but is a man for some reason against any 12 step rules, turns her on to a job babysitting for a kid named Teddy. This is where things quickly go downhill for me. Teddy's mom is warm and inviting. She works with addicts and veterans so she's eager to give Mallory a chance. Teddy's father is more reluctant and reserved. Citing her as high risk. Hurtful but it's not a lie. Suddenly every virtue signal gets thrown in here from food to climate. Teddy has an imaginary friend who suggests he eat different things but can ya blame him?? I would too if my parents were feeding me according to what they think the sun monster wants. They're obviously anti-religion. Fair enough. I'm not a religious person but I try not to judge. Mallory is religious and I feel this is just an odd take thrown in just to virtue against religion of any sort. The smart, science family and the dopey religious girl who was on drugs. I dealt with all of it, I just rolled my eyes. Then we get to the real doozy. As they're outside swimming, Mallory meets the landscaper. He's of Mexican descent, though we don't know his immigration status and I, for one, did not ask. He's a nice young man and Teddy likes him enough to draw him a creepy picture. He leaves and the quirky neighbor comes outside claiming to be a libertarian, spouting a bunch of racist and sexist nonsense. It doesn't even make sense. Libertarians are loose on the border stuff and very welcoming of immigrants. They mind their own business. They don't go in someone's yard they don't know telling them to not wear a bikini except for in the wet dreams and imaginations of hard leftists. So for those reasons, I'm out. Lay off the politics and weird undertones next time or at least say that in the blurb. Surprise politics get a low rating from me every time. Most of us read fiction to get away from that stuff. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to listen and give an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fatman

    Competently written, but very paint-by-the-numbers predictable. Hidden Pictures reads like YA, which is probably why it did not appeal to me, so I'm tacking on an extra star just to be fair. Objectively, it's a 3/5. Competently written, but very paint-by-the-numbers predictable. Hidden Pictures reads like YA, which is probably why it did not appeal to me, so I'm tacking on an extra star just to be fair. Objectively, it's a 3/5.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    There is one good twist in this book and I just want to note that up front because this is definitely the kind of book where I can get so hung up on all the things that frustrated me that I leave out something like the one good twist. There was also a good red herring. The opening pages are good, too. There are good bones here, but oh boy everything else. Mallory is college-aged but not in college, because she is just out of rehab. Mallory, we are told, was raised in South Philly by a single moth There is one good twist in this book and I just want to note that up front because this is definitely the kind of book where I can get so hung up on all the things that frustrated me that I leave out something like the one good twist. There was also a good red herring. The opening pages are good, too. There are good bones here, but oh boy everything else. Mallory is college-aged but not in college, because she is just out of rehab. Mallory, we are told, was raised in South Philly by a single mother and after high school spent a couple years in complete thrall to her addiction. I note that we are told this because besides being told it, nothing about Mallory would ever give you this idea. Besides her Philly references, she doesn't talk or act like someone with her background. She conveniently was spared any significant trauma while living as a homeless addict, which I find highly unlikely but I guess it makes the story easier to tell. She camouflages well when she pretends to be a college student, and honestly she seems more like a typical college student. She is perfectly content suddenly dropped into a fancy suburb to be a live-in nanny. Then again, the couple she nannies for have the same flaw. We are told at the beginning about their rules for the nanny, which seem rather strict but not much they do really aligns with the people we are told they are in the beginning. And when things get weird, they are even less those people. If my nanny came and told me with absolute belief that my child was drawing pictures while under the control of a ghost, I would not have the mild reaction these two have. And it's unclear why Mallory would present this to them and expect that she will be able to convince them, since it's pretty inconsistent with everything we know about them. Nothing Mallory does makes much sense. Not just when she suspects there is a ghost but when she is actually being a nanny. Several times I would think, "Mallory, wtf, if you think that kid is being possessed during quiet time then stop leaving the kid alone in their room during quiet time??? Seems like a simple solution." Eventually there will be a reason for this, but the reason is not something Mallory consciously decided but something the book needs to be true so it can throw a reveal at you later. Besides the one good twist, this book also has one reveal I did not like at all and that I would have encouraged someone to avoid if they'd asked me. It is also a reveal that makes no sense because it's impossible that Mallory wouldn't have known this within 24 hours of being the nanny to a 5 year old. And all the rest of the reveals, well, they were not nearly as good as the one good one. By the time I was halfway through I was just reading to find out if there was at least an interesting reason for all this. Alas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    Five fan-freakin-tastic stars!!! I'm going to be very brief with not only the synopsis but my thoughts on this one because the less you know the better! The story centers around 21-year-old recovering addict Mallory Quinn. Mallory takes a job as a live-in nanny for the Maxwell family, Ted, Caroline, and Teddy. Mallory immediately bonds with 5-year-old Teddy and she loves living in Maxwell’s guesthouse. Teddy loves to draw- he draws typical things that children his age doodle. Until one day, Mall Five fan-freakin-tastic stars!!! I'm going to be very brief with not only the synopsis but my thoughts on this one because the less you know the better! The story centers around 21-year-old recovering addict Mallory Quinn. Mallory takes a job as a live-in nanny for the Maxwell family, Ted, Caroline, and Teddy. Mallory immediately bonds with 5-year-old Teddy and she loves living in Maxwell’s guesthouse. Teddy loves to draw- he draws typical things that children his age doodle. Until one day, Mallory notices that Teddy has drawn a picture of a man dragging a woman's lifeless body through the forest. Wow-what a phenomenal story! Mallory was a magnificent main character, as was Teddy. I also loved that Teddy's drawings were included after every chapter. This book has all of the elements that I enjoy in a thriller: suspenseful, atmospheric, action-packed, and most importantly, a bomb-shattering twist. I cannot rave about this one enough! I've seen so many rave reviews on Hidden Pictures so I knew it would be good. But after I finished the story, I realized this one exceeded all of my expectations! Hidden Pictures will be one of those books that will stay with me a long time after reading. So much so, that it's made my list of favorite reads of the year!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Baker

    It’s not the most original story plot wise, but I had fun with it! I thought it was like a popcorn book, easy to read and I didn’t take it too seriously. It honestly reminded me of like a campy horror movie. I think the illustrations really elevated the story, and I don’t think I would have liked it as much on audio. Just a heads up, a few people have told me they thought the portrayal of the main characters history of drug addiction to be very offensive and harmful. Also, I’ve seen a lot of neg It’s not the most original story plot wise, but I had fun with it! I thought it was like a popcorn book, easy to read and I didn’t take it too seriously. It honestly reminded me of like a campy horror movie. I think the illustrations really elevated the story, and I don’t think I would have liked it as much on audio. Just a heads up, a few people have told me they thought the portrayal of the main characters history of drug addiction to be very offensive and harmful. Also, I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews talking about they didn’t like the political under/overtones and the offensive stereotypes some of the characters expressed. That aspect of the book reminded me exactly of how Stephen King writes. And, funny enough, Stephen King blurbed the book simply saying “I loved it” 😂. Just a heads up!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aya

    I don't know what to say about this book, there were some good parts and there were the bizarre parts. I didn't mind the paranormal elements but Jason Rukulak didn't build the premise strong enough for it. The writing didn't help either, I needed more clarifications and characters needed more work. Jason gave me the skeletons of the book, he didn't add the flesh and blood. Some scenes didn't make any sense so I didn't get the atmosphere and the horror. The illustrations was a nice touch to the bo I don't know what to say about this book, there were some good parts and there were the bizarre parts. I didn't mind the paranormal elements but Jason Rukulak didn't build the premise strong enough for it. The writing didn't help either, I needed more clarifications and characters needed more work. Jason gave me the skeletons of the book, he didn't add the flesh and blood. Some scenes didn't make any sense so I didn't get the atmosphere and the horror. The illustrations was a nice touch to the book though, they helped me to understand the story of Anya better. I was disappointed, I saw many people recommended this book but too bad I didn't feel it. 3.5 stars for the author's effort.

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