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Having thoroughly enjoyed James Patterson`s earlier novels which have featured either the Washington homicide detective Alex Cross or the Women`s Murder Club I was intrigued to see if the master of thriller writing could maintain a standard that has seen two of his earlier books, Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls turned into highly successful films.
In hide and seek Patterson writes with straightforwardness and ease, by using short chapters he makes sure you`re quickly hooked on the engrossing plot making it hard to put the book down.
This couldn`t be happening. It was unthinkable. Maggie Bradford lay shivering under the porch with her baby girl, Philip her drunken and violent husband is going to kill them. Years later we now find Maggie Bradford is on trial for murder. One of the world`s best known singer-songwriters, a mother who has it all, how could she have killed not one but two of her husbands. We are left in no doubt from the very start about the victims and who is suspected of being the killer but even with this knowledge the reader is kept guessing about the outcome as the author delves into the flawed and complex characters. Reflecting on her life from a prison cell awaiting trial we learn about Maggie`s rise to fame as a much loved and famous musician and singer-song writer, a celebrity who has everything to live for. Maggie is a fighter who has overcome tragic events from the past and is building a successful future.
When Maggie falls in love with a brilliant athlete and film star her dreams have come true, she has found happiness or has she? The man she marries Will, the perfect gentleman has dark dangerous secrets that no one could imagine. Patterson explores each character making the reader believe first one thing then another, teasing and challenging minds, making it hard to judge whether Maggie should be on trial, making it easy to loathe Will. Will with his stunning looks hiding an evil personality. The novel moves at a fast pace with events on either side of the Atlantic being described in short chapters continually moving between the two main characters. A style similar to a Sidney Sheldon epic, watching two people growing up in different countries their lives destined to become entwined.
With Hide and Seek James Patterson has moved away from his crime thriller mode and for a one off book has changed to more of a romantic thriller. It is hard not to feel sympathy for Maggie and see her as the victim. As we learn about Wills personality and his sexual cravings the book moves away from the romantic meetings and courtships and into the darker sinister world of a madman. As the story draws towards its shocking climax I found it more difficult to put the book down I got the feeling that I had to know what happens which is typical of the way the author carries his readers along in suspense, never daring to stop until we have the answer, until we know.
For me Hide and Seek was unusual for a James Paterson novel. I found the story flowed along nicely although I found some of the descriptions of how good a singer and songwriter Maggie became a bit too far fetched at times as was Wills rise as an English footballer. It was also made me cringe to see how an American writer coped with describing our beautiful game of football. Whilst I enjoyed Hide and Seek I didn`t think that it reached the standards of Patterson`s Alex Cross or Women`s Murder Club thrillers. I felt at times the story followed the lines of many other stories about abused women who fall in love and don`t realise what they are getting into, it is probably only the climax that could be recognised as being written by this truly great writer. My normal experience of a James Patterson novel is a thriller with fast paced adventure, action, mystery and suspense. I don`t think Hide and seek quite ticked all these boxes for me although I would recommend it as a good holiday read and I will probably read one of his other stand alone books.
Published by HarperCollins 1996
As some of you may know from previous reviews, I have only just come across James Patterson books, and after enjoying a few of his books I have decided to read most, if not all, of his books. This is the latest one I have finished.
Maggie Bradford is a mother, a wife and an unsigned song writer. After suffering years and years of both physical and mental abuse from her husband, Phillip, and scared for both herself and their daughter, she murders him one night after realising that if she doesn't kill him, Phillip will kill her.
The story then moves to the present time, where Maggie is in prison facing a prison sentences after killing yet another of her husbands, Will Shepherd. Maggie decides to tell the truth and this book is her story. She recounts her life with her first husband Phillip and how she ended up killing him. From there she tells the story of her very wealthy second husband and how he died of a heart attack on a boat, and finally the circumstances surrounding the murder of Will Shepherd. So three husbands, and all 3 husbands dead. Is Maggie a woman who intends to murder her husbands? Or is she an unfortunate victim in life, who just has to protect herself and her daughter? As Maggie's court case looms, we start to question if Maggie really murdered Will, or if she is being set-up for a murder that didn't actually happen. Is Will still alive?
~Layout of the book~
At the beginning, the book flickers between Maggie's and Will's story. Maggie explaining her life in America, and how she made it as a very successful song-writer after writing about her experiences with her first husband, and Will explaining how he has made it as a successful footballer living in England. Towards the middle of the book, Maggie is the narrator in most of the chapters as she starts explaining what has happened in her life for her to become a murderer. But how many of her husbands did she actually kill?
It is very clever how Patterson relates two people together, from different ends of the world, and with completely different life stories. I felt really sorry for Maggie at the beginning of the book, and this sympathy stays throughout.
I wouldn't say that the whole book was one that you didn't put down, but there were certain chapters where I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. About halfway through, I started to lose the will to carry on reading. This isn't because of Patterson's writing ability, but more because I read crime and thriller books mostly, and this was more a romantic novel with a little bit of crime added in. So not really my cup of tea!
It was an OK read, but its not a book I will keep on the shelf to read again.
I have given the book 3/5 dooyoo stars as Patterson did sometimes keep me gripped with the storyline, and it was an easy read, but the book does not really fit into Patterson's writing genre, and this made me give only 3 stars. Patterson should stick to crime and thriller rather than attempting to write a "kind-of" romantic novel.
I will not stop reading his books, as I hope that this one was just a little glitch!
Hide And Seek is a book that is told from two points of views initially, before meeting up and marrying somewhere in the middle. That's an appropriate approximation actually because, and considering this is a thriller, there is a lot of meeting up, falling in love and marriage underlying. What the book is really about though is a woman who mis-trusts, then trusts the wrong people.
Maggie Bradford is an abused wife who shot dead her husband after years of abuse at his hands. Now, she recounts the story of that fateful encounter and her own rise to fame as she learned to articulate her story through the art of song. In one of the most unfathomable rises to fame, and one that only Susan Boyle might appreciate, she becomes one of the most formiddable song-writers of her time, despite barely leaving the side of her daughter and her few partner's.
On the other side of the world, in England, a young man becomes footballer of the decade, outshining his competition as well as his own team at every turn. Unbeknown to his management, his brother, and the unfortunate women who fall for his bronzed blonde charms, he is bad to the core, and gets off on inflicting evil deeds upon people. When he becomes obsessed with a song-writer whose songs speak to him, he'll leave no stone unturned to connect with her. This will lead to some fateful consequences.
It is clever how James Paterson manages to weave a story that lasts over 20 years in 2 different parts of the world with 2 very different people, and still manage to make it seamless. Some of the dialogue is cheesey, and the meteoric rise of his respective villain and hero is questionable, but in creating a loathsome but charming villain and a vulnerable likeable hero he manages to create an explosive contrast between his characters.
I cringed often through this book, mostly at the "wonderful" titles of Maggie Bradford's songs. These are song title's that Celine Dion would most likely cringe at - and thats understating it. There is a nice moment though when Barbra Streisand is leaked into the story for an exchange that I could actually believe in. I wonder if Streisand gave Mr Patterson her permission to be included. Its a nice touch though that, at least, places Bradford in a position that we can actually view as realistic.
This is a book that creates a wonderful setting, with a lot of good fortune, only to place something horrible right in the middle of it all. There are no bleak realities here, and there are no dangerous underworlds. There are only finely manicured gardens, beautiful people, and the easiest climb up the success ladder you could ever imagine, and yet somehow these people still get put through the gauntlet of violence and manipulation.
The plot about Maggie's first husband, and the hauntings, is probably the least likeable thing about it. It is far fetched and thrown in only to remind us that she is a very vulnerable woman. Quite honestly, I sped-read those parts, because they weren't really neccessary and we didn't really need reminded of why Maggie remained an enigma who had, largely, closed herself from other human's and referred to her young daughter as her best friend often.
What I liked about the book mostly was that James Patterson skimmed over the bones of his character's and slotted a great amount of their lives into a swift tale that, surprisingly, managed to hold my attention all the way through. None of it was realistic, the tale was often too fragmented, and he put his character's into boxes that they never really stepped out of. But we saw the characters grow and develop and thats something that Patterson is very good at.
James Patterson quite often returns to the same series of books, or characters. More recently, he has written a fair few stand-alones, this being the fifth of that ilk. This book was released in 1996, comes in at 368 pages, and is divided into short chapters that will allow you to read it in various blocks if you're somebody who, like me, catches snippets where you can. The book was published by Harper.
I'm a recent convert to James Patterson's books. I'm not a fan of all of them, but the Alex Cross series has captured my imagination. Being a stickler for reading things in the 'correct' order, I started at the beginning of the Alex Cross series (Along Came a Spider) and my aim was to work through them all.
For some reason I was convinced that 'Hide and Seek' was also an Alex Cross book. I obviously researched incorrectly! But even though I discovered my mistake, I continued reading (hard to stop a book half way through!).
'Hide and Seek' is about a famous singer called Maggie Bradford, and her life from rags to riches. But she's had a few spots of bad luck along the way. She murdered her first husband - in self defence - and now she's in jail accused of murdering another husband!
The book starts with Maggie telling her story from jail, with a few chapters being told from other character's perspectives. The story twists and turns throughout, which is a blessing. This is not up to the Alex Cross series standard - I found some paragraphs a bit long winded and lacked the excitement that I'm used to. The ending, however, didn't disappoint.
I'm glad James Patterson didn't decide to write any more Maggie Bradford novels (well, I haven't seen any, so I'm assuming that is correct!) as although she was an interesting enough character for one book, I think it would have been a massive struggle to develop her any further.
Hide and Seek is an intense thriller from the pen of James Patterson, with suspenseful moments galore and a clever writing style making it hard to put the bookd own. It is a bit different to his books featuring Alex Cross or the Women's Murder Club as all the characterisation and development has to be done within the confines of this one book, and as a result, things seem very furtive indeed. But in a good way!
Maggie Bradford is on trial for the murder of her second husband, Will Shepard. Maggie is a successful musician, while Will is a successful sports star: a marriage made in heaven? Apparently not. We learn that Maggie had defended herself against her first husband Philip, who had attacked her and her daughter, and then we discover that Will, seemingly perfect to the outside world, was harbouring intense anger issues that often got out of control.
Patterson takes on a rollercoaster of opinion, first making us believe Maggie is unfairly on trial, before then attempting to swing the balance this way and then that, before a startling and surprising conclusion. The author has the ability to keep me reading when I should probably should be doing something else, and I have often read his books until the early hours of the morning.
Hid and Seek is no exception, and I found myself riveted to an intense tale, where the characterisation keeps happening all the way through, and we are slowly allowed to build up the case in our own minds as the story goes along.
Despite the fact that everything had to be done within the one book, as opposed the other books that Patterson includes in one of his series, didn't halt his process of the story going along like a train, and the words sink in fluidly as you read. His writing style is no nonsense, dispatching with the long descriptive passage and just giving you the story as it is. As a result, many regard him as good holiday reading material. If that's the case, I want to go on holiday!
Hid and Seek is available at the retail price of £6.99, but is easy to find cheaper if you have a search online or in charity shops.
Hide and Seek is yet another of author James Patterson's book to have hit the bestseller #1 spot and for very good reason. James Patterson has written many now famous novels in recent years and for me, is close to rivalling Stephen King and Dean Koontz as a master of the thriller genre. ~~~~~~The Plot~~~~~~~ Hide and Seek is the story of Maggie Bradford whom in the prologue is in the process of hiding under the porch with her three year old daughter Jennie, to escape the violent intentions of her drunken, violent husband, Phillip. He inevitably catches up with her and as he points a gun at her, she points her own at him........BANG! We catch up with Maggie next in a prison cell where it is obvious that she was the winner in the shoot-out involving Phillip. Maggie is about to go on trial for the murder of her husband.....her second husband, Will. From there, we are told in a kind of back-flash manner the story of Maggie's rise to fame as a musician and singer after she overcame the tragic events following her marriage to Phillip. We also follow the life of Will 'The Blonde Arrow' Shepherd, an obvious nutter who also rises to fame as an international football player. Behind his fame and stunning good-looks, Will hides a disturbing past & consequently, personality disorder. The only person who has any idea who he really is, is his twin brother, Palmer. After events that shape both Maggie & Will, they eventually meet up and after some time, get together; Maggie thinks she has found happiness at last after her last lover died in her arms and Will thinks he has found someone who can save him from himself. Needless to say, events don't quite work out like that and it all goes horribly wrong for Maggie & Will. ~~~~~~~MY THOUGHTS~~~~~~~ I enjoyed this book immensly and found it very hard to put down once I began reading it last night! I am a very fast reader and though I had read this book be
fore, I didn't remember the ending until it was upon me so I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. The plot moves along so swifly in this book that you simply must carry on with it! The end of each chapter brings plenty of tension to lead you into the next one and the inclusion of Will's exploits have you feeling for Maggie as she really has no idea what she is letting herself in for. Even when they eventually meet and marry you cringe for Maggie because her chapters are concerned with how happy she is, whilst the one's from Will's perspective show you how hard she is going to fall. Nevertheless, it is a surprise when she does fall and is then on trial for the murder of Will. Even then, there is plenty left in the book in the way of action & more hurt for Maggie before the book reaches it's somewhat shocking conclusion. I have also read most of James Patterson's books and found this one to be a refreshing change from his Alex Cross books. Though I enjoy that particular character, it tends to pale when each book includes him. This book is proof that this author can still write immensly good characters apart from the ones he knows so well. Maggie was a well fleshed out character who easily gained the readers sympathy and support and Will was easy to despise as he was so easily recognised as the bad guy from the beginning. This made Will a tad two-dimensional at times, but not enough to spoil the enjoyment of the book. ~~~~~~~SOME REVIEWS~~~~~~ "A twisty narrative that barrels along swifly.....a hair-rising ride" - People "James Patterson does everything but stick our finger in a light socket" - New York Times book review. ~~~~~~THE AUTHOR~~~~~~~ James Patterson lives in New York. His first successful international bestseller 'Along Came A Spider' has sold over two million copies and has now been made into a film (which I haven&
#39;t yet seen). The follow up to that novel 'Kiss The Girls' was also made into a film though this came out first. This I have seen and wasn't very impressed. I will aim to review both those books in the future when I get around to reading them again. He has written lots of other great books including 'Cradle and All', 'Rose are Red', & 'When The Wind Blows', all excellent reads in themselves. ~~~~~~~SOME INFO~~~~~~~~ ISBN 0-00-649852-3 UK Sterling £6.99 from W H Smith or bookshops. Published by Harper Collins in 1996. Cover illustration by David Scott Hope this is helpful; thanks for reading. Kes:)
Maggie Bradford is on trial for murder. One of the best-loved singer/songwriters anywhere, she seems to have it all. And so, the world wants to know, how could she have murdered not just one, but two of her husbands? This thriller comes from the author of Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.