The Hiding Game

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Pub Date 05 Sep 2019 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2019

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The thrilling new bestseller from acclaimed crime writer Louise Phillips.

'Intriguing and compelling ... will enthral you to the end' Liz Nugent

'Absolutely gripping ... an addictive page turner.' Patricia Gibney

When Abby Jones, a young nanny from Corham, a small town south-east of Boston, is accused of fatally harming an infant in her care, defence attorney Heather Baxter fights to prove her innocence.

Heather, from the same small town, knows the case is not as clear-cut as the Assistant District Attorney claims and, with media attention focused on the trial and Corham, the stakes couldn't be higher.

But when Heather digs deeper, the shadows of her own past, and her mother's unsolved murder twenty-five years earlier, begin to surface with deadly consequences...

'A gripping courtroom drama with a courageous new heroine in Heather Baxter. Pacy, tightly plotted and full of suspense. The Hiding Game was worth the wait!' Andrea Carter

'Riveting, thought provoking and compulsive.' Arlene Hunt

The thrilling new bestseller from acclaimed crime writer Louise Phillips.

'Intriguing and compelling ... will enthral you to the end' Liz Nugent

'Absolutely gripping ... an addictive page turner.'...

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ISBN 9781529304107
PRICE £13.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

This is a taut, tense and brilliantly plotted novel. I devoured this in a single day! I’ve long been a fan of Phillips’ Dublin-based crime series, and I was curious to read this novel – which is very different to the Dublin-based, police procedural novels she’s written until now. The book certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Hiding Game is inspired by the tragic story of Louise Woodward, a UK au pair accused (and then convinced) of the manslaughter of the young baby in her care. In the novel, defense attorney Heather Baxter, is asked to represent Abby Jones, a young woman accused of killing the baby boy in her care.

Heather knows the case against Abby is complicated, with the evidence stacked up against her and no obvious proof that anyone else could have harmed the child. But Heather believes Abby is innocent and she sets out to prove it in the most high-stakes case of her career so far.

Heather’s investigations into the case draw her back to her own dark past and her mother’s unsolved murder 25 years earlier. It’s an utterly gripping crime novel that keeps the reader racing through the pages towards the final, dramatic dénouement.

At its heart, this is a novel about grief and loss. Like so many good crime writers, Phillips cares passionately about the way damage in childhood shapes and influences the people we grow up to become.
This is a cracking crime novel from a writer who is at the top of her game.
Highly recommended.

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Definitely a 4*. What a terrific read. This is quite different from the authors previous books but as good if not, in my opinion, better

This book combines two stories in one. Both of which are equally terrifying and tense and lead the reader up many cul de sacs

Take some time out and get lost in these two thrillers.

Louise, I too remember the trial vividly

With many thanks to Louise Phillips & Hatchette for ARC in return for an honest teview

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Set in and around Boston, Massachusetts this is primarily a courtroom drama combined with a thriller. Heather revisits her old home town reluctantly as a defence attorney representing Abby Jones, accused of killing a 5 month old boy. Shaken Baby Syndrome features as the controversial medical evidence blaming Abby for the death and reading this book made me remember the case of Louise Woodward. Indeed once I reached the acknowledgements Louis Phillips mentions this case as being part of the basis for the story.
Heather doesn't want to be in her old home town because it is here that she lost her baby sister Mia (she died as a very young infant) and her mother was raped and murdered too. Heather's father kept disappearing and the man her mother had an affair with, Lucas, is the man Heather blames for her mother's brutal death. However no one has ever been brought to justice.
The mystery surrounding the cold case of Elizabeth Baxter (Heather's Mum) runs parallel to the court case Heather is involved in. There are people from Heather's childhood very much involved in her mother's death 25 years ago and the current court case, linking families together and casting suspicion every which way. The Handcocks, Jim and Alice, pay Heather to represent Abby as she is their niece and they are the ones who introduced Abby to the Rotterdam family to nanny for their son Jacob. With affairs, deceit, and misleading evidence, will Heather prove Abby's innocence and unveil the murderer of her mother?
This is an extremely enjoyable read with twists, turns and a very sensitive portrayal of losing a child. The bonds that tie mother and child are explored further with the unfolding back story of Heather hiding as a 10 year old when her mother was raped and murdered. The guilt and loss has a ripple effect causing long lasting emotional trauma for Heather which in many ways is healed by the close of the novel, leaving the reader satisfied and hopeful.
A great book toread!

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This is a utterly gripping read
There are many twists and turns. There is also a strong look at grief in this book.
This book is beautifully written and compelling right until the surprising end

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The Hiding Game is right up there in my top reads of 2019 so far. From the first page right to the last I was hooked. This book has it all for a crime genre. There's courtroom drama which was superbly written, a murder, and unsolved murders dating back over 25 years. If you are looking for action, gritty tension, suspense, and a complete sense of dread on occasion, then this is definitely the book for you.

The story centres around the main character Heather. She's a defence attorney called back to her home town to defend a young nanny called Abby Jones who as been accused of murdering the baby in her care. Heather had her reasons for leaving town and never coming back and these were partly due to the unsolved murder of her mother 25 years ago.

The story progresses with a number of points of view. The main points of view though are from Heather and her deceased mother. The additional points of view come from a number of characters and only last one chapter each, but they are well done and tie into the story, moving it forward and adding even more tension.

There are characters to love, characters to hate, characters you won't be sure of, and if like me the underlying tone and the emotional depth of this story, will keep you tossing and turning at night. In fact, I woke up from a dream having to remind myself that it was only a book :-)

As the story progressed, I'll admit I didn't want to put the book down. The courtroom scenes were superb and I devoured the dialogue, everything playing out perfectly in my mind. The research that went into this must have taken so long.

The pace of the story is excellent too with so many elements to uncover and I didn't guess who had committed the murders right until the end. I had my suspicions as I read, but they changed time and time again and new information came to light.

One of the things that really struck me about this book and how good of a writer, Ms Phillips is, is the emotional impact. It was more than just a crime novel, it was an emotional punch in the guts and so very real. The exploration of the depths of grief and the loss of a mother or child were treated with care and understanding.

I have no hesitation in giving this book 5 stars and can't wait to pick up the paperback version too.

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Heather Baxter takes on the position of defence attorney when Abby Jones is charged with the murder of infant Jacob Rotterdam. She is Jacob’s young nanny and is in sole charge of him the day he dies. She notices he is off-form and certainly unwell even before she tucks him up in his cot for a nap, then, while Jacob is sleeping she has a long phone conversation with her friend. Jacob’s condition worsens and he becomes seriously ill. Within a few hours he is dead. His parents are devastated and also angry that Abby didn’t inform them of his changing condition throughout the day. They feel cheated of precious time they could have spent with their baby and the thought that they may possibly have been able to save his life with a quicker intervention.
Heather knows straight away that the case is not going to be straightforward and will attract lots of media attention. She and her small team throw everything they have into preparing her defence. They know it will not be easy but Heather is determined to look into every argument she can use to prove that Abby is innocent. She feels empathy with Jacob’s parents of course, but also with Abby who has had a very bad start to her young life. Heather’s past is also very sad. She too lost her baby sister and then her mother as well 25 years earlier. This case brings back painful memories for her. She knows she has to be objective and think laterally. She must distance herself from her own unhappy experiences to concentrate on Abby and proving that she did not murder Jacob. She is sure of that but also sure that Abby is holding back some information that could crack her case.
Most of the criminal action is set in a quiet town on the outside of Boston and this novel tells two stories: Abby’s and Heather’s. Both storyboards are equally compelling and intriguing. The drama of the courtroom is inevitably tense and nail-biting, with both attorneys taking their turn to present their cases as clear cut and credible, with evidence to substantiate their claims. The prosecution is pitted against the defence like a seesaw, ebbing and flowing as the pace escalates, with the judge sitting in his chair in charge of fair play in the proceedings. The theatre of it all is enthralling. There is an eclectic cast of characters, some very appealing but others not at all so. My heart rate increased when Jacob’s mother took the stand. I felt such empathy for her. A mother never anticipates this will happen to her and I cannot begin to imagine her desperation, pain and loss. I liked Heather best of all. She is courageous, filled with empathy, determination, insight and she is exceedingly talented.
With strong issues like jealousy, revenge, secrecy and grief, I enjoyed reading this novel. I received a complimentary copy of it from publisher Hachette Books Ireland through my membership of NetGalley. Thank you for my copy. These are my own honest opinions that are uninfluenced by any other reviews or publicity. It’s a well-earned 3.5* review from me.

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It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
I appreciated the well written cast of characters and the plot that kept me hooked till the end.
I look forward to reading other books by Ms Philips.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

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Heather Baxter is an attorney who by day, defends a young girl accused of killing an infant boy in her charge, and by night, is tormented as she tries to make sense of her mother’s unsolved murder, many years earlier. Through her journey of discovery, Heather uncovers several links between the two cases, often in terrible danger as she moves ever closer to a cruel and ruthless killer. A thoroughly enjoyable thriller combining exciting courtroom drama with unsettling secrets, mystery and intrigue!

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A new author and a brilliant one. I loved the way the story was told and the ending was brilliant. I got completely lost in the story. I will be looking foward to reading more by this author!!!

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As soon as I started reading this I knew at least some of the inspiration must have come from the Louise Woodward case which many years ago was the first court case I ever watched live. Turns out I was right but there was a lot more going on than just that, as Louise Phillips presents a twisty and utterly gripping tale of small town secrets, loss, obsession and power.

Main protagonist Heather has suffered a lot of loss, both her baby sister then later her mother – her mother’s murder was never solved, and coming back to her home town to defend a young woman who everyone believes is guilty will test her to her limits.

Aside from the beautifully placed twists and turns that defines any excellent psychological thriller the emotional layers are very resonant in The Hiding Game- the relationships are dark and emotional and there is a strong and very authentic look at grief in many forms as you travel the road with Heather and others.

I was utterly glued to the pages, beautifully written, often unexpected, always compelling right up until the final heart wrenching reveal.

Loved it. Proper storytelling here – the kind of layered drama I’m fond of where character is key and there are no easy answers.


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A new author to me, an excellent read, I enjoyed the way this author writes, it is a well developed story with a satisfactory ending and it held my interest throughout.

I can thoroughly recommend this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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A really fantastic and suspenseful read. The story was fascinating and kept my attention throughout. A great story with likeable characters

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