The Hiding Place by Helen Phifer

Published June 1st 2021 by Bookouture

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers. Police Procedural

About the Book: The little girl peered down the dark alleyway. She knew she wasn’t supposed to take this shortcut and her mother would kill her if she found out, but it was raining and all she wanted was to get home quickly. She stepped forward, not seeing the silent figure following her into the dark passageway…

When nine-year-old Charlotte Standish goes missing from her street in the small town of Rydale Falls, it sparks a media frenzy. Detective Morgan Brookes leads a frantic hunt for the girl, but little Charlie seems to have vanished into thin air.

Chasing up a lead at Charlie’s school, Morgan is chilled to learn that this isn’t the first time a child has gone missing on this street. Another girl disappeared fifteen years ago, and Morgan is the only one who thinks the cases could be related. But in the moment that she takes her eye off Charlie’s case to investigate the link between the two girls, another child, Macy, goes missing.

Then Morgan gets the call she was dreading, Charlie’s lifeless body has been found in a local park, lying in the shadow of a large tree. Morgan has let one girl down, but she refuses to give up on Macy. Determined to find an overlooked clue, she retraces Macy’s last steps. She’s getting close to the truth when her partner, Detective Ben Matthews, is attacked outside Morgan’s home. Is a twisted killer isolating Morgan from her team? And how long does Macy have left to live? Morgan must solve the case before more innocent lives are taken…

A nail-biting, unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night, for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Patricia Gibney.

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Hiding Place is the third instalment in the Detective Morgan Brookes series set in the small town of Rydal Falls, Cumbria. Nine-year-old Charlotte ”Charlie” Standish is waiting for her father to pick her up and she wanders down the street. She pets a cat going into a yard and it scratches her. The owner of the house offers to clean up her scratch and that is the last time we see Charlie alive. Morgan, Ben, Amy and Des are called to the scene of a hysterical mother who has not seen her child since just after dinner the night before. While investigating, Morgan visits Charlie’s school and is surprised to learn that a teenager, Eleanor Fleming, disappeared fifteen years ago from the same street that Charlie lives on, and was never found. Are these cases related in any way? When a second young girl disappears from the same neighbourhood, Ben, Morgan and the team are sure that it is the same person who took both girls.

This is a compulsive and gripping thriller that moves quickly. It is told primarily from Morgan’s perspective but other points of view are also included. We also see Morgan’s personal life that is a bit of a mess. This adds a couple of other interesting twists to the story. There is definitely an attraction between Morgan and Ben and the sexual tension is palpable, but Morgan hooks up with a different fellow in this story and it causes some ripples. There is plenty of drama, tension and suspense throughout the police procedural and some of the twists were amazing. There were very few clues to find Macy, but with gut instinct and a little luck, Morgan once again puts herself in danger to find a killer. This is a riveting read that had me reading into the night as I had to find out who had Macy, what was the motive and would they bring her home alive. I definitely recommend this one to those who enjoy well-written police procedurals with twists and suspense. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

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About the Author: Helen Phifer is the #1 Bestselling crime and horror novelist of the Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin and Beth Adams series. Helen lives in a small town in Cumbria. Surrounded by miles of coastline and only a short drive from the beautiful Lake District. She has always loved writing and reading since the days she learnt how to in infant school. She loves reading books that make the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and make her afraid to go to the toilet, alone in the middle of the night. She is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough of the scary stories she loves to read, she decided to write her own.

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