Series: The Texas Murder Files #1
Published by Berkley Books on August 25, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Romance
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Thanks so much to Brittanie from Berkley for inviting me to take part in Berkley’s 2020 Romance blog tour. Today I’m excited to share my thoughts with you on Laura Griffin’s latest novel, Hidden.
Hidden is the first installment in Laura Griffin’s new crime thriller series, The Texas Murder Files. Hidden draws the reader in from the very first page as we follow a jogger on a popular hike-and-bike trail. As she is jogging, the woman seems nervous and fearful, to the point of paranoia. When a man with a large knife accosts her, it becomes all too painfully clear that she had a reason to be so nervous. Investigative journalist Bailey Rhoads is sent to investigate the murder, as is police detective Jacob Merritt. Bailey approaches Jacob to see if he can give her some details on the case, but instead of being helpful, Jacob is gruff and close-lipped about the case. When she doesn’t get any assistance from Jacob, Bailey decides to do some digging on her own.
Two things become clear as both Jacob and Bailey begin to investigate: 1) There is frustratingly little evidence to go on with respect to the murder. Even getting an ID on the victim is proving to be nearly impossible, and 2) Whether they want to admit it or not or even act on it, Bailey and Jacob are attracted to one another.
Hidden was a winner for me for several reasons, the main one being that the murder case itself is very compelling. From that opening scene, I was hooked on finding out who this woman was and why she was killed in such an awful way. I became all the more invested in the case when both Jacob and Bailey couldn’t find out anything about the victim. It was like she had gone completely off the grid. As Jacob and Bailey slowly began to unravel the details of the case and the suspense began to build, I flew through the pages eager to get to the truth about what had happened, especially as it became clear the woman’s murder was a hit job and that the killer wasn’t finished.
I also really loved both of the main characters. Bailey is a talented and tenacious journalist. She’s determined to get her story and won’t let anyone, not even a sexy police detective, stand in her way. Jacob is equally likeable, even though he initially comes off as somewhat gruff and standoffish. He’s actually just very protective when it comes to his cases. He truly cares about finding justice for his victims and in the case of this victim, is downright ticked off when the FBI comes to take jurisdiction over the case. I loved his passion and I also thought it was cute how hard he tried to fight his growing attraction to Bailey even though her stubbornness made him crazy. His head keeps telling him it’s a bad idea for a cop to get involved with the media, but his heart has other ideas. The chemistry between Jacob and Bailey was great too. The way their relationship progressed felt very organic, not to mention both cute and sexy.
Hidden is a very satisfying and entertaining read. If you enjoy romantic suspense and a riveting murder mystery, be sure to add this gem to your reading list.