The sun is out. Your little boy is smiling. The next time you look… he’s gone.
When Lana and Todd win a trip to Blue Crest Adventure Park, their four-year-old Cooper is ecstatic, but when Lana goes to meet them, Todd is out cold, and Cooper is missing.
No one stopped the man carrying the sleeping boy. The cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana receives an anonymous message, telling her to visit a local school with a horrifying history...
This is no random attack. Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate.
What is the link between the school and her missing son? Can Lana uncover the kidnapper’s identity and save Cooper before it’s too late?
A dark, heart-in-mouth thriller that will keep you reading long into the night. Fans of James Patterson, Karin Slaughter, and Tess Gerritsen will be absolutely hooked.
I loved Richard Parker's previous book, Follow You and have been eagerly awaiting Hide and Seek since I first saw that ominous, memorable front cover. I'm delighted therefore to be one of the hosts for the blog tour today, together with Ali - The Dragon Slayer and Sean's Book Reviews. Many thanks to Bookouture, Richard Parker and Noelle Holten for inviting me to take part and for my review copy, received through Netgalley in return for my honest review.
I was hooked from the very start of Hide and Seek, Richard Parker plays on the fears of every parent as Lana spots an intruder in her garden attempting to abduct her four-year-old son, Cooper. She manages to thwart him but this terrifying encounter with a man Cooper calls Mr Whisper is just the beginning of her nightmare, and probably the start of bad dreams for many of the book's readers who may just need to sneak one last look at their own children before going to bed.
After such a terrifying incident it's not surprising that Lana finds it hard to move on but the reader knows worse is to come and there's a horrible inevitability to Cooper's kidnapping, the chest crushing realisation Lana experiences when she realises the worst has happened is almost palpable. Lana's anguish is painfully relatable, the actions she takes may not always be the most sensible but they are understandable. There is a sort of sub-plot involving Lana's husband, Todd and how his desire to protect his son has means he has put himself in danger which means Cooper's parents are forced to make decisions separately adding to the drama and suspense. As the book progresses there are reminders that too many parents still don't know what happened to their children and while it's possible to condemn Lana and Todd as foolhardy in the cold light of day, under similar circumstances, with our child at risk, we also might try whatever it took to get them back.
As in Follow You, social media has an important role to play, this time in the form of the RWYS (Right Where You're Standing) app, which allows users to discover murder sites in their vicinity. What Lana was originally using as a tool in her obsessive quest to find Mr Whisper becomes something even darker. Although not as gory-scary as the previous book, this very contemporary thriller is equally as disturbing, albeit this time the dread is more psychological.
As Lana and Todd race to rescue their son, they find themselves caught in a terrifying web and as the book reached its gripping conclusion I know I was holding my breath, willing them on yet fearing what they would discover. Richard Parker knows what people's deepest fears are and has created something truly frightening. This is no gratuitous fright fest though, it's also an empathetic look at how people respond to fear and to evil acts that nobody should ever face. Brilliantly chilling, yet also insightful and understanding, readers will be left both unsettled and moved by this impressive thriller.
Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.
Hide and Seek is published in the UK by Bookouture. Richard Parker is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and his website is here.
About the Author
Richard Parker was formerly a TV script writer, script editor and producer before turning his hand to penning twisted stand alone thrillers.
HIDE AND SEEK is his fifth book and is published August 2017.
FOLLOW YOU was his fourth psychological thriller. Reviewers are saying it's Bookouture's darkest crime novel to date.
STALK ME was his third and rode high in the UK and US charts.
SCARE ME was his second. Hollywood movie rights have been acquired by major US studio, Relativity Media. Star of PRISON BREAK and screenwriter of dark horror thriller STOKER, Wentworth Miller, has written the big screen adaptation.
STOP ME, Richard's darkly fiendish debut, was shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award.