I was in the mood for a good ghost story when I saw Joe Hill recommended Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak. When a young girl fresh out of rehab accepts a job as a live-in nanny, things take a dark turn…. grab your favorite blanket and turn on the light for this suspenseful tale!
by Jason Rekulak
Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Length: 9 hours and 29 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.4x
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.
Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.
As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.
With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.
There is something about a spooky thriller on audio. It is actually my preferred method for this genre. A good narrator picks up on the author’s intent and gives voice to the protagonist nervousness, doubt and thoughts.
Our protagonist is young and fresh out of rehab. I was a little nervous about this aspect, but the author did their research and accurately portrayed not only the recovering addicts’ struggles but how others perceive her.
Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey, as a live-in nanny for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She will be looking after their five-year-old son, Teddy, for the summer. The Maxwell’s have a little cottage behind the pool where Mallory will live. I would have been skeptical of parents employing someone living in a halfway house, but the author did a fantastic job of making it plausible.
The problem begins when Teddy begins drawing disturbing images of a woman being dragged into the woods. The tale unfolded slowly with creeptastic moments and a mystery surrounding the cottage Mallory lives in.
I was born and raised in New Jersey and talk of Philadelphia and burbs had me feeling right at home despite the atmospheric tale that was unfolded. It was dark and twisted and the author took me by surprise a time or two. If you don’t believe in spirits, this might change your mind.
Suzy Jackson narrates and truly captured the tone and characters in this story. She enhanced the atmospheric tones and helped build the suspense, doubt and fear.
Hidden Pictures is the type of listen where you sit back afterwards and go over all the foreshadowing and twists before adding this author to your auto-buy list. Fans of Ruth Ware will enjoy Jason Rekulak.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I am curious about this one. Glad to see you liked it, and it seems like a great creepy read for a summer night.
The title on this caught my eye. I’m glad you liked it and I will add to my wish list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
at least she did not immediately send the kid for a psych evaluation… like i would
As soon as I read the blurb, I thought, “who hired a person fresh out of rehab to babysit”. Then you said the author made it believable, so that’s good. Nice review, Kimberly
The mother’s profession led to creditability. This was a good one, and I hope you check it out.
Jonetta | Blue Mood Café
I enjoyed this one, too, on audio. Excellent review, Kimberly💜
That would be creepy for a young kid to start drawing pictures like that.
This one is all yours. I’m plenty creeped just from your description. 🙂
Felicity Grace Terry
Not a fan of audiobooks but I can understand your thoughts on the things a good narrator can bring. This sounds like a promising read, thanks as always for sharing your thoughts on it.