Hiding Places, by Erin Healy

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

The Harrison lodge is full of hiding places where young Kate can discover all the secrets no one wants her to know.

Eleven-year-old Kate keeps her knowledge to herself—one sister’s stash of marijuana, the other’s petty cash pilfering, her grandfather’s contraband candy bars. She protects her mother and Gran, too, screening out critical comments from the hotel suggestions box. But suddenly the stakes are raised; her grandfather’s best friend is murdered the day after Kate heard the two men arguing.

At the same time, far from the quiet mountain resort, a homeless man sees a robbery gone wrong . . . a gang member seeks revenge for the death of his son . . . and a boy chooses the worst time to wield spray paint on a store window. In a strange and spiraling sequence of events, their disparate worlds collide at Harrison Lodge.

Kate offers shelter to one of them, unaware of the terrible consequences to the family she loves. But people can hide in all kinds of ways, sometimes even in plain sight . . . and some secrets are just waiting to be exposed.

 My Take:

Erin Healy returns with a new book about the things we keep secret in our lives, whether they are people, things or events.

Kate is mostly ignored by her family. She has two half-sisters, several years older than her, her mother and grandmother are too busy running their hotel, and her great-grandmother is probably crazy. Only her grandfather spends any time with her. Kate can move around the hotel almost unnoticed and knows where the best hiding spots are, including a mysterious underground corridor that runs between the main building and some standalone units on the property. She keeps her secrets there, unaware that others have secrets too.

In Hiding Places, Erin Healy takes disparate story lines and skillfully weaves them together over the course of a weekend until they come to a head late Sunday afternoon at the hotel. The book does start slowly, laying the foundation of the life of each key character. We get to know them and their lives and dreams. But when the action gets going it really gets going, first with theft and then with a robbery involving two of the main players. It’s easy to be drawn to the individuals, so that you feel for them when everything starts happening. The writing is such that I even understood the motivations of the man determined to commit murder. Added into the narrative is a backstory about the Japanese in Colorado during World War Two.

I’ve read other novels by Erin Healy and have come to expect the unexpected. I usually have at least one WOW moment and walk away trying to wrap my head around what I’ve just read.  There are often things that can’t be explained and elements that Healy calls the ‘thin places.’ I waited for those moments to appear in Hiding Places, but they didn’t show up. This reads as a straightforward crime novel, complete with guns and a disturbing murder. There’s not much to indicate it’s a Christian novel and I wouldn’t have identified it as one if I’d not recognized the names of the author and publisher. Despite that, however, it is a good novel and has much to recommend it. I just don’t think it’s one of Healy’s best.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary copy of Hiding Places, which I received in exchange for my honest review.


Have you read Hiding Places? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 08 September 2015

Page Count: 368

Read more on:   Erin Healy’s Website   Thomas Nelson’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

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