Sunday, December 14, 2014

Barb's Book Review... Hidden



**Spoiler Alert**

Lacey Campbell has a history that no one else could have handled. The lone survivor of the Co-Ed Slayer murders she has had to grow up and overcome strangled odds. Lacey is a busy girl. When she isn’t teaching at the dental school she works alongside her father, the Chief Medical Examiner of Oregon; who is a well known man since he was the one that they all had to deal with any time they were on a case. But it wasn’t all that know that Lacey was his daughter. Few knew. The ones that did knew that she had to work extra hard to keep up with her father’s legacy.

It has been over ten years and things were just getting stirred up again. Now, Doctor Lacey Campbell is a forensic odontologist working for the Medical Examiners office. The ME is on a case when she calls Lacey out to look at the bones they had found. While on the case she meets ex-cop Jack Harper who happens to also be the son of the Harper Development’s owner.

What was it about this man that caught her attention when she saw him from afar. Same for him. He noticed Lacey and wondered who she was. As the cases details start to pile up Lacey while examining the teeth (since that was her job) seems to have a feeling she knows these teeth. Knows the dental work. After a time longer of looking them over she realizes where she has seen them before. Suzanne.. it is her friend from school. A gymnast named Suzanne. She was the last person the Co-Ed Slayer (Decosta) had taken, beating Lacey to get to her. Seems he attacked Lacey but Suzanne tried to help and ended up being his victim. Leaving a beaten and bleeding Lacey on the sidewalk. In time it was Lacey that was able to testify and help put the bastard in jail.

Now, ten years later its all piling up again. Her name had been kept out of the papers before but was that going to happen now? Who was doing this? How had Suzanne's bones gotten tucked into the crawl space of Jack’s building to be found?  The weather in Portland sucks since its winter so its making things more difficult for the cops who had to drive the roads to do questioning and such. It added to the anxiety. The newspaper reporter for the Oregonian, Michael Brody, an ex lover of Campbell’s throws things into the mix as Lacey is seen with Jack. Even while the cops tried to ask her questions again. He wasn’t trusting to say the least.

As  the case unfolds more bodies show up. It seems someone is killing the people associated with putting Decosta behind bars. But who? And why now? Why ten years later? The more time that passes the more anxiety and fear grows inside Lacey. It isn’t until she is all but snowed in at her home when she finds a package on her porch. A DVD… though it was nothing to be happy to receive. As she started to watch it her heart sank, and her world came to a halt. The DVD showed Joanne, Lacey’s friend and ted to a bed. Writhing in fear and possibly pain. But that wasn’t the most disturbing part of the video. There was a very prominent baby bump. The ‘killers’ hand ran along it and her heart stopped. Then the video shifts to now. Showing her and Jack in a lip lock. Whoever took the video was not happy that she was lip locked with the ex-cop.

Calling Jack for help they went to the police. What else could happen. Now they all think she is a target. But still no idea who in the hell the killer is. So, the cops can’t spare the manpower to guard her 24/7 but Jack can spare the time. Who better to guard her than a cop? An ex-cop. Cause really once a cop, always a cop. You would think that Lacey and Jack would be able to have a quiet night at her house.. since i was like 3am but no. Theres a knock at the door and a very pissed off Michael at the door. Jack’s nemesis as it stands no. He is not happy that Lacey was attacked and he had to heat it from a police informant and not her. He questions her as he walks into her kitchen and gets out a mug that has his name on it… oh and Jack doesn;t miss it. That jealous green monster comes out but he keeps the feelings inside. But the minute there is mention of a DVD Michael wants to see it. Just so happens Jack has a copy of it and wants Michael to see it. Well atleast the kiss that is on it. And what do you know when he sees it he storms off like a highschool girl. Anger in his eyes. Jack is proud of himself until Lacey kicks his ass out and calls her daddy to come stay with her so she isn’t alone. Serves his ass right. (laughs) Male egos, I swear they are bigger than the eiffel tower and just as dense.

All while these three are in a rage at one another the killer strikes again. Then sticks around to “see the aftermath” and comes within a cats hair of getting busted as not being a reporter by an old woman. A neighbor of the man he had just killed. Note to self moment for him. Make sure if you are planning to be a reporter you don’t have a fake badge that says you work where someones relative works! (LOL) The officers on scene - after finding more disturbing evidence from another crime scene left for them as with the others- sends a patrol car to sit at Lacey’s until they find out what is going on. The speculations of what is happening is everywhere though the cops are still clueless.

Lacey not being able to stay home any longer manages to lose her police babysitter. (laughs hard) That is never a good idea but she does it for a good reason. She goes to the local gym to work out where she teaches a class once a week. Four year old's are awesome and gymnastics is her thing after all. As she settles in she is greeted by their friend Kelly and her husband. They talk over what is happening and they all hope its nothing bad coming their way.

Then the unthinkable happens. Kelly goes missing. Does the killer have her or is there something else afoot? It is blatantly obvious what needs to happen now. Dr. Campbell needs to go into hiding. That is the only way Jack can keep her safe until the cops find this nut job. He had to be partners in the day with Decosta but who could it be? Decosta -at the time of arrest- had a brother, around 15 or so but they ruled him out as a possible accomplice at that time. Jack tells no one except office Mason where he is heading with Lacey. This way he knows she will be safe. If no one knows where they are they can’t be tracked down. Jack has one person that he can call for help, an ex US Marshall and friend named Alex. So they go to his house, stay a day and then Jack takes her to one of his business’s cabins in the middle of no where. That should keep her safe.. right?

Well it does for the moment but then they get a call that tragedy has struck again… Jack’s sister Melody has been taken and the killer -Decosta’s accomplice- calls into the cops to say he has her.  As soon as Jack gets the call he and Lacey head the two hours back towards Portland. He has to be there when they storm the house they found out was Decosta’s younger brothers home. Melody has to be there and unharmed. Or so they all hope and pray. Seems Micheal while doing some snooping for the cops got the brothers whereabouts from his mother. Now it was time to see if it paid off.

When SWAT teams, local PD and the original officers on this case fet to the address for Decosta's brothers home they swarm like angry ants. Melody is found safe, a few little cuts but nothing major. As Jack watches from the only vantage point he can get to he sees the cops bring out Lacey’s ex husband. As soon as Jack sees him he knows something is wrong. He left Lacey in his truck where the road was blocked off. He takes off back to the truck to find her… gone. He promised to keep her safe but yet the asshole has her now anyway. The cop, Mason -while on the scene- figure it out as well when they see Frank that this was all an elaborate set up. The killer had lost track of Lacey and he had to draw her and Jack back to where he could get her. And.. it worked.

Now the search was on. The cops located another house with Rob Decosta’s ‘fake name’ and headed to the address they found. When Lacey wakes up in pain, in the dark and half frozen the fear of what was going to happen to her hits hard. She tries to get her hands and feet untied but fails. Since she is half frozen its just not working. Then, someone shows up and Lacey plays possum. But it’s Kelly, her friend that went missing. Kelly knew where she was. But how? Why? But they were stopped by Decosta. While they were staring down Decosta, Michael goes back to talk to Decosta’s mother. Angry as he was he needed answers to try and help them find Lacey.

Seems Kelley and Decosta have a history.. but is it something that can be a good thing or not? Lacey is tossed onto the floor, Kelley attacks Decosta and then takes off. Decosta takes his frustration on Lacey. Kicking her until she threw up. As if she wasn’t in enough pain already. Brody called to tell the cops and Jack to tell him Decosta was a man who liked his toys. And booby traps. Could they get to her before something else happened?

Decosta eventually pulled Lacey into the house and tied her to the floor. It was brought to her mind about Suzanne’s baby. “Where was the baby?” When Decosta told her she was in a safe place Lacey asked more questions. When Decosta told her the child’s mother had just left her here she started to put things together. Did Kelly know that Jessica (Kelly’s daughter) was Suzanne’s? (Talk about a cray cray moment) All Lacey could do was wait on the cops, Jack, anyone to come back to the cabin and save her before he killed her too. When Lacey slips into a calm sleep Decosta decides to have a feel. But when she wakes up Decosta is right in her face and she screams. This pisses him off and he slaps her again. But he is cut off from his assault when a rock was thrown into the window. It had to be Kelley. She hadn’t left. This was not good.

Snipers in the trees. Jack and Alex in the trees… can they get in and get her out before Decosta chokes Lacey with the rope he has around her neck. But Kelley isn’t the face in the doorway. It’s Jack. And we have a standoff… Now, Decosta is holding a remote to set the bomb off he had set. What can they do now? When the cops learned the Jack had walked into the cabin they waited. Moments passed and there were 2 shots. Then a boom. The cabin went up in flames. Jack manages to find her through the smoke. But she is still tied to the floor. The smoke and flames are consuming the place fast as she fights Jack. She wants him to get out, save himself. But that wasn’t going to happen. Jack tosses her over his shoulder in his anger to get her away from the flames. He had to get her out. Now. The air was running out fast. By the grace of all that is holy Jack managed to get himself and Lacey out of the cabin. Burned, bruised and half out of it they hit the snow and it was all over. They made it out and Decosta was dead.

Four weeks later Lacey and Kelley watched Jessica from the window. Jessica is Kelley’s daughter no matter what. Now, it was time for Lacey to get answers from Kelley. It seemed that during the trial she would try and talk to Bobby Decosta. She was being kind to him. He was supposed to be handicapped. Mentally maybe. He didn’t speak. And she had mentioned that she couldn’t have babies. Then months later he had shown up on her doorstep with baby Jessica. Kelley’s aunt had taken care of getting her a birth certificate and such. She wanted a baby. It was all she had wanted. When Kelley found out the baby was Suzanne’s.. she kept it all to herself. She knew Bobby was the one doing the killings when it started but she wouldn’t go t the cops. She wasn’t going to let this destroy her family.

What a messed up bunch of shit. Kelley still set in her mind that nothing was going to take her child from her. No matter what had happened. Kelley could have stopped this all but she did nothing. One friend lost. Jack and Lacey both have a few wounds to heal. But they were together. They would forever be together. Life had given them a second chance. Now, they just had to live it to its fullest.

Kendra Elliot is not a new author to me but this series is new and I Loved it. There was -for me- and even balance of mystery, romance adn determination. It had a bit more of the dark side of the killer than I expected but I truly enjoyed every minute of it. And I can't wait to dive into the other books in this series.



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