Book Review: Hide and Seek by Katia Lief

Hide and Seek
Katia Lief
Ebury Press, October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-09-193792-8
Paperback

Katia Lief’s first book, the thrilling You Are Next, was published in the US in October of 2010; this novel, a sequel, was published there under the title Next Time You See Me one short month later. Inasmuch as it picks up four years after the end of the first book, everything to follow must be considered a potential spoiler, hence:

SPOILER ALERT

Karin Schaeffer is still living in Brooklyn, New York, but now she is about to celebrate her second wedding anniversary.  Five months pregnant, she had married Mac, after the latter quit the Maplewood, New Jersey police force [as had Karin herself a few years back], moved to Brooklyn where he married Karin and they both started a new life after [barely] surviving the events described in the first book.

Karin had been a soldier, a cop and a detective; now a mother and currently taking courses in forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mac [nee Seamus MacLeary], a former cop for more than twenty years, has just been promoted to senior vice-president of Forensic Security at the exclusive firm of Quest Security after a scandal involving allegedly altered forensic testimony in a high-profile legal case had resulted in his predecessor in the job being summarily fired.  Also present is Billy Staples, the cop who worked with them on the earlier case, now Mac’s best friend and still working in Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct.

As the tale opens, Mac’s parents have been found dead in their home, apparently the victims of a botched home invasion.  But a few days later, shortly after the funeral, the police suspect Mac’s brother, Danny, who has a history of alcoholism and rootlessness, frequently changing jobs and girlfriends, based on DNA evidence found in the house.  In a state of exhaustion, when Mac insists on going to work but trying to exude enthusiasm on the morning of their anniversary celebration dinner, he promises Karin, with a kiss and a smile, “next time you see me, I’ll be . . . “ when she cuts off his apology with another kiss.  Then he disappears.

Two weeks later, with no word from Mac, they are notified that the car that he had apparently rented has been found in Long Island Sound, with no trace of a body.  Months go by, with no word from or trace of Mac.  Karin is convinced that his disappearance has something to do with his new job, rather than his parents’ murder and Danny’s possible involvement.  She is convinced that Mac is still alive, focusing on the fact that no body has been found.  She hires a private detective, and discovers things about Mac’s past she never knew of or suspected. As her mother tells her, “we may think we know someone, but there are always surprises,” and as Karin herself thinks, “if you think life is going to turn out the way you plan it, you’re a fool.”

The book is as suspenseful and surprising as was the earlier book, and it too is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Gloria Feit, November 2011.