“Hid from Our Eyes,” by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the first book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series that I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, I intend to read them all. I have to! I’ve fallen in love with the complex characters and the community that Spencer-Fleming has created.
I was privileged to read a paperback copy of “Hid from Our Eyes,” something I don’t do enough of these days. The cover is stunning! This was truly a book that I couldn’t put down. And, when I was forced to in order to go to work, I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again to see what would happen next.
The Plot of “Hid from Our Eyes”
The initial thing that intrigued me about “Hid from Our Eyes,” was the concept of identical crimes committed decades apart from one another. Spencer-Fleming expertly unfolds the mystery of these crimes through the tapestry of time. In the present day, the 3rd of these crimes has just been committed—or has it. There is even a question as to whether or not the women who have been discovered in the same exact location have even been murdered. After all, there are no signs of foul play, just a woman in a party dress with no shoes or stockings, once in the 50s, then in the 70s and now on Chief Van Alstyne’s watch.
The Characters in “Hid from Our Eyes”
Even more exciting are the characters she has created. These characters have depth. Every one of them has their flaws and their magnetism. I will give you 2 examples: the main characters. Russ Van Alstyne is the Chief of Police. He is also a Vietnam vet who has struggled with PTSD. He has a history of anger and bad choices. His wife, an Episcopalian Priest, is also a veteran of a different war. Her time in Iraq left her with a substance abuse problem. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Dialogue and Detail
The dialogue for each of the characters we meet in “Hid from Our Eyes,” is completely unique and authentic. The author perfectly piles one problem on top of another in a way that we can all relate to. Who hasn’t had the feeling that Murphy’s Law is controlling their week? Yet, the plot, complete with 3 time periods and several sub-plots was easy to follow. In fact, one of these sub-plots centering on Officer Hadley was one of my favorite parts of the book. It included romance, misunderstanding, public humiliation—and a lawsuit!
The technical aspects in “Hid from Our Eyes,” have obviously been well researched. They are spot-on accurate. I enjoyed the little details such as the way that procedures, language, and clothing changes from one generation to the next. There was such realism to it. There is some cursing, but it isn’t gratuitous. Still, I like to mention it for anyone sensitive to it. I highly recommend “Hid from Our Eyes,” to anyone who loves a good mystery.
I would give “Hid from Our Eyes,” more than 5 stars if I could, but since there is a limit,
It’s earned 5 big stars!
“Hid from Our Eyes,” will be available on April 7, 2020. Until then, you can pre-order it.
Thank you to Bookish First and Minotaur Books for providing me with an ARC of “Hid from Our Eyes,” in exchange for an honest review.
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
Share in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.