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Hidden Pictures: A Novel
by Jason Rekulak

Published: 2022-05-10T00:0
Hardcover : 384 pages
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER · OPTIONED FOR NETFLIX BY A PRODUCER OF THE BATMAN

GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER

“I loved it." --Stephen King

From Edgar Award-finalist Jason Rekulak comes a wildly inventive spin on the supernatural thriller, for fans of Stranger Things and Riley Sager, ...

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Introduction

NATIONAL BESTSELLER · OPTIONED FOR NETFLIX BY A PRODUCER OF THE BATMAN

GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD WINNER

“I loved it." --Stephen King

From Edgar Award-finalist Jason Rekulak comes a wildly inventive spin on the supernatural thriller, for fans of Stranger Things and Riley Sager, about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets.

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, 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.

Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.

Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.

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Discussion Questions

from Momoftheyear blog - added by Pauline

1. Have you ever experienced such a significant cultural shift as Mallory did moving from city-streets Philly to suburban sidewalks? What was your experience like? I left for college in DC after living rural Pennsylvania my entire life. It was an extreme culture shock!
2. Would you have hired Mallory as your employee? Under what conditions? Absolutely! Everyone deserves a second chance. Though I probably would have required drug testing.
3. Did you agree with the Maxwells’ list of “no’s” for raising a child? Which ones yes and which ones no? The Maxwells would have kicked me out in the first hour. They lost me at the no screens, red meat or religion.
4. What was your first indication that something was amiss in Mallory’s living/employment situation? Honestly, from the very beginning of life with the Maxwells–albeit, their perfection was jealousy-inducing, but moreover, it was too perfect…something was off.
5. Discuss Adrian. What was his role in the story? Adrian was great. Not only was he Mallory’s only support throughout, but he also walked alongside her as she unveiled the mystery, which served as a tremendous validation for all of her realizations and suspicions. He kept her sane!
6. As Mallory continued to share her experiences/suspicions with the Maxwells, did you feel she was on the right course? What could have/should have she done differently as she investigated the situation? I questioned her wisdom in sharing her suspicions with the Maxwells after they first expressed their disbelief. While I didn’t suspect them of anything, I didn’t think it wise for her to continue to propose her theory to those who didn’t support her.
7. Mitzi was a fantastic character. What did she add/end to the story and/or the realization of the truth? Mitzi was wonderfully quirky. she helped support and progress Mallory’s supernatural suspicions while lending fun and depth to the neighborhood.
8. Discuss the symbolism of the Enchanted Forest for Mallory and Teddy? It was both the place of destruction and escape throughout the story, as Rekulak so gorgeously, symbolically concluded in the final escape scene.
9. Did you suspect any of the truth? Who Teddy was? Anya’s true identity? The Maxwells’ role? Nope, none of it. I was solidly with Mallory in believing Anya was Annie Barrett right up until her family confirmed this was not a possibility. Well done, Rekulak for keeping the suspense flying until the end!
10. Mallory had a gift for detecting the watchful eye of others (as proven by the later-confirmed reality of the UPenn study). Do you feel like you can tell when others are watching you? I haven’t noticed this, but will start paying more attention to my Spidey Senses from here on out!

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by Milena G. (see profile) 01/16/24

 
by Melony D. (see profile) 01/07/24

 
by Danielle P. (see profile) 12/17/23

 
by Alida M. (see profile) 10/30/23

 
by kristen k. (see profile) 09/20/23

Poorly written, all over the place, trying too hard and missing the mark. The dad thing at the end? Wtf?

 
by Nicole C. (see profile) 06/10/23

 
by Ann M. (see profile) 05/04/23

Love mysteries with surprise endings. Great story.

 
by Liz M. (see profile) 03/30/23

 
by Patty L. (see profile) 03/14/23

 
by lauren d. (see profile) 01/09/23

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