Hide and Seek
Penguin Random House UK Children’s
‘If I hadn’t walked into the room at that moment, maybe everything would have worked out differently. Maybe everything would have been all right after all . . .’
Port Sentinel may be a beautiful seaside tourist trap, but in the short time Jess Tennant has lived there, it has seen its fair share of tragedy. Tragedy that somehow Jess keeps getting caught up in.
A schoolgirl from the town goes missing, leaving her diary behind and a lot of unanswered questions. Has she run away from her unhappy home or is there something much more sinister going on? And can Jess find her before it’s too late?
Likeable characters, twisty plots with a few surprises, a strong female protagonist, low level violence and a resolution that most would be happy with.
However as an adult reading this with greater reading and life experiences than the intended audience I did find a few elements that made me feel uncomfortable. Mostly Jess espouses politically correct sentiments and statements regarding sexuality, the character Nessa is the vehicle for surface discussion re LGBT issues, accepting people choices, no one else business etc. Jess is a strong female protagonist – with a can do attitude and skills and strengths, we the reader don’t judge her based purely on her physical attractiveness (but she is not uglyJ), so we are awash with positive political correctness and then when it is revealed that Officer Dan has been having a extracurricular relationship with a fellow police officer (which seemed to be quite acceptable) Jess’s comments ‘“…Dan has been having an affair with one of his detectives. So I think that’s his first priority.” It was the one who had helped me at the police station, in fact. She was very pretty and I was inclined to think he’d done well.’ A judgement that seem to be based on the physical – the female officer and Dan’s. The relationship between Will and Jess is also fraught with a passive /aggressive attitude and this is not a behaviour I would like to see modelled/accepted as reasonable in a book for this age group. Young men physically fight to resolve issues; whilst it’s not an acceptable behaviour in any reasonable society – and Jess states it is not acceptable either I would have preferred if that scene was not part of this narrative.
A book for the teens. I think I will confine myself to Ms Casey’s excellent adult crime thrillers.