James Patterson's 'Hide and Seek': A Review
Click here to fall under Maggie's charm.
When I realized how much I enjoyed the Maximum Ride series, I decided to try out one of Patterson's 'grown up' novels just to see how the two measure up. With the seemingly millions of novels under his belt, and even more millions of loyal fans, I figured that he had to be doing something right. I was actually given 'Hide and Seek' as a gift by a friend who knew how much I enjoyed Patterson's novels for younger readers, and decided that it was a good place to start. I really wondered how the writing between young and adult styles would differ, but surprisingly, they really don't. With the exception of the occasional curse word or a very generic love scene, Patterson's voice and style are a welcomed familiarity. While I can't say for sure which format is better, one thing is certain, with such a wide variety of fans, Patterson definitely has the world in the palm of his hand.
Maggie Bradford has terrible taste in men. Her first husband, Phillip, turned out to be an alcoholic with violent tendencies. One night in a drunken rage, Phillip returns home with a bullet that has Maggie's name on it. Grabbing her daughter, they cower in a hidden crawl space under the front porch. As Phillip uncovers their hiding place, he'll discover that Maggie also has a nasty surprise of her own in store for Phillip.
While the trial is brief, Maggie is acquitted of all charges and Phillip's death was ruled as self defense. With her innocence intact, Maggie still feels like she's wearing a scarlet 'M' for murderess and she never feels like she's escaped the town's suspicious eyes. Fed up, she and her daughter flee to the big city to carve out a new life for themselves. With a little bit of luck, and a ton of persistence, Maggie lands a prestigious song writing job for one of the world's biggest record labels. Eventually, she steps in front of the mic and finds massive success as a singer. Maggie thinks that she's the living testimony of a modern day Cinderella. Successful, wealthy and well liked, Maggie's riding her happiness to the fullest extent, until she meets Will Shepard, a narcissistic womanizer with a God complex. Maggie thinks that she's found all that she's ever wanted. Feeling more in love every day, Will raises his fist against her and all that terror from her past resurfaces and she must find the strength to escape once more. Maggie has now found herself accused of another murder and the center of a scandal. At the heart of her testimony, it's obvious that Maggie is trying to protect someone. Who is she willing to spend life in prison for? Can she overcome another murder accusation? Is she guilty? One thing is for sure, nothing is ever what is seems.
Even though Maggie was clearly being abused, was she in the right to kill her first husband?
While I can't say that 'Hide And Seek' is the best book I've ever read, I can definitely say that it's far from the worst. The story was actually pretty predictable. Everything that had happened in the novel, I saw coming in plenty of time so that I wasn't surprised. I'm not going to claim that the novel was poorly written as some other critics have said, I just think that Patterson was a little too heavy handed with the foreshadowing. Patterson still does a great job of building characters that draw you in. Even though Maggie is just extremely lucky, I still found myself rooting and sympathizing with her. As vindictive as Will is, I was cheering every time he was defeated by Maggie. Even the smallest victories were significant in some way. I think when I sit back and think about it, I have an easier time believing in the younger characters. While it's not fair to compare Max to Maggie, I seem to be leaning more in the direction of his young reader stories. I may read one or two more of his 'mature' novels, but I don't see myself going crazy over them. Since this story was so paper thin that I could see right through it, I'm only awarding it three stars. While it's an enjoyable story, it's not going to lodge itself in your brain like one of Maggie's songs.