Thrilling – 5 stars
Loved it! Hard to put down, suspense on every page. Would recommend to those that like crime stories and mystery.
Really enjoyed this – 5 stars
Didn’t want to stop reading it! I liked the character of Thomasine, and the mystery of Veronica and Karen kept me turning the pages. Karen was actually a nasty person so it was hard to have too much sympathy for her but I felt sorry for Veronica and her story was interesting.
Full of intrigue and suspense - 4 stars
I have to say, this book was a good read. The storyline was well thought out and written, full of intrigue and suspense. Definitely an author I would read again.
Well worth a read.
Creepy and atmospheric – 4 stars
A very creepy and atmospheric book that frequently had me checking over my shoulder. I had a huge amount of both empathy and sympathy for Thomasine, a woman who's entire life had been blighted by her sister's disappearance. Mind you, it didn't seem like her life was a bundle of laughs prior to Karen going missing. Talk about making a positive out of a negative, the fact that Thomasine devoted her working life to the police, her speciality being as the FLO for families of missing children really cast her as a special person. I think it was the warmth and regard for this character that led to the enjoyment of this book. In addition it was a well crafted story that moved along briskly and was full of well developed, credible characters. Thrilled to recommend this book.
Gripping – 5 stars
A book that I read in one go because I was so hooked on the story. So gripping, addictive, captivating, moving, full of suspense and twists and turns. Looking forward to reading on.
It had me on the edge of my seat – 5 stars
A disturbing and complex thriller with a cast of well-drawn, relatable characters.
It had me on the edge of my seat.
Brilliant story – 4 stars
Gripping read from beginning to the very end, well deserved four star, will definitely be reading more books by this author .
Wow! – 5 stars
Took me a while to get into it. Then a complete page turner. A fabulous book absolutely loved it. Will watch for a second book by this author.
Incredible – 5 stars
This is an absolutely incredible book. The story and the way it is written... Stirred my imagination...shocked me...intrigued me...and excited me i could not put it down.
Fascinating – 5 stars
What a way to start your writing career! This is the debut novel from CM Stephenson and another triumph for Bloodhound Books. A number of young women went missing years ago and, when a body is found, the search is on to find the others and those responsible for their disappearance. As the body is the sister of cop Thomasine, she is removed from the case and must do her own investigating. Fascinating and very well written.
Anticipate the author’s next book – 5 stars
There was no big twist or reveal as to the killer's identity, but that was irrelevant to me. I liked the author's story-telling style. I appreciated that the author didn't pander to me, that I had to put a bit of effort into following the story, the clues, the characters and timelines. I admired the details and inclusions of secondary and background characters; the "filler" that enhances a story rather than just being unnecessary padding. But, having said that, I did find the story dragged on a bit at times; it could have been tightened up in spots, shaving off a few dozen or more pages. Anticipate the author's next book!
I loved the descriptions – 4 stars
I started reading the book with some trepidation: reviewers had commented on the storyline being confusing but the storyline of life isn't straightforward and such awful circumstances must destroy it completely. Thomasine and the police have to disentangle the threads to find what happened.
It's set in the area around Bolton, north of Manchester and I loved the descriptions of the moorland in winter, the Northern Soul scene in the 1970s and the accent that I could hear, not only in the characters' speech but also in parts of the narrative. I'm avoiding spoilers but will just say that the descriptions of Veronica's fate and the events of the climax were very effective.
This is C.M. Stephenson's first book. I'm looking forward to reading the second one.
Powerful – 5 stars
Loved this book from page one, very powerful, would recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers. Will definitely be looking for other books by this author.
It had me on the edge of my seat! – 4 stars
Difficult to get into at first but when all the threads finally started coming together I could not put this book down. My main problem, at first, was figuring out who each third person pronoun starting sections referred to since there were more than one or two characters. Her could be DCI Thomasine or her colleague Mel or any of the females unnamed in the book just as the males unnamed were hard to figure out until more of the book had been read.It had me on the edge of my seat.
Such a striking read! –5 stars
No chance of falling asleep with this one - there's too much going on!
DI Thomasine Albright was only a child when her sister went missing in 1973; her mother has always maintained that Karen would turn up one of these days, even though it's now 2010. When Karen's body is found, Thom has the unenviable job of telling her mother - and quickly, fearing the press may reach her first. Isolated from the official investigation, DI Albright decides to carry out a little snooping of her own. Karen wasn't the only teenage girl to disappear at that time - so where are the others?
This is a scintillating novel, and one you must give your full attention. At first, there seems to be various disconnected threads but, believe me, when they are all stitched together your jaw will drop. I'm astonished that this is a debut novel! This reads like the work of a much more experienced author; the story itself is so skilfully crafted and beautifully written. The suspense is palpable and the overall effect is an astounding read which keeps your attention to the very last. I'll definitely be watching out for the author's next novel! Without a doubt, worthy of a full five shiny, sparkling stars!
A very good debut – 4 stars
This is a pacey novel and this is a very good debut.
Gripping and tense –5 stars
Really enjoyed reading this book a lot. The story seemed to flow very naturally and the characters were believable.
The story itself had some gripping and tense moments and I was very happy I got the chance to read it.
A disturbing and complex thriller – 5 stars
A disturbing and complex thriller with a cast of well-drawn, relatable characters.
I can’t wait to read more – 4 stars
Well done to the author on her debut novel. What a great start. I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future.
Thomasine’s sister’s body has turned up twenty seven years after she went missing. Thomasine needs to find out what happened her sister Karen. As to be expected Karen’s disappearance affected her whole family and Thomasine carried the guilt.
This story is told through the past and the present and through several different points of view. I found this pretty hard to get into but once I read more I didn’t want to put it down, I needed to read more to find out what was gonna happen.
Although the story confuses me at the start and I’d have liked the characters developed more I really liked the storyline. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Check your locks – 5 stars
This novel immerses you in a wintry landscape of bleak moorland, grotesque locked up secrets and the dark side of Northern Soul. Initially, the narrative makes demands. Who are these people speaking to us and should we trust them at all? Then for me, the scene in the pathologically clean home made the whole story take off. After that scene, I couldn't put my kindle down. The narrative closes about your imagination and this writer knows her genre very well. I loved the way the writer uses detail so evocatively and makes you use all your senses to place you where you really don't want to be as it's so threatening. Think Prime Suspect, Jo Nesbo and even Wuthering Heights!
Gripping! And the fetid finale was superb. No spoilers but revenge was perfectly in tune with the bleak! I cheered!
Very atmospheric – US - 5 stars
I loved this book! One is instantly drawn to Thomasine, who has been raised with a family tragedy that befell her sister. Thomasine isn't portrayed as a police woman who went into the police force due to that tragedy and catapulted herself up the ranks--instead, she is a flawed human being, struggling to cope with the rigors of her job, the guilt she feels and the burden she carries upon her shoulders dealing with both the tragedy, its impact upon her current life and that of her remaining family members.
When a body is found, and a mysterious unidentified woman is taken to the hospital with a grim prognosis, another level is added to this nuanced story and the reader left with an unexpected twist to keep the reader guessing.
Thoroughly enjoyable read, and I look forward to future releases by this author!
Wow! – 5 stars
Fantastic and engaging read! (I rarely write reviews although I read a lot of this genre). This reminded me very much Lisa Gardner my ‘introduction’ to these types of thrillers. I see very mixed reviews for this book, (all the good books usually have them!) it’s a straightforward but descriptive and passionate story that is most definitely well worth a read! I savoured the book, didn’t want it to end in some ways, but had to keep reading until the satisfying end! This book needs more attention paid to it than some easy thrillers. If you are looking for quick thriller ‘feels’ with lots of unnecessary twists, look elsewhere. If you are after well written, deep(er) and descriptive, ....read this book!
Chilling intensity – 4 stars
Like other readers I found this novel required some patience at the outset but I loved the pacey and economical writing style with its great eye for detail and felt safe in the hands of this author as the plot unfolded for Thomasine Albright, inevitably kept out of the official investigation in to her sister’s death and the DCI who is in charge of it. The truth emerges with chilling intensity and the denouement is deftly handled. C. M. Stephenson is definitely one to watch in the psychological thriller genre.
Gripping, beautifully written and full of twists – 5 stars
From beginning to end, I absolutely loved this book and found it hard to put down. All the twists and turns kept me guessing throughout. The web of events and characters are skilfully woven together in unexpected ways, and all with such beautiful descriptions. I felt as though I was there, watching, experiencing the whole story (or rather, stories): the horror, the sadness, as well as the love and human connection... and disconnection. A real page-turner.
Well written and intriguing – 5 stars
The Lies Hidden by C M Stephenson was an enjoyable and satisfying read that kept me hooked until the dramatic ending. At first I found the writing style a bit unusual but once I got used to it I could see the value of its economical prose as a means of increasing the pace. My daughter read this book as well and, despite being hard to please, she loved it. Well done CM Stephenson on your debut novel. My daughter and I look forward to reading your next one.
Suspenseful – 4 stars
I like suspense thrillers. This one was a little different than I had expected, but I found enjoyable. The moving between characters is part of the challenge of the plot. If you continue on the journey the story takes you on you will find the story worth pursuing!
Unputdownable, I agree –US – 5 stars
I am a serial devourer of whodunits, and this was one of the best! I am not often surprised at the solution. I was THIS time!
Very well written – US – 5 stars
A very well written book about girls missing especially one women’s sister. She is looking for answer of what happened over twenty years ago, and who was involved. When the body is discovered she will find out who is responsible.
Great book – US – 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. It was so suspenseful that I couldn't put it down. I would definitely recommend it.
Unputdownable mystery – US – 5 stars
Two girls, unconnected to each other, went missing in 1973. The remains of one has just been found. Where is the other one? What happened? Who did this?
Thomasine Albright's sister went missing and has just been found. She's been living with this unknown for 37 years and it has destroyed her family. She's a DI with the Family Liaison Office and I believe her sister's disappearance caused her to follow this career path.
The discovery of Karen's remains sets in motion a series of events. Various characters see the news in the newspapers and/or on television and the story develops from there. Lily, her narrator, the artist, Jimmy - where do they fit in? What is their influence?
The story is told from various characters narrative and this adds to the mystery of the story. Through the words of the characters you start to place things in order and the whole story is laid open leading up to the impact-laded ending.
I really enjoyed this book, in fact, once I started it I could not put it down.
Fast moving – 5 stars
Enjoyed the plot... was fast moving and kept my interest. If you enjoy a good suspense you will like this one…
Excellent debut – 5 stars
I should say that I didn’t expect to be quite so gripped by C.M. Stephenson’s debut novel – She Lies Hidden. The psychological suspense thriller isn’t normally I choose to read but gripped I was – almost from page one. I say ‘almost’ because, like some other reviews, I had to concentrate in order not get a bit lost early on. Once I’d accustomed myself to the various time-shifts and chunks of narrative told from different perspectives – I was right there with DI Thomasine Albright in her very personal quest to find out who killed her sister Karen, and why. I won’t allude more to the plot, suffice to say it read like the very best ‘cold case’ TV dramas. Another reader has suggested that there are too many characters – I disagree. The author’s lightness of touch and economy of style make each and every one of these characters believable and in some cases really likable (I took a particular shine to Thomasine’s colleague Sam Engleby). The settings ring true and there’s an exceptional description of a Northern Soul evening back in the 1970’s when some of the action takes place. ‘I couldn’t put this down’ is such a cliché but I genuinely couldn’t. A very impressive first novel from an author whose next book I’m already looking forward to reading.
Gripping – 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. It was gripping from beginning to end. I would recommend this to my friends to read
Superb author – 5 stars
A great read by a superb author.
Very intriguing – 5 stars
I could not put this book down, brilliant.
Fantastic – 5 stars
Such a good read, could not put down.
Brilliant – 5 stars
Brilliant – 5 stars
Cracking read, could not put this down.
Well written – 5 stars
Brilliant read. Great book.
Demanding and rewarding – 4.8 stars
To begin with, this book takes off as a very, very difficult sense of... mess. If you prefer an easy read, this book is definitely not for you. But how do you expect an easy ride from a cold murder case, where the family of the detective is part of the picture? These cases are complex by nature. At first, everyone's a stranger, nothing makes sense, sometimes you don't even know if it's a living person or a ghost talking. For me personally, this works, big time. Yes, you have to earn yourself the sweet reward of the climax by working your way through the hard beginning. This is a crime story, and this book perfectly reflects the way crime stories go, in real life. It really takes working your way through the case, to deserve to enjoy the concert of the grand finale. But once you do, it's worth it. The only thing I might criticize... I guessed the murderer a bit too early (at like 20%). But then again, this is not a 'whodunnit'. Which is where the beauty of this story lies - it's a story of redemption. 4.8 stars from me. :)
Wonderful – 5 stars
This is a fantastic book, well written with a top class writing style that flows so well. Written from various perspectives, this is a story about two missing people from many years back. I highly recommend this book and would give it ten stars if I could!
A gripping thriller – 5 stars
I enjoyed this book right from the start, There were many characters to assimilate - each speaking with their own voice which added realism. The plot was exciting and the tension built up to a very scary climax.
The book was held together by the two main characters, with whom one could emphasize and as the quite complex plot unfolded I found I was turning the pages faster and faster - what will happen next - what will they find out now?
I will certainly be eagerly awaiting this author's second book - and hopefully, many more to follow.
Hard to put down – 5 stars
A gripping story, very easy to picture the places and areas described, plus well laid out believable characters, I found it hard to put down.
Only problem is having to now wait for the next book, which I am really looking forward to.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes mysteries, thrillers etc.
Good reading – 5 stars
A cold case reopened and the murderer who almost got away.
I loved this book.
You will not be able to put this down – 5 stars
I read this book in 2 days! It’s fast paced and action packed and very well thought out from beginning to end. Although there are quite a few characters it’s easy to keep up and each one is integral to the storyline. Brilliantly written!
You will be hooked – 5 stars
IN MY HONEST OPINION, THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BOOK!!!
I am going to be perfectly honest and say, after reading the reviews on She Lies Hidden, I didn't hold out much hope for it. I think it is not getting the recognition it deserves. Keep a clear head for the first five chapters and you will be hooked.
The story is from a lot of different points of view, keep a clear head and it will flow so easily. A gem of a book by CM Stephenson.
A great debut novel – 5 stars
I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
Wow, what a début book! Well written with lots of interwoven characters both today and in the seventies, it is a novel that demands the reader's full attention to keep abreast with what is going on. As I was a teenager in the seventies I got particularly nostalgic with mentions about things like Jackie, Rimmel make-up, Crombies to name but a few - life at that time was so well portrayed. I look forward to seeing where this writer goes next.
A pacey novel – 5 stars
In 1973 two local girls go missing, never to be found until building work uncovers a skeleton in 2010. Their names are Karen and Veronica. For their parents and families, the nightmare has not gone away. DI Thomasina Allbright is the sister of Karen. This is one of the reasons she joined the force. To find out what happened.
She is called into her bosses office and told the news that the remains of her sister have been found. She feels she has no choice but to brace the awful weather and tell her mother face to face. Since her father died, her mother had gone downhill rapidly and was a shadow of her former self. What this news would do to her was anyone's guess.
What no-one has been able to work, is why those two girls as they lived 4 miles apart and did not know each other.
This is a pacey novel and this is a very good debut.
An enjoyable read – 4 stars
DI Thomasine Albright’s sister went missing many years ago. Finally the family know what happened. Finding the killer of her sister is going to be difficult for Thomasine as she is not allowed anywhere near the case. New developments come to light and nothing will stop Thomasine finding the truth.
This is a story that has several subplots running through it as I was soon to discover. I found that there were a few characters that I had to get to know but I soon started to recognise as the story unfolded, and they became recognisable. Also their role in the grand scheme of things, making them even more memorable.
As the story evolved I did wonder what sort of route this book would take, it became darker and caught me out when I started to discover where it was heading as questions and threads were being pulled together. At this point my reading started to quicken as the pacing seemed to speed up as well.
This story has good descriptions for the setting, a bleak, cold, isolated farm that was once a family home added to the story line, and increasing the tense feeling as I read.
This did require a little more concentration in the early stages as I had to get a grasp on the seemingly unrelated threads. Once the characters had cemented themselves and the threads of the story started to be woven together I had a better understanding and could really enjoy the story.
This is a story that would appeal to crime, thriller and mystery readers and is one I would recommend.
Well worth a read! – 4 stars
Great thriller written by a new author!
Brilliant story – US – 5 stars
Gripping read from beginning to the very end well deserved four star will definitely be reading more books by this author.
Twisted – US – 5 stars
This novel had more twists and turns than a Swiss mountain road. Beautifully written. Every word woven into a fine tapestry of words. Thank you😺