Article first published as Book Review: Hide & Seek: A Murder Mystery by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield on Blogcritics.
Falling in love with Melanie Carson, a young actress is not at all in David Drapers plan. The real problem was that Melanie loved men, she loved attention and she created a jealousy in him that was not at all a part of who he was. As David becomes even more concerned and jealous, and finding Melanie with another, David waits until the assignation is done and murders Melanie in a fit of rage. While covering his tracks seems to have put him in the clear, the internal makings of David keep it in constant turmoil. His family including his
Aunt Grace and his sister Dorothy (Dots) are quite concerned about him. They are worried at the changes that the murder of his girlfriend have wrought in him. His Aunt Grace has made friends with the Detective in charge of the case, and has continued to help him investigate.
In their way they look for a way to pull David out of his doldrums. When they have an invite and a fun getaway planed they invite David to go with them. It is a Murder Mystery Weekend at an old courthouse located on a small island just of the coast of the Cape. While David reluctantly agrees he becomes alarmed with the group of guests that are also invited to attend this fun sleuthing weekend. His alarm turns to suspicion as his worst fears come to fruition. Each guest appears to have some form of background relating to the murdered Melanie Carson. As each clue turns up for the fake murder more clues also unfold for the real murder.
David is now convinced that he is being played and that someone knows the real truth of what happened the night Melanie was murdered. Should he stay and maintain his innocence, or should he cut and run? Knowing if he runs he will become an immediate suspect he remains cautious. Can he win in this strange and twisted game being played out?
This is a fun and unique whodunit, one where you know the murderer from the beginning. There is humor and familial obligations, and it is difficult not to like David regardless of his memory of the murder. He is a connoisseur of women; he loves them to distraction, and yet somehow gets caught up in an unimaginable situation that is totally outside the realm of his experience. He feels guilt and is at a point where he feels the need to come clean about his part.
His sister and aunt are wonderful. While David certainly has no alibi and seems guilty, they just do not believe him capable. The same is true of the detective handling the case. It is such a disingenuous situation with the Murder Mystery Weekend thrown in it keeps you guessing what will happen next.
Kaplan-Maxfield has done a great job with red herrings, twisting and curling the truth into such a string of happenings you begin to get dizzy with the threads. The characters are fun and exciting with just a hint of mystery and fun, and the story flows like chocolate, smooth and dreamy. Even knowing much of what is happening the author delivers a stunning surprise, one I wondered at and yet did not see coming.
This would be a great book for the mystery and suspense aficionado. It is well written and begins with the mystery solved–well sort off. This would be a great read for a book club or a nice book for a reading group. It is entertaining and fun.
This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.