A cleverly spun tale of the Wales underworld, ‘Hide’ is gripping and keeps you guessing.
Set in Wales in 1983, Alec Johnston leaves Cardiff for Swansea where he becomes flat mates with Minto, Stobes and Black. Despite trying to stay under the radar from his aggressive flat mate Minto, Alec finds that he can’t escape the constant company of Minto’s teenage girlfriend Sindy. She’s young and vulnerable – something Alec believes Minto takes advantage of. Torn between keeping her safe, and saving his own butt, Alec is thrown into the underworld of Wales and finds that it’s not as easy to escape as he thought.
The novel starts off in outback Australia, where we meet Alec being driven by a strange man. You soon discover that the segments set in Australia are the present day, and that the scenes set in Wales are flashbacks. This explains why Alec wound up in the middle of the Australian desert. It constantly keeps you guessing as to why he is there, who the man driving him was, and how much danger Alec is actually in.
There are so many mysteries within this novel, and so many layers that kept being added. It is no whodunit, but the trail of breadcrumbs that lead from one problem to the next keep up both the curiosity and intrigue. The sticky situations which Alec finds himself in mean that Morgan forces you to be anxious and forces you to confront the problems head-on alongside Alec.
The thrilling tale is compiled of both mundane and extraordinarily interesting characters, showing that you never quite know who you’re really living with. The moral dilemmas are relatable and heart breaking. How can you stand by and let someone suffer? Will cutting loose the ones you love actually save them?
SJ Morgan’s Hide is extremely atmospheric, totally encapsulating the reality of Thatcher’s Britain. Just as you think how well she writes about the dull, grey, gloom of Britain, she throws you with the dusty, hot, bright world of Australia. Constantly keeping you on your toes, Hide is a book you should put near the top of your reading pile.
Reviewed by Phoebe Christofi
Distributed by: Midnight Sun Publishing
Released: November 2019
- Visit SJ Moran’s website