Title: Hidden Pictures
Author: Jason Rekulak
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.
Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.
Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.
Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.
It’s not often that a book can combine the paranormal with a twisty thriller, but Jason Rekulak did a fantastic job of it.
The story started out so normal with Mallory, a recovering addict, being hired by a family to take care of their little boy. She’s determined to prove her worth and get her life back on track. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. The family has a lot of secrets. The longer Mallory stays with them, the more she starts to see the cracks in their perfect facade and the secrets lying beneath the surface.
I loved how realistic and down-to-Earth all the characters were. Sometimes I forgot I was reading a fiction book, and I could believe I was reading about real people.
Filled with vibrant imagery, realistic characters, and nonstop suspense, Hidden Pictures is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2022.