In Hidden in the
Shadows by A.D.Vancise, twenty-three-year-old Evie Day returns to her
hometown of Woodsville, Arkansas, after being away for five years. She has come
back because of the death of her grandfather, something she would not do under
other circumstances. While looking for pictures of her grandfather, Ollie, for
the funeral, Evie discovers a photo from 1933 of a strange woman next to a
wooden box. The photo stands out, even cries for attention. Evie cannot ignore
the image and sets out to find out who the woman in the picture was. She quickly
finds herself unwittingly sucked into a world of evil and dark secrets. Evie is
surprised to discover strange items — a vial of blood in the desk of her late
grandfather and a key to a safety deposit box. Evie is not the only one on the
quest to unravel a dark mystery. Charles, an older character teams up with a
professional to recover suppressed memories linked to horrific treatments in a foster
home in Castlewood —the same place where her grandfather’s deposit box is located.
Vancise's novel is a powerful blend of mystery and thriller, a deftly plotted story with unforgettable, finely drawn, and complex characters. It is interesting to notice how a simple visit home can turn into a nightmare for a young woman. As Evie follows the clues, she becomes more convinced that her family hides dark secrets, but what is even more disturbing are the people close to her. The narrative starts with a compelling premise — a young girl comes home for her grandfather's funeral and is shocked with unsavory secrets. Now, danger stalks her as she seeks the truth. The suspense intensifies as readers follow the two key characters in this gripping tale — Charlie and Evie, and the tension builds up steadily toward an electrifying denouement. The author writes sessions between Ken and Charlie masterfully and they brilliantly translate an ominous atmosphere that is characteristic of the story. The writing is stellar and the dialogues are dazzling. Hidden in the Shadows is a twisty, page-turning thriller that is balanced and deft.