Hide In Place
by Emilya Naymark
March 1-31, 2021 Tour
When NYPD undercover cop Laney Bird's cover is blown in a racketeering case against the Russian mob, she flees the city with her troubled son, Alfie. Now, three years later, she's found the perfect haven in Sylvan, a charming town in upstate New York. But then the unthinkable happens: her boy vanishes.
Local law enforcement dismisses the thirteen-year-old as a runaway, but Laney knows better. Alfie would never abandon his special routines and the sanctuary of their home. Could he have been kidnapped–or worse? As a February snowstorm rips through the region, Laney is forced to launch her own investigation, using every trick she learned in her years undercover.
As she digs deeper into the disappearance, Laney learns that Alfie and a friend had been meeting with an older man who himself vanished, but not before leaving a corpse in his garage. With dawning horror, Laney discovers that the man was a confidential informant from a high-profile case she had handled in the past. Although he had never known her real identity, he knows it now. Which means several other enemies do, too. Time is running out, and as Laney's search for her son grows more desperate, everything depends on how good a detective she really is–badge or no.
While Naymark has had many short stories published, this is her first novel. It is a good debut effort. I had a little difficulty liking Laney, the heroine, at the beginning. Her internal battle between being the mother of the missing child and being an ex-cop came out with her alienating those she needed to help her. I wanted her to be more savvy when it came to handling others, regardless of her intense motherly emotions. Alfie, her son, develops into a great character and I certainly appreciate his efforts to rise above the detrimental influences on his life.
The novel has a good balance of character revelation, backstory, and investigation. I like how Naymark revealed Laney's history as it became necessary to understand the current situation. The narrative frequently switches from Laney in current time to her history as a cop and to Alfie's situation. The changes were well done and progressed the plot well.
I liked this novel dealing with present character issues compounded by revenge from past events. It's a good book for readers who like exploring the influence of character on the outcome of a crime. I like Naymark's writing style and will be looking for more from her.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Read an excerpt:
She has a degree in fine art, and her artworks have been published in numerous magazines and books, earning her a reputation as a creator of dark, psychological pieces.
When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and reads massive quantities of thrillers and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.
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