The Book: Hiding Places, by Erin Healy
The Blurb: Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend. Devoted to the people she loves—more than they have ever been to her—Kate vows to protect each one. Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run. When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself. The murderous gang tracks Charlie down. To flush him out, they take the clueless family hostage and threaten young Kate. Even then, Kate keeps Charlie hidden, putting all her childlike faith in one terrible hope: that the family who has never been able to protect her before might learn how to do it now.
The Babble: Every family has secrets and 12 year old Kate knows all of her families hiding places. Tiptoeing through their small-town inn, Kate weaves her unseen way through the secrets and ultimately finds herself in a dangerous predicament. Add the local murder of a family friend, the distant murder of a powerful gang leader’s son and a motherless cougar cub and Erin Healy’s Hiding Places starts to hop. Unfortunately, for me Ms. Healy’s hop never really popped. I found her characters –with the exception of gang-leader Fox- to be shallow and clichéd and I had a very hard time becoming involved in the story. I would recommend this book for light reading.
The Behest: I received this book free from BookLook. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”