Official Review: Hidden, Part One by Linda Berry

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Official Review: Hidden, Part One by Linda Berry

Post by micoleon13 » 15 Apr 2017, 16:00

[Following is an official review of "Hidden, Part One" by Linda Berry.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Linda Berry’s Hidden: Part One is a fast paced Western mystery set in rural Oregon. Just back from Afghanistan, Sully is looking forward to the homecoming he has long imagined during his service as a Marine. His welcome is disastrously different than what he was hoping for as reality inevitably comes crashes in. His beloved family ranch has fallen into serious disrepair, with bills and wages stacking up. Sully’s father, Joe, has hidden the facts from his son, refusing to face up to them even when his health takes a turn for the worse and Sully has to take over the running of the ranch.

To add to Sully’s worries there is a gang of horse thieves operating in the area, and not even he is safe as they take off with one of his most valuable horses. Sully finds solace in the company of Maggie, a local therapist, as they find unexpected comfort in each other.

The story also follows that of Justin, a talented up and coming rodeo star. Struggling to make ends meet, he finally catches a break, but is this stroke of good fortune all that it seems to be or will there be a hefty price?

The characters in this book really make the story what it is, a very enjoyable read. They are realistic and believable right from the beginning, whether you feel immediate compassion, suspicion or straight out dislike towards them, you can’t help but be drawn into their various personal stories. They have all had obstacles and pasts to overcome and are making the best in their own ways as they see fit.

The peace that Sully is searching for in his work on the ranch is difficult to obtain in spite of his efforts. Like many returning soldiers, he has seen horrific things, has had to live with a daily level of fear and adrenaline, as well as seeing many of his friends die. He is just trying to find his way in the world and his own place in it. I like how the author illustrates this without it overwhelming an already detailed story, only using it to provide a good background and to show that there are different methods for everyone to cope with hardship.

Not being a big fan of Western fiction, I found this book had a great mix of life on the ranch, the rodeo circuit and the mystery element of the horse thieves. There was very little romance which was a refreshing change. Although it hinted at possibilities in the future, the fact that it didn’t force the characters into romantic situations made them all the more realistic.

There were two substantial cliff-hangers at the end of the book, which meant I was so disappointed to come to the last page, as I just wanted to continue reading. Luckily, Hidden: Part Two will be released later this year. Hopefully in this next book Justin's story will also be focused on a little more, as he was a character who I really felt for.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. A brilliantly written book that while it broaches some serious subjects of war and loss, it does not let it impact on the flow of the story or the character development. I would recommend it to any who enjoy a good mystery or crime read, as well as those who are a fan of Westerns. Congratulations to the author for a great book.

Hidden, Part One
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Post by Amagine » 17 Apr 2017, 09:43

I've never really read a western fiction before and this one sounds very interesting. I like the fact that it is about a rodeo star. He has an unconventional job and that's not common in fiction. If the characters are very well crafted then this is a book I should consider reading.

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Post by kandscreeley » 17 Apr 2017, 09:47

I HATE cliffhangers, but this clearly says part one, so I guess that's to be expected. It's sad when one comes back from war to that kind of welcome. Seems like a well-written book. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Chrys Brobbey » 17 Apr 2017, 18:41

Good to point out about the characters having obstacles and pasts to overcome. It is the reality that we all do, and it will be more so with someone who has returned from war in Afghanistan. At the end of the series, Sully would hopefully have turned things around.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 19 Apr 2017, 14:00

Sounds like a very well-written book with several complex topics! Good characters are half the battle in writing a book. Sounds like the author did a swell job at that! I also like the lack of romance. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Katherine Smith » 20 Apr 2017, 17:57

The book sounds great and it like that they added the elements of returning from war to make the story more authentic. I like that the novel covers three people with their own distinct story line and personalities. The Western aspect sounds cool too because I can relate to it by growing up in California. I also hope that you review the second book, so that I can hear some of the continuations from the first novel.

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Post by Donnavila Marie01 » 21 Apr 2017, 07:49

From amarine to becoming a rancher. It is interesting. Sully's life which is full of twists and turns is a compelling story. Adding up to the interest is the role of Maggie in Sully's life.

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Post by k2rugman » 21 Apr 2017, 23:03

I haven't read any Western novels before. I'm not really one for the Western genre of anything but you have piqued my interest! I am intrigued by the story line of a Marine becoming a cowboy. Thanks for your review, I'll have to give it a try!

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Post by micoleon13 » 22 Apr 2017, 06:46

k2rugman wrote:I haven't read any Western novels before. I'm not really one for the Western genre of anything but you have piqued my interest! I am intrigued by the story line of a Marine becoming a cowboy. Thanks for your review, I'll have to give it a try!
Thanks, glad you liked the review!
It's a very easy read, and not too Westerny, so will be a good introduction for you, I think. Let me know what you thought of it

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Post by bibliognost » 23 Apr 2017, 13:48

I see the word "Western" and I shudder - but you have written a lively review that will appeal to readers of the genre. I love the enthusiasm that comes through in your writing - nicely done! :tiphat:

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Post by eeeypril » 23 Apr 2017, 14:45

The book is quite interesting. From his life of being a soldier and when he went to his home.But I hate cliffhangers because it would really made you feel excited to read Part II.. it was a nice story. Thank you author.

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Post by allie2212 » 23 Apr 2017, 20:23

The book does sound interesting. I am putting it on my want to read list. I also love that you put a description of each character. That helps distinguish who is who before reading the book.

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Post by wadem » 25 Apr 2017, 05:06

Having read the review posted,i find that i am looking forward to reading this book.I have recently read a western set in more recent times and did not find it particularly apealing.i hope this one will be different

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Post by Romayamalik » 25 Apr 2017, 13:54

This book sounds different and interesting. Most of the stories carries
Massage for the youth .and I can surely say this is one of them.
Soldiers' stories mostly not common as others' .that's why they develope the
Interest of the reader to read fully.

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Post by Renjie Acob » 25 Apr 2017, 22:01

Great job reviewing! Well I've never read any Western fiction but perhaps this may sound intriguing.

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