Author: Kendra Elliot
Publication: Montlake Romance (July 17, 2012)
Description: Eleven years ago, the Co-ed Slayer murdered nine female students on the Oregon State University campus. Lacey Campbell barely escaped his attack, but lost her best friend whose remains were never found. As the sole surviving victim, Lacey helped send the sadistic serial killer to prison for life.
Now a forensic odontologist examining teeth and bones for the state Medical Examiner, Lacey is devastated when she arrives at a crime scene and identifies the skeletal remains as her college friend’s.
The remains are discovered on the land of ex-cop Jack Harper. Sparks fly between him and Lacey, even as they realize that the prosecution’s witnesses from a decade ago are now being murdered one by one. All the evidence points to the Co-ed Slayer as the culprit—only, he’s long since dead. So who’s the new killer? And is Lacey next in line to die?
Golden Heart finalist Kendra Elliot combines chilling suspense and steamy romance in a gripping tale, uniting in-depth forensic knowledge with a passion for thrillers. Set in the snowy winter of Oregon, Hidden creates spine-tingling chills.
My Thoughts: This was a wonderfully complex mystery that I just couldn't put down. Lacey Campbell has suffered from survivor's guilt for years since her best friend Suzanne was kidnapped from in front of her leaving her beaten and injured. Her testimony helped convict the Co-Ed Slayer who had killed a number of young blond girls and left their tortured bodies to be found. However, Suzanne's body had never been located until Lacey, now a forensic odontologist, is called to the scene when some bones are discovered in the foundation on an aging apartment building.
The building belongs to Jack Harper who is a former policeman who left the force because of an injury and who now owns a very successful property business. Jack was also one of the former boyfriends of one of the Co-Ed Slayer's earlier victims.
But the Co-Ed Slayer died in prison. So who is responsible for the buried bones? And who is killing anyone connected with the case in gruesome torture-murders? Jack knows he isn't involved though the real killer is certainly trying to point the blame his way. He falls for Lacey and decides that he has to protect her. Lacey isn't short of protectors. Michael is a former boyfriend turned best friend and an investigative journalist. He is determined to protect her too and willing to throw Jack to the wolves along the way. Is Frank Stevenson the criminal? He's Lacey's ex and the split was very bitter.
The story is told from multiple viewpoints. We hear from Lacey, Jack, Michael, the two police detectives who caught the crimes and who also have ties with the old Co-Ed Killer case and trial, and we peek into the mind of the killer and learn how he became the serial killer he now is.
The story was very tense and exciting. Watching Lacey and Jack overcome their various issues and fall in love added to the intensity. I strongly recommend this one to lovers of romantic suspense. This is Kendra Elliot's first novel. I will be watching for her next book.
She knew Michael had a need to look out for her because he believed she wasn’t doing a good job by herself. And maybe she wasn’t. She’d started talking with a man who had strong links to Suzanne’s case.I received the ARC from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. You can buy a copy here.
But talking with Jack Harper was the first time she’d felt a stirring of interest in a man in forever. After years of shutting people out and being numb, it’d felt good to experience that spark. Jack couldn’t be involved with Suzanne’s reappearance. Jack Harper was one of the good guys. She could sense it.