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The Hiding Place [Kindle Edition]

David Bell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Sometimes it’s easier to believe a lie.

Twenty-five-years ago, the disappearance of four-year-old Justin Manning rocked the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. After his body was found in a shallow grave in the woods two months later, the repercussions were felt for years.…

Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder—who spent more than two decades in prison—really be innocent? Janet’s childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet’s door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.

Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet’s brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.

Editorial Reviews


"Bell follows his 2011 debut, Cemetery Girl, with an artfully constructed tale...a powerful, provocative novel." - Publishers Weekly

“[Bell] writes with a clarity of both vision and purpose; and his characters are eerily familiar because they are just like you and me.”—Thomas F. Monteleone, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Fearful Symmetries

Praise for Cemetery Girl

"Cemetery Girl is a smasher. It twists and turns and never lets go, could happen just this way."

—Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End

"Cemetery Girl is more than just an utterly compelling thriller—and it certainly is that. David Bell's stellar novel is also a haunting meditation on the ties that bind parent to child, husband to wife, brother to brother­—and what survives even under the most shattering possible circumstance. An absolutely riveting, absorbing read not to be missed."

—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Darkness, My Old Friend

"Trust me: you have never read a missing persons story like this one....A fast, mean head trip of a thriller that reads like a collaboration between Michael Connelly and the gothic fiction of Joyce Carol Oates, Cemetery Girl is one of those novels that you cannot shake after it's over. A winner on every level."

—Will Lavender, New York Times bestselling author of Dominance

"Cemetery Girl grabbed me by the throat on page one and never let up. An intense, unrelenting powerhouse of a book, and the work of a master."

—John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of Damage

"A smart, tense, creepy take on the story of a missing daughter, told by her far-from-perfect father. If you think you know this tale—from all- too-familiar newspaper accounts, from lesser movies and books--then this terrific novel will make you think otherwise."

—Brock Clarke, national bestselling author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

About the Author

David Bell is currently an assistant professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He received an MA in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a PhD in American literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice. His previous novel is Cemetery Girl.

Product Details

  • File Size: 944 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (October 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083P4ANC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Slow November 24, 2012
By 2LZ
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although the premise for The Hiding Place by David Bell was an interesting one, the story was very slow and it took too long to get to the resolution. Additionally, the ending was somewhat predictable.

Twenty-five years ago, seven year old Janet Manning was sent with her four year old brother, Justin, to a nearby park to play. Her mother instructed Janet to never take her eyes off of her sibling, but Janet's friend, Michael, was at the park too. Janet and Michael went off to play and when they returned, Justin was missing. Justin was later found buried in a shallow grave in the adjoining woods. An African American man, Dante Rogers, who was also a questionable character, was convicted for this crime he insisted he did not commit, and after serving his time, subsequently was released from prison still maintaining his innocence.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the murder, a stranger approached Janet at her family home, in the middle of the night, suggesting that there was additional information regarding her brother's killing. Janet determined to find out the truth, along with her daughter Ashleigh, uncovered many lies and distortions and her brother's closed case started to unravel.

There were some problems with the book for me. I questioned why, after twenty-five years this stranger first came forward. Janet, who no doubt suffered a difficult life after the death of her brother, didn't come across as feeling any guilt for the incident. In fact, she was presented as a very strong, well-adjusted woman, raising her daughter on her own and taking care of her unemployed, aloof dad. Side stories, such as Janet's single-motherhood and money being stolen from the church, fizzled and left this reader asking why time was wasted on this part of the story.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CAPTIVATING NAIL BITER October 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
THE HIDING PLACE is a well-written, nail-biting, mystery thriller that at times will have you on the edge-of-your-seat.

This story was captivating from the first page and gripping right to the end. Janet Manning's little brother disappeared 25 years ago and just two months later his body was found in a shallow grave. A suspect was charged and convicted. But now, all these years later, is it possible an innocent man was in prison and the real killer never captured?

This is a real who-dun-it story and the ending a huge surprise. A fantastic read. Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars captured me on from the first sentence October 5, 2012
I am in love with David Bell! Last year his novel Cemetery Girl blew me away and his new book The Hiding Place delivered a tale that was suspenseful, mysterious and delved into small town issues. David had my attention from the first sentence, "What do you remember from that day Janet?" and held me firmly till the last. He spun a tale with fleshed out characters that at times stole my breath away.

The tale begins around the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day four year old Justin Manning went missing while at the park with his seven year old sister Janet. Janet is now a single Mom who has moved back into her childhood home. She is helping her father who lost his job at the local factory. The newspaper is running a piece about the murder and conviction of Justin's killer. The first article is about Dante Rogers, a black man from the wrong side of the tracks who was convicted and served his sentence for the murder of Justin. He is now living back in town and still claiming his innocence. A young, eager reporter begins to make Detective Stynes, the police officer involved and Janet question events that took place all those years ago. The tale that unfolded kept me enthralled as we pieced together that day in the park.

David Bell has an uncanny ability to create characters that blur the lines of fiction and become real. I connected with them all and felt like they could be neighbors. Janet has suffered from guilt, the loss of her mother and the stigma of being an unwed mother in a small town. She is incredibly tough and mourns what she has lost. Her Dad has shut down; refusing to rehash the past and his coldness hurts Janet. Ashleigh is Janet's fifteen year old daughter, she is bright and inquisitive. She overhears a young man tell her mother he had answers about that day.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, poorly written... December 8, 2012
By Deb K.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I painfully finished this book just because I try to make it a point NOT to leave a book unfinished (I learned my lesson with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which ended up being a great book). This book is NOT suspenseful, poorly written, and the characters are boring and undeveloped. I can't believe that some gave it a good review; I'd like to give them a list of books that are actually worth reading.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Satisfying July 22, 2013
By Tamara
Format:Kindle Edition
This mystery/thriller is not action packed, so -- if that's what you like -- you'll want to look elsewhere. It is, however, full of twists and tidbits and interesting revelations. Unlike a few other reviewers, I did not find the story predictable until very near the end as the threads and revelations started to come together. That's not "predictable" in my opinion, that's just good writing.

This is a mystery for those who like relationships, and getting to know characters. Very little actually happens in the book, but, along the way, you grow to know the characters, care about them, and enjoy learning what really took place 25 years ago as it gets uncovered. I found it a satisfying read, and read it through in an evening.

Just to note: There is a certain amount of foul language in the book. It is used in places that make sense (i.e. characters with these personalities would use these words in similar situations in real life). But, I originally was pre-reading this book for my younger daughter, and it would have been nice to know about the language before we bought the book. It is not too excessive, and -- while I don't usually care for a lot of foul words -- I did not find their occasional use in this story to be too distracting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by Emily kemp
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, and absorbing multi-layered, suspenseful mystery whodunit...
David Bell delivers THE HIDING PLACE, an absorbing multi-layered, suspenseful mystery crime thriller--leaving you page-turning to learn the events surrounding the disappearance of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judith D. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good ,exciting story
Published 1 month ago by Kathyleen Weltch
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow But Intriguing
The Hiding Place by David J Bell. The cover and title hooked me before I ever opened the book. The story was a bit slow and it took way too long to get to the resolution. Read more
Published 2 months ago by lieu2010
5.0 out of 5 stars I like the way that he writes
If you've read his first book "Cemetary Girl" then you are familiar with his type of novels. I like the way that he writes. From the first page, he draws you in.
Published 2 months ago by teresa k.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, I love a book where you don't know ...
Very good,I love a book where you don't know the outcome till the very last pages.
Published 2 months ago by Joanne Paduch
3.0 out of 5 stars above average
I thought it was well-written and it held my interest. It was not as predictable as one would expect. The characters could have been developed a bit more, though.
Published 2 months ago by J. Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Now I am a David Bell fan!! Currently reading Cemetery Girl.
Published 3 months ago by SUE RUSSELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Well written, well plotted, will keep you guessing till the very end. Highly recommend. I will definitely check out other books by this author.
Published 3 months ago by Lisa Prodorutti
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More About the Author

David Bell is the bestselling and award-winning author of six novels including THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. He is an Associate Professor of English at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky and can be reached through his website

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