IN PLACES HIDDEN
The search for her missing brother leads to the most dangerous part of the city...
Camrianne Coulter's brother Caleb is a successful San Francisco attorney. But when three months go by without a word from the usually communicative Caleb, Camri boards a train to the booming West Coast city to find out for herself why he hasn't written. When she arrives at his home, nobody seems to know where he is...or what has become of him.
Camri's search for her brother leads her deep into the political corruption of the city -- and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, who Caleb successfully defended from a false murder charge. Getting to know this handsome Irish contractor challenges all of Camri's privileged beliefs, but Patrick is unshakably loyal to her brother, and he seems to know more about what happened to Caleb than anyone else.
As the two edge closer to the truth behind Caleb's disappearance, they risk angering the powerful forces that control the city. Can Camri trust Patric to protect her from the dangers that lie hidden in San Francisco's backstreets?
While I found In Places Hidden an enjoyable read, there were some elements of the story that kept me at arms length so this is going to be a bit of a mixed-bag review.
Love the setting -- San Francisco, 1905 which is just a year before the famous earthquake and subsequent fires that claimed so many lives and destroyed 80 % of the city. And since this is the first book in a series it looks like Camri and company are in for some challenging times ahead.
And I love that Camri is an unorthodox heroine. An educated college teacher and an ardent suffragette, it's no surprise that she travels across the country to search for her missing brother. But though she is God-fearing, she's also proud and opinionated and quick to dismiss others concerns as less than her own. And she doesn't have a filter -- she just bursts out with what she's thinking in a superior, "I'm highly educated and you are not" kind of way. It grated on me after awhile because though Camri recognizes what she is doing, she doesn't stop. There is some growth towards the end of the book but it was a long row to hoe before we got there.
Camri befriends two young women on the journey to San Francisco and this is as much their story as hers. Both Judith and Kenzie have their own problems and the three friends commit to pooling their resources to help each other out. Peterson sets out their backstories and challenges in preparation for future novels in the series -- In Dreams Forgotten releases in July 2018 and In Times Gone By releases in September 2018 -- so it's neat that these books are being released so close together as there are carry over plot elements that left me on tenterhooks at the end of this one.
Irish American Patrick Murdock is a gem of a hero. Fiercely loyal, dedicated to his sister and restoring his family's name and business...and just as determined to discover what happened to Camri's brother. In some ways these two are exact opposites. Camri -- refined and educated. Patrick -- self-taught and rough around the edges. But they share a deep-rooted stubbornness and love of family. There's definitely clashing of wills and gnashing of teeth at times on their rocky road to romance!
I don't know if it was just me going into this read assuming it was a suspense, but the mystery around Caleb's disappearance is where things fell apart for me. It seems to be the central theme when you read the synopsis and it's what drives Camri across the country. However, once she arrives in San Francisco, I found her search to be rather passive. She makes some overtures but seems content to let various men look into the matter for her which is contrary to her suffragette woman-are-equal-to-men beliefs. And there are major parts of the plot that take place 'off page' and are related in dialogue later which was anticlimactic for me.
While I did find In Places Hidden (great title tie-in, by the way) a compelling read, it felt more like I was hearing about the events instead of living them -- if that makes any sense. I just wasn't as emotionally engaged as I usually am in a story.
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of In Places Hidden, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 22 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.