The Hidden Things by Jamie Mason
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 4.0 Mb
The Hidden Things : A hair-raising, atmospheric thriller from the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) novel Three Graves Full, inspired by the real-life unsolved theft of a seventeenth-century painting.
In less than half a minute, a home-security camera captures the hidden resolve in fourteen-year-old Carly Liddell as she fends off a vicious attack just inside her own front door. The video of her heroic escape appears online and goes viral. As the view count climbs, the lives of four desperate people will be forever changed by what’s just barely visible in the corner of the shot.
Carly’s stepfather is spurred to protect his darkest secret: how a stolen painting—four hundred years old, by a master of the Dutch Golden Age—has come to hang in his suburban foyer. The art dealer, left for dead when the painting vanished, sees a chance to buy back her life. And the double-crossed enforcer renews the hunt to deliver the treasure to his billionaire patrons—even if he has to kill to succeed.
But it’s Carly herself, hailed as a social-media hero, whose new perspective gives her the courage to uncover the truth as the secrets and lies tear her family apart.
“But even in the grainy farthest reach of the lens, his notice of her is unmistakable. He leans forward, watching, hesitates for a beat, then checks the walkway behind them. It’s deserted. He slides into her wake.
If there were only one frame of the video to see—Carly in front, the young man a few long steps behind—in just that single still image it would be clear that one of the people in the scene belongs there and one doesn’t.
Her posture is soft, easy in a pleasant end-of-the-day fatigue. She’s all but home. It’s in the flutter of the flannel shirt tied around her waist. It’s in the tilt of her head and the bend of her knee.
But he’s rigid, chin down, every bit of his stance just a degree off a natural bearing. Some switch in him has been tripped, and he’s not entirely what he was a few seconds before when he was only loitering on an empty suburban block. Now he’s a mannequin, a robot, an approximation made of impulse wired through him like opposing magnets strung together. The surging current has pushed his arms away from his sides, pulled his legs slightly bent, the omen of a reflex to come, the windup to a sprint or a spring.
Then the edited video cuts to a different camera, labeled Exterior_2, this one mounted on the back side of a decorative column, one of two pillars flanking the front door. Carly and the young man are facing each other. There’s no audio, but he’s closed the gap and seems to have invented something to talk about, something to keep her poised between being rude and being on the safe side of that door.”