Emily Calby is twenty now. The scarred but ever-hopeful survivor wants to put her brutal past behind her. Her instinct for justice has led her to enroll in law school on the sunny Florida coast. Things are finally looking up. “I spread my arms and tilt into the bright Florida sun, filling my lungs with the wet salty air. ‘What could possibly go wrong in a beautiful place like this?'”
In The Hiding Girl, Dorian Box’s tough and resourceful young protagonist, Emily Calby, flees a horrific murder and spends months on the streets and on the run. Her survival depends on toughness and determination, and the help of a former gang member who recognizes in her shades of his own youth. In this sequel, she finds herself in trouble again right from the get-go, but it’s trouble of a different kind.
I’m generally not a big fan of spy thrillers, but I wanted to read this one because so many fans of the genre consider it a classic. The plot itself was okay, but the writing and characterization left a lot to be desired. I think much of the book’s initial success came from it being the right story at the right time. At bottom, it’s a conspiracy novel exposing some of shadier operations of powerful governments, and the lengths to which those governments will go to cover up their crimes.
The Hiding Girl begins with an ominous scene. Two men, whom our gut tells us are not to be trusted, approach a woman and her daughters as they carry groceries into their isolated country home. Twelve-year-old Emily has the same foreboding instinct as the reader. Something bad is about to go down. But her mother is too trusting and her sister is too young to share her concern. Something bad indeed goes down, and Emily is the only one to escape alive.
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