Hide by Tracy Clark

Title: Hide (Detective Harriet Foster #1)

Author: Tracy Clark

Published on: 1 January 2023

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hide is the first book in Tracy Clark’s Detective Harriet Foster Thriller series.

A woman in her late thirties goes on her usual morning jog and finds a dead body covered with leaves. She screams and runs to the road for help only to find a young man sitting with his head down, jacket covered in blood. She screams again, waking the whole neighborhood.

Detective Harriet Foster requested a transfer when she decided to return from her sabbatical. Her partner committed suicide in the station’s parking lot a couple of months ago. The same partner who stayed by Harriet’s side when Harriet’s son was killed in a mugging incident. The same partner who supported Harriet when she divorced her husband… And then, one fine morning, the partner kissed her sons and husband goodbye – they didn’t know it would be her last goodbye.

As a Black woman in a male-dominated department, Foster anticipates challenges again – building trust with her new partner, adjusting to the new station and new teammates. But she can do it… when she conquers the demons in her mind that put her down.

The young victim found in the park had red lipstick marks encircling her wrists and ankles. Days later, another woman is found dead in similar circumstances. The murders are gruesome – the victims are found with multiple slashes on their torso and the intestines all out.

Time’s running out. The media gets a sniff of the case and people start to talk about the Chicago PD’s incompetency. With a serial killer on prowl and bodies dropping like flies, Detective Harriet Foster and her team must bring the victims to justice soon.

What a fantastic series debut! 2023 certainly started with a lot of exciting and marvelous series debuts and Hide by Tracy Clark is one of them. From start to finish, this book was gripping, gritty, a tad emotional, twisted and dark. I absolutely loved every bit of this book. I couldn’t put it down until the end and I certainly cannot wait for the next installment.

First things first. What I liked about this series the most is, we have two women detectives as lead. At the beginning, Harriet is teamed with the station’s “asshole” – Harriet’s boss’ words, not mine. The boss is also a woman – so, let’s call her boss lady. She’s a no nonsense woman and wants the serial killer case solved YESTERDAY.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. When the first victim is found, Foster and her “asshole” partner Lonergan question the other man found near the scene of crime – the guy with blood on his jacket. Lonergan is quite convinced the man had killed the young girl. But Foster isn’t. Then, another body is found – murdered more gruesomely than the first one.

There’s another PoV here: a man in his thirties named Bodie is released from psychiatric ward. He and his sister have a secret – more of a “family secret.” This so-called secret bothers him – but he’s a stalker. And he was arrested for the very reason – and claiming insanity, he got himself admitted to a psychiatric hospital where he lied to his therapist about everything – from childhood to family. His sister didn’t seem much affected by their childhood trauma – and Bodie is annoyed that his sister has it all when he’s still struggling.

The alternating PoVs kept me guessing till the end. I knew there was something wrong with the Morgan siblings – though Amelia looked like she had it under control, I felt it was too good to be true. Meanwhile, Bodie was Creepy with a capital C.

There’s a change of partners in the second half of the story. Foster gets partnered with Li. This is when things get messier and murkier. Li and Foster form a better pair than Foster and Lonergan, no doubt about it. Li has a way to get things done and she’s supposedly the ‘good luck charm’ amongst her teammates. How far does luck take the two female detectives on the case, you ask? Till the very end – face-to-face with the killer and what comes after that.

I loved the storytelling and the characters. Hide by Tracy Clark is a perfect blend of character introduction, series-plot setting, and mystery. We readers couldn’t have asked for a better series debut. If you love police procedural with a twisty ending, you might want to add this book to your TBR.

I received an ARC from Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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