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Book Review: Hide & Seek: A Murder Mystery by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield

I’ve heard it said that given the right circumstances anyone is capable of murder. If so how does the person who is basically kind and good deal with the aftermath of such a decision? In Hide & Seek by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield, we follow a story of a murder and the life of a man and his family.

Falling in love with Melanie Carson, a young actress, is not at all in David Draper’s plan. The real problem was that Melanie loved men, she loved attention, and she created a jealousy in him that was not at all a part of who he was. As David becomes even more concerned and jealous — and finding Melanie with another — David waits until the assignation is done and murders Melanie in a fit of rage. While covering his tracks seems to have put him in the clear, the internal makings of David keep it in constant turmoil. His family, including his Aunt Grace and his sister Dorothy (Dots), are quite concerned about him. They are worried at the changes that the murder of his girlfriend have wrought in him. His Aunt Grace has made friends with the detective in charge of the case and has continued to help him investigate.

In their way they look for a way to pull David out of his doldrums. When they have a fun getaway planed, they invite David to go with them. It is a Murder Mystery Weekend at an old courthouse located on a small island just of the coast of the Cape. While David reluctantly agrees, he becomes alarmed with the group of guests who are also invited to attend this fun sleuthing weekend. His alarm turns to suspicion as his worst fears come to fruition. Each guest appears to have some form of background relating to the murdered Melanie Carson. As each clue turns up for the fake murder more clues also unfold for the real murder.

David is now convinced that he is being played and that someone knows the real truth of what happened the night Melanie was murdered. Should he stay and maintain his innocence, or should he cut and run? Knowing if he runs he will become an immediate suspect he remains cautious. Can he win in this strange and twisted game being played out?

This is a fun and unique whodunit, one where you know the murderer from the beginning. There is humor and familial obligations, and it is difficult not to like David regardless of his memory of the murder. He is a connoisseur of women; he loves them to distraction and yet somehow gets caught up in an unimaginable situation that is totally outside the realm of his experience. He feels guilt and is at a point where he feels the need to come clean about his part.

His sister and aunt are wonderful. While David certainly has no alibi and seems guilty, they just do not believe him capable. The same is true of the detective handling the case. It is such a disingenuous situation with the Murder Mystery Weekend thrown in that it keeps you guessing what will happen next.

Kaplan-Maxfield has done a great job with red herrings, twisting and curling the truth into such a string of happenings you begin to get dizzy with the threads. The characters are fun and exciting with just a hint of mystery and fun, and the story flows like chocolate, smooth and dreamy. Even as the reader knows much of what is happening, the author delivers a stunning surprise, one I wondered at and yet did not see coming.

About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.