Hidden Pictures

Flatiron. May 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781250819345. $27.99. HORROR
In Rekulak’s (The Impossible Fortress) sophomore novel, Mallory becomes the nanny to Teddy, a Philadelphia-area five-year-old possessed by a spirit that expresses itself by drawing pictures of its murder. Mallory focuses her narration on the inanities of the mother’s passive-aggressive nature or the blandness of the family’s furniture or descriptions of the neighborhood bookstore. But when the boy’s wealthy parents refuse to believe that a ghost could be possessing their son, Mallory attempts to communicate with an entity she blithely assumes to be benign. Unfortunately, complications like a cute neighbor and awkward advances from the boy’s father keep Mallory from fully exploring the supernatural puzzle, let alone her wasted athletic career or struggles with addiction. While Mallory eventually explores her own tragic backstory, it fills a gap more than it drives her character.
VERDICT This work offers plenty of commentary about the superficiality and priorities of upper middle-class America, but a more focused novel would have been more compelling.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing