Reviewed by Caleb S.
The Hidden starts out with Ben Mercer moping around because he screwed up his marriage, is currently separated and going through a divorce. He decides to take a sabbatical from his Archeology studies at Oxford and disappear into Greece for a couple of months to try and sort out his life. Everything slowly continues to get worse from there. Even when things seem to be looking up, it is only an up-tick on his downward spiral. I think this book was supposed to be ‘dark’, but personally, I just found it depressing.
At first, Ben spends a lot of time worrying and thinking about his wife Emine and his daughter. The scenes are not very coherent; there are scattered glimpses from different times in the relationship, which were hard to piece together. It was obvious that something happened, but what it was exactly was a complete mystery and I felt a bit of a let down when it was finally revealed. The same kind of let down accompanied each new ‘reveal’.
Tobias Hill did an excellent job of describing scenes of Ben’s time working at the diner, and the day to day workings of the Archeology dig in Sparta. He described the tedium without being tedious and did a great job of keeping one’s interest. However, things would get muddled when we would spend some time in Ben’s head, on the roller coaster ride of his thoughts and emotions.
The Hidden sounded like it would be an interesting read, and to tell the truth it was interesting, but I would not say that I completely enjoyed it. I think what I found most problematic was that the main character was a man who, for all intents and purposes, seemed to be reasonably intelligent and well educated. However, his self-esteem issues caused him to make one poor decision after another.
Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.