Magination Press: Snitchy Witch by Frank J Sileo, illustrated by MacKenzie Haley

The Hidden Things

In an instant, 14-year-old Carly Liddell becomes a sensation. She successfully fends off an attacker as she enters her home, and it's captured on a security camera installed by her stepfather, John Cooper. Within hours, police upload the video to social media and the video goes viral as viewers watch Carly kick ass. But for four people, the video reveals something else entirely.

Hanging in the foyer, a corner of a painting appears in the video for a flash: a strange object that can only be from Landscape with Obelisk by Govaert Flinck, a 400-year-masterpiece stolen in a heist decades ago. Four years earlier, John Cooper--then known as Jonathan Spera--possessed it, and attempted to rid himself of it and make a handsome profit by partnering with Marcelline Gossard, a seductive art dealer, and Owen Haig, a fearless employee of a wealthy family. When John enlists the bewildered Roy Dorring to help execute the deal, it all goes sideways: John vanishes with the painting, Marcelline is left for dead and Owen and Roy go their separate ways. Until the video brings them all back together.

In The Hidden Things, Jamie Mason (Three Graves Full) delivers a well-paced thriller, steadily building suspense while unfolding a complex web of relationships. But the novel's greatest strength lies with the characters. Carly's struggle with the spotlight displays a mixture of confidence and wariness; Owen, intimidating and unflappable, keeps everyone off balance; and John, who has successfully led more than one life, slowly loses his composure as worlds collide. --Frank Brasile, librarian