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Is DI Monika Paniatowski out for good?

The Hidden

A British police procedural set in the 1970s by Sally Spencer Severn House General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 01 Jul 2017


It takes a lot of courage to sideline the lead character of a successful mystery series. Sally Spencer has done just that in The Hidden, placing DCI Monika Paniatowski in a coma after being attacked by a teen’s killer. Monika knows who the killer is but is unable to share that knowledge with her team. Monika’s attack and the ritualized murder of a teen found nearby is given to DCI Rhino Dixon’s team, pushing Monika’s team to the side. Dixon is more interested in fast results rather than in finding the truth, so Crane, Meadows and Beresford decide to risk their careers by mounting their own investigation. The behavior of the families associated with the young girl are strange, leading to the discovery of a peculiar cult and a killer who may try to ensure Monika never wakes up.

The Hidden really allows the supporting cast to shine, placing additional stress on the team as they attempt to support Monika’s children and solve the case. It is a stressful time and a turning point for the entire team who are uncertain of whether they could or should continue without Monika’s leadership. The novel also puts Monika’s daughter Louisa in a more central role. The Hidden is an excellent novel. I’m eager to see what Sally Spencer has planned for the series.

5 / 5

I received a copy of The Hidden from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.


Description Monika Paniatowski knows exactly who the killer is – but there’s no way she can tell anyone else! DCI Paniatowski’s team are increasingly convinced that the girl found dead in the woods is the victim of a ritual killing, carried out by a secret society which has been established in the very heart of Whitebridge. Their problem is that without Paniatowski there to back them up, they find it impossible to persuade the ambitious DCI ‘Rhino’ Dixon that treating it as a mere domestic murder will get them nowhere. And so Meadows, Crane and Beresford find themselves out on a limb - cutting corners, ignoring procedure, and running the very real risk that their careers could be brought to an abrupt and dramatic end. Meanwhile, Monika herself knows not only who the killer is, but also that he is stalking Louisa, her beloved daughter. But as she is one of the killer’s victims too, and is lying in a coma – hearing everything, but unable to move or speak – there is nothing she can do about it!

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