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Hidden: First in a new mystery series by…
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Hidden: First in a new mystery series

by Karen E. Olson

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Showing 5 of 5
Eh.
  chasidar | Dec 26, 2016 |
Hidden is the story of what happens when someone from her past shows up. Suddenly, her quiet life is anything but and her friends learn that there is far more to Nicole than what they knew or would have ever suspected. We soon learn she is an infamous hacker who pulled off a massive theft years ago, a theft that went disastrously wrong and she is now hunted not only by her former partner, but a vicious organized crime lord, and the FBI.

Luckily for her, hacking is just like riding a bike. It’s not like the internet changed, that firewalls improved or that new code languages were developed in the last fifteen years. So, within minutes of opening up a laptop for the first time in fifteen years, she’s hidden behind a virtual private network, hacking into neighbor’s wi-fi and breaking into the FBI and huge commercial banks. Meanwhile, she is astonished by YouTube and podcasts.

She’s also fortunate that the local police keep leaving messages with friends that they are looking for her without actually, you know, looking for her. She rides her bike, a borrowed moped and walks around town, stopping for coffee, staying at a local B&B and goes shopping with only the slightest interference from the FBI and none from the locals. You would think, too, that a cordon on the island for an infamous fugitive that draws the FBI would draw roadblocks and security gates at all forms of exit from the island. You would be wrong.

I think you can tell that this book requires you to suspend more than your usual share of disbelief. And yet, in the end, I liked this book and that is sort of confounding, isn’t it? Yes, I wish the book was less sloppy about the details, but I liked the character’s efforts to save herself without relying on others to save her–even though some assistance was offered and accepted, her impulse was to isolate her friends from danger. I loved the strong sense of place and the lovely descriptions of the island. I felt like I was there. I liked the strong friendships she had with people who recognized she had lied to them, but recognized a fundamental truth about her, that at heart she was a good person. I thought it was suspenseful when I was not rolling my eyes about the on-again, off-again jeopardy and some of the plot holes such as the shamefully inept Chief of Police Frank Cooper who could not catch a fugitive leading a marching band past his office or laughing at the idea that someone can take a fifteen year hiatus from something that changes as rapidly as the internet and conquer it so quickly.

Sometimes, it is fun to just ignore the potholes and read straight through, enjoying what is good and shrugging off the ridiculous. I would be less forgiving if the author made any pretension to being a serious novelist, but she does not. She’s not trying to change the world, she just wants to tell a fun story. At that she succeeds.

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/hidden-by-karen-e-olson/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Aug 26, 2016 |
4.5/5 ( )
  RitaH111 | Aug 4, 2016 |
Having become acquainted with Karen E. Olson through her Tattoo Shop mysteries set in Las Vegas, I was looking forward to reading Hidden, which is certainly a departure for this author. I found it to be suspenseful and at times beautifully written-- particularly in those scenes when Nicole is painting on the beach. This person in Nicole's past wants revenge, and we find out why in a series of flashbacks as her life becomes increasingly complicated and fraught with danger. Olson's setting of a small island off the coast of Rhode Island adds to the feeling of claustrophobia and tension.

Although I tend to enjoy books with intelligent female main characters who can think on their feet, I found Hidden slow going. I was slow to warm up to the story, and I never did warm up to Nicole. Even though the book has an ending that should make readers want more, I have to admit that my lukewarm reception of Nicole means that I am the exception instead of the rule. This is definitely a case of a well-written book that's just not my cup of tea. ( )
  cathyskye | May 26, 2016 |
Nicole is living on an idyllic island (but maybe not that idyllic because she is constantly locking up her bike wherever she goes!) with an assumed name. She's lived here quietly, under the radar for 15 years until the day someone from her previous life turns up, insisting she does "one more job". Trouble is he is not the only one looking for her. So it's back into the murky world of hacking, trying to be several steps ahead of her pursuers. You would think that someone with her know how wouldn't have given herself away by doing something so stupid in the first place! I enjoyed the story, the suspense, liked the way it was written, descriptions of island life and hope there will be a follow on to see what "Nicole" does next. ( )
  boudicca123 | Oct 22, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0727885324, Hardcover)

This tense and twisting novel of identity and suspense marks an intriguing new departure for cozy mystery writer Karen E. Olson.

Nicole Jones – if that is her real name - lives off the grid. She doesn’t have a licence, passport or bank account. She definitely doesn’t own a computer. She hasn’t left her refuge, Block Island, in fifteen years. She’s hidden from the world and she likes it that way. Nicole doesn’t use a computer, not because she’s afraid of it, but because she’s afraid of what she – a badass hacker in her past life – would do with it.

When the last person Nicole wants to see suddenly reappears, using a name he knows will draw her out, Nicole realizes that her time hidden is now ending. Her past secrets tumbling into the open and her carefully-constructed new life set to fall apart, Nicole must re-hone her long-suppressed computer skills in order to escape from an island that is no longer a haven, but suddenly a prison.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 03 Aug 2015 02:58:57 -0400)

Nicole Jones - if that is her real name - lives off the grid. She doesn't have a licence, passport or bank account. She definitely doesn't own a computer. She hasn't left her refuge, Block Island, in fifteen years. She's hidden from the world and she likes it that way. Nicole doesn't use a computer, not because she's afraid of it, but because she's afraid of what she - a badass hacker in her past life - would do with it. When the last person Nicole wants to see suddenly reappears, using a name he knows will draw her out, Nicole realizes that her time hidden is now ending. Her past secrets tumbling into the open and her carefully-constructed new life set to fall apart, Nicole must re-hone her long-suppressed computer skills in order to escape from an island that is no longer a haven, but suddenly a prison.… (more)

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