My enormous thanks to Sophie Ransom for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for No Place To Hide by JS Monroe and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. I’m delighted to share that review today.
Published by Head of Zeus today, 13th April 2023, No Place to Hide is available for purchase in all the usual places including here.
No Place to Hide
You might be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean they’re not watching you.
Adam lives a picture-perfect life: happy marriage, two young children, and a flourishing career as a doctor. But Adam also lives with a secret. Hospital CCTV, strangers’ mobile phones, city traffic cameras – he is convinced that they are all watching him, recording his every move. All because of something terrible that happened at a drunken party when he was a medical student.
Only two other people knew what happened that night. Two people he’s long left behind. Until one of them, Clio – Adam’s great unrequited love – turns up on his doorstep, and reignites a sinister pact twenty-four years in the making…
No Place to Hide is a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together the dark web, murder, and blackmail…
My Review of No Place to Hide
Adam’s life is in free fall.
I absolutely loved No Place to Hide because it’s effective, alarming and gripping as a result of the fast paced chapters, the mix of first and third person with Adam at the centre, and the brilliant motif of Marlowe’s Dr Faustus woven so intelligently throughout. I thought naming Adam after the first man was a stroke of genius too because it adds to the sensation of temptation, threat and danger.
There’s a creepy, almost distasteful atmosphere that permeates the narrative set in 1998 so effectively that the reader feels almost as tainted by it as those who come into contact with Louis seem contaminated. I thought this effect was quite brilliant. Once the two time scales intertwine then the same effect occurs in Adam’s present too, making for an affecting and disturbing story.
The characters are so well drawn. Adam shows how one wrong decision or careless moment can shape a whole life – or indeed a whole death and illustrates how easily we can be manipulated. Clio is enigmatic with a potent mix of sexual power and vulnerability so that the reader is as unsure of her integrity as Adam is, and Louis is both Faustian and Shakespearean in his malevolence, his manipulation of others and his hubris. These people become a heady cocktail of danger and threat.
I loved the exploration of the Big Brother concept. I don’t want to spoil the story for others, but J.S. Monroe will have you looking carefully at the world around you and wondering just who is watching you. Indeed, I think a decade ago I would have found this element almost science fiction, but now the reality and potential of this deftly plotted and exciting novel is all too possible, making it scary and believable.
Other themes within the story are perfectly balanced. There’s the mundane nature of Adam’s life as he and Tania navigate marriage with two small and demanding children, pitched against darker themes of mental health, the media, trust and morality. Class, profession and education all play their part too so that No Place to Hide appeals broadly and relevantly.
I thought No Place to Hide was superb. It held me captivated throughout and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an excellent read.
About JS Monroe
JS Monroe, is the author of five psychological thrillers, including the international bestseller, Find Me. Under his own name, he has written five spy novels, one of which, Dead Spy Running, was optioned by Warner Bros. He is currently the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford.
After more than 25 years in journalism, including two stints as Weekend editor of the Telegraph, and working as a foreign correspondent in New Delhi, Jon became full-time author in 2015.
Jon lives in Wiltshire with his wife, Hilary Stock, a fine art photographer, and is on the committee of Marlborough LitFest.
For more information, visit J.S. Monroe’s website, follow him on Twitter @JSThrillers or find him on Instagram and Facebook.
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