In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”
Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: truelove. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice...
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Three stars: Another dark, disturbing read that you won't be able to put down.
Joe is over Beck and all of baggage that she brought into his life. He is happy and content with the way things are going, until the rug is pulled out from under him. Angry and bent on revenge, Joe moves to California with murder on his mind. Once he arrives in California, he finds himself surrounded by mindless, want to be people. No matter, he has a goal in mind, and he won't stop until he exacts his revenge. What he doesn't expect is to find a new girlfriend. Will Joe be able to put his murdering ways behind him and start a normal life?
What I Liked:
- Joe... you are one sick, twisted, messed up individual. Though I should stop reading about you, I can't. YOU are like a bloody accident that I shouldn't look at, but my morbid curiosity gets the better of me, and I continue to read about YOU! If you enjoyed Joe's diabolical mind in You, you will certainly like getting another glimpse into his disturbed head. Joe is what makes this series shine with his maniacal, obsessive compulsive behavior and murdering ways. He is creepy yet fascinating, and you will find that you just can't put his books down.
- I liked the California setting. Once Joe arrives in California, he is surrounded by a bunch of shiny, pretty people obsessed with appearances and the dream of making it big. I loved his narratives regarding all the idiotic people he was forced to deal with on a daily basis from his druggie boss, to his washed up landlord who thinks he is a comedian, to Don't sleep with Delilah. Joe's snarky and caustic remarks are hilarious. California brought a whole new breed of people to irritate Joe. Warning, his language is not for the prudish.
- The plot once again follows Joe's sick and twisted mind as he plots murder and revenge. Never a dull moment in Joe's mind. The story is shocking and unsettling as once again the reader is exposed to how easy it is for someone to stalk and harm someone. Yikes.
- The ending is fast and frenetic with plenty of stunning surprises. I was completely caught off guard by the finale. I am still not sure what to think.
And The Not So Much:
- I had a great time with the book up until the halfway mark. Joe's adventures in California and his diabolical revenge plotting were exciting and funny. Then things take a turn when Joe meets another girl and falls in love. At this point, the story got boring because it is all about Joe's new relationship, which is nothing like the one with Beck. The stalking and all that isn't there. He even gives up on his big revenge plot. I found myself struggling to stay engaged with the story because it wasn't as funny nor was it as creepy. It dragged.
- The ending is frustrating. After dragging to the finish line, there are a bunch of shockers tossed out one after the other at the end. I thought several of the twists were unrealistic. The final scene is open ended, and the reader is left wondering about Joe's fate. Will there be another book?
- Once again, the book is filled with unlikable characters. Yes, Joe is fascinating, but it is also hard to read a book where can't stand anyone. At first, I liked Love, but by the end, I had changed my mind. Plus, I didn't buy her actions. It didn't seem in line with her character.
- I was disappointed that the whole revenge plot was abandoned. It was one of the most engaging parts of the book. There is a quick scene that picks it back up right near the end, but it didn't work for me. I don't know, after all the plotting and planning, I was expecting something big. Instead I got a fizzle.
Hidden Bodies is the continuation of Joe Goldberg's disturbing story. This is a series with a monstrous, diabolical main character who will make you laugh on one page and then shudder on the next. This is a disturbing book, not for the faint of heart. I liked the first part of the book, but the second half veered of course, and dragged. The ending is also puzzling, and I am not sure if this is it for Joe or if there is another book in the works. If you want something creepy and unsettling this is a series to try.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
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Don't miss the first book: You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes