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Hide

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It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff and taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange and vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Hide takes us on a dark, It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff and taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange and vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Hide takes us on a dark, unsettling journey: one that begins in a small town in Wales and continues through the vast Australian outback. As the threats get closer, Alec fears this is one journey from which he may never return.


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It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff and taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange and vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Hide takes us on a dark, It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff and taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange and vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Hide takes us on a dark, unsettling journey: one that begins in a small town in Wales and continues through the vast Australian outback. As the threats get closer, Alec fears this is one journey from which he may never return.

38 review for Hide

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum

    Hide is Australian author S.J. Morgan's first adult novel and it's a thrilling read. It's 1983 in Swansea, South Wales where we first meet Alec Johnston. A somewhat flawed character who doesn't quite know what to do with his life, Alec is sharing a flat with bikies, Minto, Stobes and Black. (Great names right?) The overbearing Minto has a girlfriend Sindy and while Alec knows he should mind his own business, he can't help but be drawn in by Sindy's vulnerability and the situations she finds Hide is Australian author S.J. Morgan's first adult novel and it's a thrilling read. It's 1983 in Swansea, South Wales where we first meet Alec Johnston. A somewhat flawed character who doesn't quite know what to do with his life, Alec is sharing a flat with bikies, Minto, Stobes and Black. (Great names right?) The overbearing Minto has a girlfriend Sindy and while Alec knows he should mind his own business, he can't help but be drawn in by Sindy's vulnerability and the situations she finds herself in. Try as he might, Alec just can't seem to get out from under the gaze of his bikie housemates; Minto in particular. Alec seeks help from his parents who live in Cardiff and are easily the most memorable fictional parents I've encountered in a long time. I was definitely rooting for the parents the whole way; perhaps even more so than our protagonist Alec at times! What develops is a slow burn domestic noir which ramps up the tension as the short punchy chapters progress. The action moves to Australia (not a spoiler, this is in the blurb) and the novel develops into a crime thriller which kept me turning the pages. Ultimately, I would have liked more information on Sindy and a watertight ending but the conclusion was a satisfactory one, just the same. With an atmospheric cover design which accurately conveys the trouble ahead for Alec, I believe Hide will appeal to crime fans who enjoy a good domestic thriller. * Copy courtesy of the author & Midnight Sun Publishing *

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sonya Bates

    I had the pleasure of receiving an early copy of Hide by S.J. Morgan and am I ever glad I did. This was a gripping read. I devoured it in two days. It’s tense, suspenseful, with the sense of danger escalating exponentially to the climax. I loved it. The novel opens in Australia, December 1983. Alec Johnstone is hitching a ride with a truckie, on his way to Alice Springs. But something’s not right. The truckie has turned off the highway and they’re bumping down a lonely single lane track in the I had the pleasure of receiving an early copy of Hide by S.J. Morgan and am I ever glad I did. This was a gripping read. I devoured it in two days. It’s tense, suspenseful, with the sense of danger escalating exponentially to the climax. I loved it. The novel opens in Australia, December 1983. Alec Johnstone is hitching a ride with a truckie, on his way to Alice Springs. But something’s not right. The truckie has turned off the highway and they’re bumping down a lonely single lane track in the Outback. Alec knows something is wrong and he’s starting to sweat. But he has no idea just how much danger he’s really in. Backtrack a few months to the previous summer in Wales. Alec is rooming with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s waif-like young girlfriend. She seems drawn to Alec, perhaps seeing him as a saviour from her abusive relationship. But their friendship draws the wrong kind of attention to Alec, and he’s soon entrenched in a twisted dark path from which there seems to be no escape. S.J. Morgan has expertly woven this tale using short chapters and tense scenes to keep the reader turning pages. The characters are well-drawn, with just the right amount of back-story to give them life without interfering with the quick pace of the mystery. Alec’s voice is authentic, and he’s a very relatable character. All in all Hide is a thoroughly enjoyable read. A definite must for lovers of thrillers, but also highly recommended for anyone with a taste for a fast-paced mystery.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Poppy Nwosu

    Wow, I loved this! Such a twisty and surprising story, spanning from Wales to Australia. It's dark and menacing and I was so desperate to figure out how it all would end (I couldn't guess, so I was very surprised!) I think my other favourite thing was the characters themselves. There is so much depth and consideration put into these characters, particularly I loved getting to know the fragile and helpless Sindy, a girl way too young to be in such a dangerous situation. I loved her and feared for Wow, I loved this! Such a twisty and surprising story, spanning from Wales to Australia. It's dark and menacing and I was so desperate to figure out how it all would end (I couldn't guess, so I was very surprised!) I think my other favourite thing was the characters themselves. There is so much depth and consideration put into these characters, particularly I loved getting to know the fragile and helpless Sindy, a girl way too young to be in such a dangerous situation. I loved her and feared for her, she just felt so real in all her flaws and strangeness. I also loved Alec and his family, and loved seeing their relationship change and shift. I definitely recommend this book, it's a twisty thriller laced with unease and menace, peppered with indepth characters who make you care!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Fairlamb

    Terrifying. Disturbing. Unforgettable. S.J.Morgan has weaved a clever and unsettling story set on two vastly different continents; the dusty Australian outback, and chilly suburban Wales. HIDE is an incredibly suspenseful read, you'll want to keep reading way past your bedtime just to know the outcome, and even then you might not be able to sleep. I couldn't put this down, and was on edge the entire way through the novel. I'm in awe of the way S.J.Morgan wrote such a flawed and realistic cast of Terrifying. Disturbing. Unforgettable. S.J.Morgan has weaved a clever and unsettling story set on two vastly different continents; the dusty Australian outback, and chilly suburban Wales. HIDE is an incredibly suspenseful read, you'll want to keep reading way past your bedtime just to know the outcome, and even then you might not be able to sleep. I couldn't put this down, and was on edge the entire way through the novel. I'm in awe of the way S.J.Morgan wrote such a flawed and realistic cast of characters. Alec, his parents, Minto, and especially Sindy. It made me uncomfortable, suspicious of nearly everyone, and questioning motives right to the final page. Loved it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Gilpin

    A cracker of a crime thriller! More on my Insta page at CarolynsWriting, but thank you to Midnight Sun Publishing for this ARC :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marj Osborne

    There’s always room for a thrilling read, especially one that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Hide by S.J. Morgan does just that. From the first chapter, we know that our protagonist, Alec, is in trouble. Picked up as a hitchhiker on the road to Alice Springs, Australia, the story has hardly begun when his driver takes a detour off the road onto a dirt track. We guess then that we’re in for a bumpy road, and we’re not wrong! With the narrative switching back in time and location from There’s always room for a thrilling read, especially one that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Hide by S.J. Morgan does just that. From the first chapter, we know that our protagonist, Alec, is in trouble. Picked up as a hitchhiker on the road to Alice Springs, Australia, the story has hardly begun when his driver takes a detour off the road onto a dirt track. We guess then that we’re in for a bumpy road, and we’re not wrong! With the narrative switching back in time and location from Australia to Wales, we meet Alec as an innocuous university dropout living in a share house with Minto, Stobes and Black. Minto’s girlfriend, the waif-like Sindy, comes and goes. ‘Everything about Sindy screamed vulnerability’ or, as Black puts it, she’s ‘half a bubble off plumb’. Tension builds around Minto with an increasing sense of menace. As the abusive nature of Minto and Sindy’s relationship begins to surface, the softer side of Alec becomes apparent and he is drawn in to help, fast becoming a focus of Minto’s attention, entwined in a ‘play to the death’ that is just beyond his grasp. Alec’s lovable parents, who suffer their own emotional frailties, soon become involved and later even his girlfriend. I can be a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to horror and suspense so, even though I know that Alec is in trouble from the beginning, I feel that Morgan leads us step by step into the darkest mire. With short chapters and a slow burn sense of tension and menace building towards the crescendo, Morgan weaves this dark tale through conversation and innuendo, clues leading to the final twist evident throughout the narrative. The cover says it all: ‘HIDE!’ The dark colours of the cover tell us that there’s a storm brewing. Some of these characters will stay with me for some time (my criteria for a 5 star book), particularly Alec and his well-meaning parents who find strength when it’s needed most. Minto is a caricature of malice. Sindy, a 'street child' of 14 years of age, is duplicitous, the ultimate survivor after weathering many storms. I’ve been seeking out great Australian thrillers, so was super excited to receive this advance copy from the publisher. Add it to your list beside Jane Harper’s The Dry, Chris Hammer’s Scrublands, and The Nowhere Child by Christian White. It’s a ripping great read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Alec Johnstone, the protagonist of Hide isn’t exactly a noble character. His default philosophy of ‘anything for an easy life’ has landed him in a house-share in Swansea with some fairly shady individuals. The worst of these is the violent and unpredictable Minto, leader of a local biker gang. When Minto brings a young and vulnerable girl called Sindy into the house, Alec’s noble instincts kick in. But in his attempt to save underage Sindy from a life of abuse, Alec ends up in an awful lot of Alec Johnstone, the protagonist of Hide isn’t exactly a noble character. His default philosophy of ‘anything for an easy life’ has landed him in a house-share in Swansea with some fairly shady individuals. The worst of these is the violent and unpredictable Minto, leader of a local biker gang. When Minto brings a young and vulnerable girl called Sindy into the house, Alec’s noble instincts kick in. But in his attempt to save underage Sindy from a life of abuse, Alec ends up in an awful lot of trouble. Hide opens thousands of miles from Swansea, In the heat and dust of the remotest Australian outback. He has hitched a lift from a trucker and for some reason, they have come off the highway. The trucker clearly has something in mind for Alec other than a ride to Alice Springs. The tension mounts from the first paragraph of the first page. When Alec asks nervously and quite reasonably, ‘Shouldn’t we get back on the highway?’ The trucker’s reply, ‘No, Alec. Not yet’ is chilling. The opening chapter sets the tension dial at its highest setting and the rest of the novel doesn’t let up. Alec’s life is transformed from shambolic unemployment in a seedy room in a dodgy house-share to a web of intrigue in which he finds himself on the run from a relentlessly vengeful gang. Alec’s parents and his girlfriend Daniella all become tangled in the web and find themselves on the run along with Alec. A dark, twisty and relentlessly gripping read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer MacKenzie

    Hide builds suspense with each new chapter. The threat of violence ever present S J Morgan juxtaposes everyday characters living normal lives against the seedy underworld of a bikie gang. As Alexander and his family emerge from the grief of his sister's death they are pulled into a world they are poorly equipped to understand let alone survive. A great novel that might keep you reading well into the night!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Benson

    Not a good ending. Enjoyed it until then.

  10. 5 out of 5

    HR Kemp

    An unsettling cast of menacing characters and a naive main character set the scene for a tense and suspenseful read. It's well written, engrossing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beverley van Hameren

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cathie May

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  14. 4 out of 5

    Odette

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gunther

  16. 4 out of 5

    texbsquared

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jess Smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe Christofi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Byrne

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Freeborn

  22. 4 out of 5

    MaryannC. Book Freak

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alana

  24. 5 out of 5

    Deb

  25. 4 out of 5

    Richard Brandt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

  31. 4 out of 5

    S

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Morgan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Laura Michelle

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lu Ordoñez

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  37. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

  38. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

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