“We don’t know how much our bodies can endure until we make cruel demands of them.”
― Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures
My latest read, Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak, is my first 5 star read for 2023! It was the 2022 Goodreads Choice Award winner for Best Horror. I highly recommend that you read a physical copy of this book, instead of listening to it, as there are drawings scattered throughout that are essential to the narrative.
Mallory Quinn is right out of rehab looking for a job. On the recommendation of her sponsor, she lands a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey. Mallory will be spending her days taking care of their five-year-old son, Teddy. This job immediately appeals to Mallory. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, is able to continue her workout regime by going on nightly runs, and finally has the stability that allows her to thrive.
Mallory and Teddy’s relationship blooms. Teddy is sweet, yet incredibly shy. He doesn’t get along with other little kids and would rather hang out with Mallory exploring the forest behind their house. Teddy also always has his sketchbook and pencils within reach. He spends his free time drawing the usual kid pictures: trees, rabbits, people. One day, his drawings change. Mallory finds a drawing of a man in a forest dragging a woman’s lifeless body.
Mallory is shocked. As the days progress, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister. His drawing style also drastically changes. He starts drawing more lifelike images, something way more detailed and complex than a five-year-old should be able to draw. When Mallory learns the history of her area, a chill runs through her. She starts to think that maybe Teddy’s artwork is actually snapshots of an unsolved murder that occurred years ago. Could something supernatural be lurking in the Maxwell house, haunting and telling Teddy what to draw? What is Mallory willing to do to help Teddy?
This book is also available in the following formats: