Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.
I always enjoy Paula Stokes’ thrillers, and Hidden Pieces is no exception. Stokes is very talented when it comes to drawing you in and keeping you guessing, especially as she throws little hints into the story every now and then that you may or may not pick up on.
I was captivated by Hidden Pieces from the start, as it opens with a PSS (positive sex scene) and then a hotel burns down. So, yeah. It started off really well. When the main character starts to get blackmailed, the stakes rise, and everyone becomes a suspect.
To be honest, I had one theory as to who the blackmailer was throughout the whole book, and it turned out I was correct. I wasn’t disappointed though, because I wasn’t entirely convinced. It was more of a hunch, and I started to put the little clues together, and ultimately had a really good time trying to figure out the mystery.
I loved the relationship in this book as well. It was mostly positive, and the characters were really good together. That said, I wish Hidden Pieces hadn’t fallen into the Second Act Breakup trope that I so despise. So many books do this and I stopped being shocked or upset years ago.
If you’re looking for a good YA thriller, you should definitely pick this one up!