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Hidden

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When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believ When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands. As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.


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When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believ When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands. As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.

30 review for Hidden

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Not my favorite Laura Griffin. By a long shot. For me, this opener to The Texas Murder Files series toed the line of mediocrity. Sure, it was decent, but not strong enough in storyline, concept, or even characterization to leave a lasting impression on this reader. And, I'm not sure those things bode well for me continuing with the series, but only time will tell. There’s a high probability this is the lone dud among the author's lengthy backlist, given the swoon worthiness of her Tracers series Not my favorite Laura Griffin. By a long shot. For me, this opener to The Texas Murder Files series toed the line of mediocrity. Sure, it was decent, but not strong enough in storyline, concept, or even characterization to leave a lasting impression on this reader. And, I'm not sure those things bode well for me continuing with the series, but only time will tell. There’s a high probability this is the lone dud among the author's lengthy backlist, given the swoon worthiness of her Tracers series. Hidden introduces readers to Jacob and Bailey, two people dedicated to their respective professions. Professions that often give rise to adversarial interactions when pitted together. Instead, a woman found dead on a jogging trail manages to incite a closeness between the devoted Austin detective and dogged crime beat reporter. As Jacob and Bailey work to uncover the mystery woman’s identity, and a possible motive for her stabbing, a fondness for one another takes shape. My major issue with this novel was the investigation itself. Not only was the trajectory of the storyline easy to predict once you got into it, but the case itself was uninteresting. It took a good two weeks to get through the pages because there was no motivation screaming out for me to keep going. Translating to several lonely days and nights spent untouched on my nightstand. The second issue breeding discontent in this picky brain of mine, Jacob and Bailey's relationship. Don't get me wrong, I liked them as individuals and together, but the why spurning their journey to the L-word left a host of lingering questions. And, while the couple's numerous failed starts were successful in ratcheting up the tension, the lack of depth or explanation behind their attraction didn't allow for much character growth. Their mutual feelings were just present, from go. Feeding into the lack of character growth was the absence of any backstories. All of which left me clamoring for more. Hidden is a decent addition to the romantic suspense genre, but all too forgettable in the grand scheme of things. I can't say it left me itching for the next book in the series. *Thank you to Berkley Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    It was another fast-paced, entertaining, gripping thriller with romantic vibes. Mostly romantic suspense is not my favorite genre but thankfully this book is more murder mystery and suspense. Of course from the beginning there is undeniable attraction and sizzling chemistry between the characters which I enjoyed because I liked both Bailey and Jacob from the beginning and luckily nothing change my opinion till the end of the book. This is brand new premise of Laura Griffin’s Texas Murder Files se It was another fast-paced, entertaining, gripping thriller with romantic vibes. Mostly romantic suspense is not my favorite genre but thankfully this book is more murder mystery and suspense. Of course from the beginning there is undeniable attraction and sizzling chemistry between the characters which I enjoyed because I liked both Bailey and Jacob from the beginning and luckily nothing change my opinion till the end of the book. This is brand new premise of Laura Griffin’s Texas Murder Files series. Bailey Rhoads is crime reporter and meets with detective Jacob Merritt throughout the investigation of the case belongs to brutally murdered woman at Austin’s lakeside hide and hike and bike trail. She is so adamant to reach the answers about the murder because there are so many holes about the case and nothing adds up: there is no ID found on the corpse and no one is looking for her. But Bailey is not ready to give up so easily. With her helpful sources she finds out the victim was protected witness of FBI and a hitman found her real identity and finished the job for his mysterious bosses. From this point, the story moves into a darker turn which I enjoyed more. And of course as long as Bailey and Jacob became partners in crime to dig more about the secrets, they eventually got closer. The conclusion of the story was solid and of course love story part, well, you may guess how it goes… Overall: I enjoyed the author’s way of fast, stick to the point and riveting story telling. Romance parts worked well for me. I’m giving 3.5 stars and rounding them up to 4. I think I should give the author’s previous works a try sooner if I could trim my Mount of TBR before it collapses on me! SPEcial thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    When I saw an email from Berkley with an early copy of Hidden, I couldn't jump fast enough to request it. Laura' Griffin is one of my favorite writers. I'm a fan for sure but I wasn't aware she was beginning a new series. Imagine my happiness at learning this fact! The Texas Murder Files first book is Hidden. It stars a young journalist, Bailey Rhoads and a detective, Jacob Merritt. Usually, this combo doesn't mix well in real life but Laura makes it work in spades in this romantic suspense. T When I saw an email from Berkley with an early copy of Hidden, I couldn't jump fast enough to request it. Laura' Griffin is one of my favorite writers. I'm a fan for sure but I wasn't aware she was beginning a new series. Imagine my happiness at learning this fact! The Texas Murder Files first book is Hidden. It stars a young journalist, Bailey Rhoads and a detective, Jacob Merritt. Usually, this combo doesn't mix well in real life but Laura makes it work in spades in this romantic suspense. The story begins with a woman jogging in a park and then getting stabbed to death. The problem is that Dana Smith doesn't really exist. She has no friends, no family, and her employer, a doctor who hired her as a nanny, doesn't know anything more about her than what the cops do. Hidden is an interesting novel with great characterization. I loved Bailey. She was smart, resourceful and stubborn- in a good way. She knew the murder had to have another angle and she was willing to dig and put herself on the line to find it. She wouldn't let go of the story and she wanted to bring justice to the dead woman. Jacob was the perfect complement to Bailey. He was strong, dedicated and he cared for the victims. Also, he was as stubborn as Bailey in not letting go of the case as she was. He wanted the person responsible for Dana's death behind bars. Jacob's partner, detective Kendra Porter was very cool too. She was essential to the investigation and when she could've been catty, she wasn't. She piqued my interest and I want to learn more about her. Lastly, John Colt's character. He was so mysterious about himself which only made me want to know everything about him. I hope this is not the end of John. He deserves his own story. As a whole, I was pleased with the way Hidden developed. I'm already pumped to read her next work in this series but really any book by Laura Griffin is a winner in my book. Cliffhanger: No 5/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  4. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    4 stars This is a well-done romantic suspense. Bailey is a reporter sent out to cover the murder of a female jogger—is it just an opportunistic murder by a stranger or something else? Jacob is a detective on the case. Initially, he doesn’t want to give any information to a newspaper journalist, but when he can’t identify the victim, turning to the press to get the word out might be the only way he can figure out who the dead woman is. Together and separately, they track down leads that quickly bec 4 stars This is a well-done romantic suspense. Bailey is a reporter sent out to cover the murder of a female jogger—is it just an opportunistic murder by a stranger or something else? Jacob is a detective on the case. Initially, he doesn’t want to give any information to a newspaper journalist, but when he can’t identify the victim, turning to the press to get the word out might be the only way he can figure out who the dead woman is. Together and separately, they track down leads that quickly become dangerous to Bailey and to others, and along the way, they naturally fall for each other. I’m not a fan of explicit sex scenes, so I skim over them to get back to the story, thus, I have no idea if the ones in the book are done well, just that they happen. This novel is the first in a series, and I would definitely read another book in The Texas Murder Files. HIDDEN is fast-paced and suspenseful. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel, which RELEASES AUGUST 25, 2020.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    3.5 Stars When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-te 3.5 Stars When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up. Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands. As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek. A copy was kindly provided by Berkley Books in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Fast paced crime story. Addictive read. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This book starts a brand new series and based off of this one, it’s going to be exciting. Solving murders is never fun, however, when we have a deliciously hot, dreamy detective on the case it makes for a much better story, don’t you think? The story skirted around the edge of acceptable relationships due to work relationships when Jacob started looking at Bailey, the news reporter on the crime beat, just a little too closely. She’s sm Fast paced crime story. Addictive read. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This book starts a brand new series and based off of this one, it’s going to be exciting. Solving murders is never fun, however, when we have a deliciously hot, dreamy detective on the case it makes for a much better story, don’t you think? The story skirted around the edge of acceptable relationships due to work relationships when Jacob started looking at Bailey, the news reporter on the crime beat, just a little too closely. She’s smart and spunky, asks forgiveness instead of permission, and clearly has feelings for him as well. Griffin develops the story beautifully and puts in the perfect amount of tension and heat that builds up to a unexpected twist and a beautifully romantic ending. Written with unique detail and seemingly futuristic plot, Griffin once again ties us up in an exciting romantic suspense with a crime twist you cannot miss. * copy rec'd for review consideration full review - https://amidlifewife.com/hidden-by-la...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    3.5 Stars - This is a solid detective thriller with a nice dose of a romantic subplot from an author whose work always hits the spot for me. This was a real comfort read; I loved watching the beats of the story unfold in a predictable but satisfying manner. I don't want to get into what the specific tropes of this one are, because I thought the way that was handled was the best part of the book & I don't want to spoil anything, but I did think there was a nice little extra oomph to the overall s 3.5 Stars - This is a solid detective thriller with a nice dose of a romantic subplot from an author whose work always hits the spot for me. This was a real comfort read; I loved watching the beats of the story unfold in a predictable but satisfying manner. I don't want to get into what the specific tropes of this one are, because I thought the way that was handled was the best part of the book & I don't want to spoil anything, but I did think there was a nice little extra oomph to the overall story for how the author used those tropes. All in all-- a satisfying little mystery!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I really enjoy a fast-paced romantic suspense read that keeps you at the edge of your seat, and a thriller to keep your heart pumping and fingers turning those pages. Laura Griffin is a new author to me, and she has quickly become a favorite. She writes the best mix of suspense and romance. Hidden is the first book in the “The Texas Murder Files” series where in this installation, a woman is found brutally murdered in the hike and bike trail in Austin. The main character is Bailey Rhoads who is a I really enjoy a fast-paced romantic suspense read that keeps you at the edge of your seat, and a thriller to keep your heart pumping and fingers turning those pages. Laura Griffin is a new author to me, and she has quickly become a favorite. She writes the best mix of suspense and romance. Hidden is the first book in the “The Texas Murder Files” series where in this installation, a woman is found brutally murdered in the hike and bike trail in Austin. The main character is Bailey Rhoads who is an investigative reporter who is following this murder mystery. Lead detective Jacob Merritt is in charge and love the great chemistry with Bailey. I love a good cat and mouse type of a read and this one did not disappoint. I loved that the plot was intricate and razor sharp. The story line kept me thinking and guessing, and I love the uniqueness of nothing is what it seems. The characters also start to dig deeper into a complex and intricate web of dark secrets. Griffin’s storytelling style is truly gripping and exciting. I love how she keeps the pacing going where the suspense just keeps building. The writing was fabulous and atmospheric – characters are great to read about and you feel the intensity of this suspenseful read. What a great and fantastic start to this series. I cannot wait for more. In the meantime, I will be binging on Griffin’s other series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    Lotsa lust, not much trust. That pretty much sums up the relationship between investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads and Austin Police Detective Jacob Merritt. Both are working on the same murder case and are infatuated with each other, but each refuses to share new information with the other. The two meet after a woman is found murdered on a hiking trail; the initial assumption is that it was a mugging gone very wrong. But Bailey, who's being pressured to come up with a lead story for her newspap Lotsa lust, not much trust. That pretty much sums up the relationship between investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads and Austin Police Detective Jacob Merritt. Both are working on the same murder case and are infatuated with each other, but each refuses to share new information with the other. The two meet after a woman is found murdered on a hiking trail; the initial assumption is that it was a mugging gone very wrong. But Bailey, who's being pressured to come up with a lead story for her newspaper, suspects the woman may not be who she appears to be, while Jacob learns a few details on his own. Chapters switch between their points of view and follow their budding romance that's filled with tension because neither is free to reveal much of anything case-related to the other (for the most part, rightly so; cops shouldn't talk about ongoing cases and good journalists don't reveal sources). But as a journalist myself, I'm not altogether sure why she refused to share at least a few of her other findings - it's not as if Jacob would be writing a story or running to another reporter to give something away - but I guess it makes the story more interesting. Somewhat oddly, Bailey seems to make more progress toward solving the crime than Jacob, a professional cop. Her dogged persistence leads her to a huge technology company which, she learns, is working on a project that's paying huge dividends but definitely skirting the boundaries of ethics, if not the law. Finally, their investigations begin to merge - and leads them to conclude that another woman's life is in immediate danger. But can they find her before the would-be killer does? Read it and see. This is the first in the "Texas Murder Files" series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading about the couple's next joint adventure. Meantime, thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for allowing me to read and review a pre-release copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews

    The always captivating Griffin has done it again! Kicking off with a heart-pounding introduction, she gives you a murder mystery you are utterly compelled to reach the ending as soon as you can. It's a great set up for an immediate reread as soon as you finish. From page one I was captivated and hunkered down for what I knew would be a gripping ride. The combo of reporter and cop is always a clever match up and Hidden provides a fresh yet classic take on the trope. From the fabulous cover to the The always captivating Griffin has done it again! Kicking off with a heart-pounding introduction, she gives you a murder mystery you are utterly compelled to reach the ending as soon as you can. It's a great set up for an immediate reread as soon as you finish. From page one I was captivated and hunkered down for what I knew would be a gripping ride. The combo of reporter and cop is always a clever match up and Hidden provides a fresh yet classic take on the trope. From the fabulous cover to the wild ride till I reached Hidden's ending.. I loved everything about this book. Follow me on Twitter✿Facebook✿Pinterest✿BookBabblers✿Instagram

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rach

    A women is found murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail. Bailey Rhoads is a investigative reporter and is sent to the scene. Jacob Merritt is the lead detective on the case and tries to avoid answering questions from Bailey. Bailey believes there is more to her murder. Her investigate takes into the cutting-edge technology world which in the wrong hands could be disastrous. Bailey and Jacob join together to stop a hitman getting his next victim that is involved in the case. I enjoyed A women is found murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail. Bailey Rhoads is a investigative reporter and is sent to the scene. Jacob Merritt is the lead detective on the case and tries to avoid answering questions from Bailey. Bailey believes there is more to her murder. Her investigate takes into the cutting-edge technology world which in the wrong hands could be disastrous. Bailey and Jacob join together to stop a hitman getting his next victim that is involved in the case. I enjoyed the actually case in the story as we delve into the world of technology and how it can be use for good but also can be used for criminal activties. I have to say I prefered Jacob over Bailey. Something about Bailey's character annoyed me but i can't pin point what. The romance didn't work for me. It was too instant and to me the wasn't any chemistry between them. I thought we didn't really need a romance in the story. I am given the book 2.5 stars as i enjoyed the actual case in the book but some of the characters just didn't work for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Spencer

    I was excited to start this new series by Laura Griffin, and I got sucked right in from the opening chapter. Caz and I discussed this one as a Pandora's Box, and you can find that discussion here: https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi... My side of the discussion didn't lend itself well to cutting and pasting into a review but if you like romantic suspense that is intense on the suspense side of that equation, definitely check this one out. I was excited to start this new series by Laura Griffin, and I got sucked right in from the opening chapter. Caz and I discussed this one as a Pandora's Box, and you can find that discussion here: https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi... My side of the discussion didn't lend itself well to cutting and pasting into a review but if you like romantic suspense that is intense on the suspense side of that equation, definitely check this one out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    To say this one was a bit of a disappointment would be a accurate description. The characters weren't well developed and I just couldn't see where the great attraction for each other came from. The mystery was so-so and the suspense was minimal. This was one of those narratives that would have benefitted from the baddies point of view as the ending was rushed and not satisfying at all. All told, it was an okay read, but far below what I've come to expect from Laura Griffin. Bailey Rhoads is an in To say this one was a bit of a disappointment would be a accurate description. The characters weren't well developed and I just couldn't see where the great attraction for each other came from. The mystery was so-so and the suspense was minimal. This was one of those narratives that would have benefitted from the baddies point of view as the ending was rushed and not satisfying at all. All told, it was an okay read, but far below what I've come to expect from Laura Griffin. Bailey Rhoads is an investigative reporter on the metro/crime beat for an Austin newspaper. Like everyone at the paper, she is fearful of the next round of layoffs and on the lookout for a story that will keep her safe from that. Her last relationship was with a cop and ended badly. It did nothing for her rep with other cops and led her to swear off dating cops altogether. When she catches the story of the murder of a jogger on a lakeside hike and bike trail, she has no idea what she is going to uncover. As Jacob Merritt looks at the crime scene, he knows that this is not going to be an easy one to solve. The further he digs for information on the victim, the less he finds. With the hot reporter dogging his every step, he knows that he needs to solve this one before he gets scooped by the sexy reporter he can't stop thinking about. But finding out who the victim even is will require that he work with her. They both work this mystery, but from different angles. Sharing and trust come really hard to both Jacob and Bailey. Each deeply feels a code of ethics that prevent them from being completely open with the other, despite the white hot attraction simmering between them. Bailey has a hunch about the victim that proves to be true and stumbles on information that could possibly have vast repercussions for the FBI and puts her in the sights of both a hit man and very powerful people. Jacob goes along with her, not only to protect her, but to further his private investigation after the FBI takes his case. The trust issue is one that they just can't reconcile and it almost gets Bailey killed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    Coffee Dates with Hidden First Date: We as the reader are witness to the events leading up to the homicide along Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail.  Investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads gets a tip that something is up and heads to the lake. Lead detective, Jacob Merritt is on scene when Bailey tries to pry information from our tight-lipped detective. Both have a job to do and their paths continue to cross as the chemistry between them grows. Detective Merritt isn't willing to give up inv Coffee Dates with Hidden First Date: We as the reader are witness to the events leading up to the homicide along Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail.  Investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads gets a tip that something is up and heads to the lake. Lead detective, Jacob Merritt is on scene when Bailey tries to pry information from our tight-lipped detective. Both have a job to do and their paths continue to cross as the chemistry between them grows. Detective Merritt isn't willing to give up investigating when the Feds take over and Bailey get's a lead that might just spell trouble. Second Date: Pizza, craft beer, and angles. The two spend time together as Merritt tries to warn Bailey off the case, but this ace reporter is finding connections and offering tips. The case is interesting, with topics and discoveries relevant to today's headlines as big brother watches. Third Date: As another woman faces danger, the romance gains traction. The steamy scenes are fade to black and while I could characterize this as insta-love, their attraction felt genuine. As trust built, they shared more on the case and even tracked a lead together before a climatic closure to their investigations. Griffin let us spend some time with the couple and wrapped up loose threads, leaving me smiling and looking forward to the next book in the Texas Murder Files. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I’m a sucker for a romantic suspense and this one sounded so good. Bonus points for a new to me author. I really liked Bailey. She’s inquisitive and tenacious and all of the other traits that make her a great reporter. Jacob is gruff and a bit marshmallow-esque. Together they have excellent chemistry, loads of respect for each other, and a wariness of the other’s job that was mildly amusing. Plot wise, it was good. There are a few moving pieces and it definitely kept me interested. I really like I’m a sucker for a romantic suspense and this one sounded so good. Bonus points for a new to me author. I really liked Bailey. She’s inquisitive and tenacious and all of the other traits that make her a great reporter. Jacob is gruff and a bit marshmallow-esque. Together they have excellent chemistry, loads of respect for each other, and a wariness of the other’s job that was mildly amusing. Plot wise, it was good. There are a few moving pieces and it definitely kept me interested. I really liked the layers and how they unfolded and even though I guessed a portion, I wasn’t disappointed. Overall, it was a great story with characters I really enjoyed reading. I’m hoping Bailey and Jacob will be the reoccurring characters across the series. Regardless, I’ll definitely be reading the next book. **Huge thanks to Berkley for providing the arc free of charge**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Hidden is the first instalment in The Texas Murder Files series and it's certainly a promising start. I didn't initially realise this was romantic suspense and if I had known I likely wouldn't have read it but it turned out to be serendipitous as it was much more about the investigation whilst the romance took somewhat of a backseat. When a jogger is found murdered on her morning run, crime reporter Bailey Rhoads and Austin detective Jacob Merritt are thrown together in a fit of circumstance. At Hidden is the first instalment in The Texas Murder Files series and it's certainly a promising start. I didn't initially realise this was romantic suspense and if I had known I likely wouldn't have read it but it turned out to be serendipitous as it was much more about the investigation whilst the romance took somewhat of a backseat. When a jogger is found murdered on her morning run, crime reporter Bailey Rhoads and Austin detective Jacob Merritt are thrown together in a fit of circumstance. At first, Jacob is irked by Bailey's attempts to gain further information about the killing in the way police often are when dealing with journalists, but soon they join forces when they realise two heads are better than one in a complex case where nothing adds up; the ability to turn to the press gives a Jacob a way to get the word out about the situation including appealing for witnesses. With no ID and no missing person having been reported in the area matching the victim's description the odd but effective partnership discover and chase down leads to reveal the woman's identity, who brutally murdered her and their motivation. This is a solid and well-plotted work of romantic suspense which brings together the two central characters in a lusty tryst when in fact usually detectives and newspaper reporters at the scene of a crime are at loggerheads. Although some of the relationship between them seemed a little too contrived I still found it added an interesting dynamic to the whole story. I also skipped past the sex scenes as they don't float my boat. Amidst the cultivation of this seedling relationship is an interesting tension as a Jacob is unable to tell her everything he has found in the police investigation and in order to protect her sources Bailey does not share her findings with her new beau either. It is a fast-paced, addictive read with enough going on to sink your teeth into with a compulsive plot, a romance developing between the two protagonists, and ample twists and turns. Bailey is an intrepid journalist who has no issue putting in the hard work to get an exclusive story and Jacob is a dogged detective whose focus is very much on gaining justice for the victim. A quick, easy read. Many thanks to Headline Eternal for an ARC.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    B- / 3.5 stars I’ve enjoyed several of Laura Griffin’s romantic suspense novels in the past, although I have to admit that the last couple of her books have left me feeling a bit short-changed as regards the romance.  But a new title from her will always have me taking a second look.  I liked the sound of Hidden, book one in her new Texas Murder Files series, in which the murder of a young woman turns up few leads, no suspects and a whole lot of dead ends. Austin Herald crime-beat reporter Bai B- / 3.5 stars I’ve enjoyed several of Laura Griffin’s romantic suspense novels in the past, although I have to admit that the last couple of her books have left me feeling a bit short-changed as regards the romance.  But a new title from her will always have me taking a second look.  I liked the sound of Hidden, book one in her new Texas Murder Files series, in which the murder of a young woman turns up few leads, no suspects and a whole lot of dead ends. Austin Herald crime-beat reporter Bailey Rhoads is sent to investigate reports of a shooting at a local bike-hike trail and arrives at the scene to find it already buzzing with activity.  The lead detective on the case is tight-lipped and obviously suspicious of reporters, but Bailey does manage to find out that the victim wasn’t shot, but was stabbed in the back, and that whoever perpetrated the crime clearly knew what they were doing.  Bailey suspects a professional hit – Merrit won’t be drawn on the matter, but privately believes that to be very likely.  But a hit on a young woman who works as a nanny and volunteers at a local after-school centre makes no sense – until Bailey starts digging for more information about her, and Jacob receives a visit from the FBI. The reader follows the investigation from both Jacob and Baiiey’s points of view, and I liked the way we’re shown them each uncovering various clues and pieces of information from different angles.  Jacob has one big advantage in that he’s an LEO, so his access to certain things is easier, but Bailey is clever and tenacious and manages to ferret out a lot of information on her own.  Their working relationship is frequently uneasy – Jacob’s wariness of reporters and Bailey’s desire to play her cards close to her chest mean that they often keep things from each other - even information the reader knows they both have - which was frustrating at times, and which ultimately affects the development of the romantic relationship between them.  They have great chemistry and there’s a definite spark of attraction between them, but because of the lack of openness between them due to the case and their professions, it was hard to see how they could build an emotionally sound relationship. The suspense plot was pretty good, although I did find the pacing a bit slow in places.  Things take a while to get going, but things soon pick up as both Jacob and Bailey dig deeper and discover they’re dealing with something far more complex than a murder enquiry. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this author’s other books is her ability to weave in interesting background information about things like forensics or police procedures, and in this book she turns her attention to how technology can be used to circumvent secure channels and the security of previously well-established programs like WITSEC, and even to potentially subvert the entire justice system. The things she writes about are scarily plausible, which definitely helped to ratchet up the tension in the second half of the book. It’s been a recurring theme in my reviews of many of the m/f romantic suspense novels I’ve read over the past few years, that the romance is sidelined at the expense of the plot, and that’s an issue here, too.  The romance is more prominent here than in the last couple of Ms. Griffin’s books I’ve read, but the lack of romantic development and emotional connection made the final HEA and ILYs feel rushed.  This is one of those times I’d have been happier with an HFN and “lets see how it goes”. Jacob and Bailey are fairly likeable, although Bailey is your typical ‘plucky female reporter’ whose insistence on doing things her way meant some of her decisions were borderline TSTL and she was clearly out of her depth at times.  Jacob fares a bit better; he’s the more sympathetic of the two because we know he has to play by certain rules for good reason. In spite of my reservations, Hidden is a decent romantic suspense tale and I enjoyed it.  I may pick up the next book in the series. For anyone interested, I'm also discussing this title over at All About Romance with my fellow reviewer, Lynn Spencer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Kind of light fare for a Laura Griffin, which is odd when you consider the body count. And yet everything is - easy, in a way. They keep saying the case is hard, but it turns out to be simple; they claim the central relationship is complicated, but they work it out easily. The showing contradicts the telling - which should be a sign of sloppy writing. And yet the few instances of sentence-level sloppiness annoy me much more than the plot did. Somehow this is straightforwardly readable: it’s writ Kind of light fare for a Laura Griffin, which is odd when you consider the body count. And yet everything is - easy, in a way. They keep saying the case is hard, but it turns out to be simple; they claim the central relationship is complicated, but they work it out easily. The showing contradicts the telling - which should be a sign of sloppy writing. And yet the few instances of sentence-level sloppiness annoy me much more than the plot did. Somehow this is straightforwardly readable: it’s written well enough to sink into, even though taking a step back from it means its simplicity makes it fall apart. Here’s a list of things which could have been explored, but aren’t. Instead, they’re dropped like so many breadcrumbs which never lead into what could have been a much more complex, difficult story: (view spoiler)[1. The ex-boyfriend, who’s also a cop, and the issues the department has with the press. 2. The inherent conflict between their jobs, which magically peters out. 3. The differing police and FBI agendas. (For people who supposedly have such strong opinions, they’re nonentities in this plot.) 4. The relevance of Dana resembling a painting - the relevance of the computer activity at her job - why Jacob got into that fight about Kendra - too many details I expected to pay off never do. 5. The ethics of it all: the ex-girlfriend leaking key information (which Jacob unthinkingly confirms with Bailey later) - working a case without authorization - building that database - leaking that database - missing-persons cases, especially children - the different decisions Dana and Tabitha make, about trusting the system - the tight-lipped, unsurprised military personnel - this entire book teeters on the edge taking a stand about something, anything, and then goes nowhere. It doesn’t even explore the issues fully. “Bailey gets a career boost” is its end goal, and that feels - empty. (hide spoiler)] I like the preview of the next book, though.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    High marks for suspense and interesting twists! Laura Griffin’s HIDDEN kicks off a new series and does a remarkable job of creating an air of intensity as an investigative reporter sinks her teeth into a murder that is part of something far deeper and much more sinister and she won’t let go, no matter what. Det. Jacob Merritt, assigned to the case of the murder of a mystery woman who isn’t who her identity states. Seems she is part of a failed WITSEC attempt to keep her alive. Meanwhile, reporter High marks for suspense and interesting twists! Laura Griffin’s HIDDEN kicks off a new series and does a remarkable job of creating an air of intensity as an investigative reporter sinks her teeth into a murder that is part of something far deeper and much more sinister and she won’t let go, no matter what. Det. Jacob Merritt, assigned to the case of the murder of a mystery woman who isn’t who her identity states. Seems she is part of a failed WITSEC attempt to keep her alive. Meanwhile, reporter Bailey Rhoads seems to know at least as much as the police and possibly more and no matter how attracted he is to the feisty woman, Merritt is concerned she is stepping way over the line all for a story. Now it seems the “rest of the story” is like the iceberg hidden under water. Is an instant attraction between Bailey and Jacob, but is it the real deal or is it the murder that is bringing them together? I was definitely pleased with the mystery, the twists and those little tidbits hiding under each overturned rock, but the romance seems flat, too scripted, almost as if it were tossed in mechanically as an afterthought. No over-the-top heroics, some pretty interesting and invasive high-tech information. All in all, a good read, that could have skipped the flat lined romance. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: The Texas Murder Files - Book 1 Publisher: Berkley (August 25, 2020) Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: Romantic Suspense Page Count: 352 Pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Hidden is an exciting and fast paced thriller that is sure to keep readers on their toes…. One of the first things that drew me into this book was the cover. It was absolutely stunning. I loved the colors and style. I certainly wanted to find out more. Hidden is my first book by Laura Griffin and it most certainly won’t be my last. Hidden follows the story of Bailey and Jacob. From the moment I picked up this book, I was completely and totally sucked in. I was pretty annoyed that I had things to d Hidden is an exciting and fast paced thriller that is sure to keep readers on their toes…. One of the first things that drew me into this book was the cover. It was absolutely stunning. I loved the colors and style. I certainly wanted to find out more. Hidden is my first book by Laura Griffin and it most certainly won’t be my last. Hidden follows the story of Bailey and Jacob. From the moment I picked up this book, I was completely and totally sucked in. I was pretty annoyed that I had things to do and couldn’t sit and devour this book like I had wanted. That being said, I took advantage of every free minute I had and couldn’t help but get lost in this story. Bailey is an investigative reporter, who turns up at a crime scene looking for answers. She looks to the lead detective Jacob, hoping that he can shine some light on the case. However, this murder is unlike anything he’s dealt with before. Bailey isn’t afraid to follow her instincts to uncover the truth, even if that means putting herself in harms way. In the end, Jacob and Bailey find themselves searching for a ruthless killer. Will they find their suspect before it’s too late??? There’s only one way to find out… Hidden was a fantastic read from beginning to end. I loved the mystery and suspense of the story. There was never a dull moment and I was kept on the edge of my seat. The game of cat and mouse kept me totally engrossed in this story and I couldn’t wait to see how all the pieces would come together in the end. I really enjoyed the chemistry and romantic moments between Bailey and Jacob. I think it added a lot to the story and gave some much-needed relief to the suspenseful plot. All in all, I’m glad to have checked this book out. It had my heart racing the entire time and I’m excited to check more out from this author in the future. *I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    The first book in The Texas Murder Files series by Laura Griffin. A woman is found murdered on a hiking trail and reporter Bailey Rhoads is sent to get the story. But the lead detective, Jacob Merritt, isn't very cooperative about giving her information on it so she has to dig and find out on her own. Eventually, they join forces to discover the truth. Their investigation uncovers more than they bargained for. I have been a fan of Ms. Griffin for some time and this book didn't disappoint me. Ther The first book in The Texas Murder Files series by Laura Griffin. A woman is found murdered on a hiking trail and reporter Bailey Rhoads is sent to get the story. But the lead detective, Jacob Merritt, isn't very cooperative about giving her information on it so she has to dig and find out on her own. Eventually, they join forces to discover the truth. Their investigation uncovers more than they bargained for. I have been a fan of Ms. Griffin for some time and this book didn't disappoint me. There is a nice balance in suspense, action, mystery, and romance. While this was not my favorite of Ms. Griffin's work, I did enjoy it and would certainly recommend it to Romantic Suspense fans.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lubnaa (Romance Library)

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hidden kicks off The Texas Murder Files series by Laura Griffin. I've read and enjoyed Laura Griffin's books in the past and while I liked Hidden, it was also a little mediocre in the romance department. The story begins with a female jogger who gets stabbed to death in a public park. At first, it seems like it was a mugging gone wrong. But when investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads and Detective Jacob Merritt start investigating t I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hidden kicks off The Texas Murder Files series by Laura Griffin. I've read and enjoyed Laura Griffin's books in the past and while I liked Hidden, it was also a little mediocre in the romance department. The story begins with a female jogger who gets stabbed to death in a public park. At first, it seems like it was a mugging gone wrong. But when investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads and Detective Jacob Merritt start investigating the murder, they soon uncover that there was more to the woman's death. The first half of the book is slow-paced. Things only start picking up toward the second half. The mystery is well-written and engaging for the most part. I really like that the author took the story in a direction that I never saw coming. And I ended up learning a lot of interesting facts about that particular aspect of the story. As for the romance, I didn't really feel the chemistry to be honest. The build up was weak and I didn't feel connected to either the hero or heroine. The chemistry felt clinical for the most part. Moreover, I don't feel like I really know the hero that well. I think it's because we don't know much about his personal life and his background, aside from the fact that he used to date an FBI agent and is currently renovating his house. I know Bailey a little more than Jacob, but again, I was not super invested in the characters or the romance. I mostly liked the plot and the mystery. What I did like about Jacob and Bailey is that they weren't tortured characters, which is really nice for a change. I also liked that they were mature and actually acted like adults. I am VERY invested in the possibility of John Colt and Tabitha. I hope the author writes their story eventually!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kayla kaytreads

    WOW! 5 Stars with out a doubt!! I was quite shocked in how well written this book was. I was captivated at every chapter. You follow a murder investigation through the eyes of Bailey Rhoads and Jacob Merritt. The murder victim isn't just some random girl, shes a protected witness in a trail. With that knowledge this case is for the FBI, which puts Jacob and Bailey in a dangerous position. Bailey is a journalist doing her own investigation and Jacob is a detective for Austin, Texas. There is some WOW! 5 Stars with out a doubt!! I was quite shocked in how well written this book was. I was captivated at every chapter. You follow a murder investigation through the eyes of Bailey Rhoads and Jacob Merritt. The murder victim isn't just some random girl, shes a protected witness in a trail. With that knowledge this case is for the FBI, which puts Jacob and Bailey in a dangerous position. Bailey is a journalist doing her own investigation and Jacob is a detective for Austin, Texas. There is some sexual tension between the two which definitely spices up the story. I also REALLY enjoyed bouncing between the two main characters during the story line. The detail is there with an emphasis of other little stories making up the main story. This book is really easy to get sucked into. This thriller isn't like most thrillers where you can tell who the murderer is, this book sure keeps ya on your toes!! I HIGHLY recommend this fast paced read!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joy Novel Thoughts

    Hidden by Laura Griffin is like a grittier version of the books that I cut my teeth on, it's more than a cozy mystery but not quite gory romantic suspense either. The fact that the book takes place in Texas, where I live, was just the icing on the cake. I loved the tenacity of Bailey, she put in a lot of footwork on a case that the police were determined not to let her interfere with but she didn't let that stop her. Instead she kept pushing and pushing until she broke through the walls of one Au Hidden by Laura Griffin is like a grittier version of the books that I cut my teeth on, it's more than a cozy mystery but not quite gory romantic suspense either. The fact that the book takes place in Texas, where I live, was just the icing on the cake. I loved the tenacity of Bailey, she put in a lot of footwork on a case that the police were determined not to let her interfere with but she didn't let that stop her. Instead she kept pushing and pushing until she broke through the walls of one Austin Detective, Jacob Merritt. Of course, no matter how sexy and how much Jacob liked Bailey he was cautious because she was a reporter and didn't know if he could trust her not to run what he tells her in private. But the more she investigate and the more he's compelled to keep her safe. I love the internal struggle that he has where he wants her out of the investigation for her safety, but at the same time knows he can't keep a determined woman down. The suspense aspect of Hidden, was the best part, the mystery of this who-dun-it of a story was completely unexpected and I never would have guessed who was behind it all, well except later in the story as the author begins to lay it all out. If you're ready to start a fun new, thrilling romantic suspense series, Hidden is one you want to jump out in front of and start now.

  25. 4 out of 5

    RachelW (BamaGal)

    While this is still not up to the quality and readability of the author’s fantastic ‘Tracer’ series, it’s miles above her awful ‘Alpha Crew’ books. I had a hard time warming up to Bailey, reporters aren’t my favorite people, in real life or fiction. The plot was interesting and moved along at a fast clip. It bogged down a couple of times with minutiae, and the climactic wrap-up left a little to be desired. Overall, though, it was a decent beginning to what looks to be a pretty good RS series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luli

    Puedes encontrar esta reseña en español al final. There have been too many things that have prevented this read from being, at least, entertaining. The plot has been boring and predictable. And as soon as things get interesting, the explanations or reasons given by the author are either vague and do not explain anything, or are simply non-existent. Or too far-fetched to be credible ... The MC´s are a bunch of clichés. They hardly have an original or sincere feature. The conflicts are trite. The int Puedes encontrar esta reseña en español al final. There have been too many things that have prevented this read from being, at least, entertaining. The plot has been boring and predictable. And as soon as things get interesting, the explanations or reasons given by the author are either vague and do not explain anything, or are simply non-existent. Or too far-fetched to be credible ... The MC´s are a bunch of clichés. They hardly have an original or sincere feature. The conflicts are trite. The interactions are mediocre. Despite the author incessantly repeating how interested they were in each other, I have neither seen nor felt that attraction. And add to all the above a heroine with moments so stupid (to live) that they are impossible to believe (the author describes them as daring ...) and a hero who does not know what he wants in matters of love (or does he know? Maybe? Who knows? *roll eyes*) and you get a boring and difficult story to finish. A pity, because this author is really prolific and has very good reviews. I must have tried the wrong story. Or series. I'll keep searching… *** Ha habido demasiadas cosas que han impedido que esta lectura sea, al menos, entretenida. La trama ha sido aburrida y predecible. Y en cuanto las cosas se ponen interesantes, las explicaciones o motivos que da la autora o son vagos y no explican nada, o son, simplemente, inexistentes. O demasiado rebuscados para ser creíbles… Los protagonistas están llenos de clichés. Apenas tienen una característica original o sincera. Los conflictos, manidos. Las interacciones, mediocres. A pesar de que la autora repetía incesantemente lo interesados que estaban él uno en la otra, no he visto ni sentido esa atracción. Y añade a todo lo anterior una heroína con momentos tan estúpidos que son imposibles de creer (la autora los describe como osados…) y un héroe que no sabe lo que quiere, o sí, o no, o sí… en materia de amor y obtienes una historia aburrida y difícil de terminar. Una pena, porque esta autora es realmente prolífica y tiene críticas muy buenas. Me habré equivocado de historia. O de serie. Seguiré buscando…

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen (About That Story)

    This was an exciting and captivating romantic suspense story that was fast-paced and fun to read! I enjoyed the characters, the storyline, and the mystery that tied it all together. This was my first time reading this author and I really liked what I got. It felt like it was an even split between the suspense and the romance. I liked all the intrigue happening and the build to the story and the fact that there are multiple POVs. Romance wise I liked both Jacob and Bailey, they had a great attract This was an exciting and captivating romantic suspense story that was fast-paced and fun to read! I enjoyed the characters, the storyline, and the mystery that tied it all together. This was my first time reading this author and I really liked what I got. It felt like it was an even split between the suspense and the romance. I liked all the intrigue happening and the build to the story and the fact that there are multiple POVs. Romance wise I liked both Jacob and Bailey, they had a great attraction, and I enjoyed the conflict and trust issues they had with one another and how it all played out. There was a nice slow burn happening for these two as well. I thought the suspense and romance were well balanced and I was looking forward to finding out all the answers and Jacob and Bailey getting their HEA. The story was intriguing and light. It had good details and building layers, but not a lot of depth. It was just a really great read with an awesome mystery happening and these two characters happened to fall for each other in the middle of it all. It definitely felt like a lighter romance where things were glossed over at times. All in all, I found it really enjoyable. It was a good story that wasn't too taxing and it wrapped up nice and easy. If you want a really good mystery and a bit of romance and you don't want to completely stress yourself out, this would be a great choice. Nice mix of suspense and passion that will keep you turning the page! Complimentary copy received for honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This one started out as a gripping suspense thriller. A young woman is attacked, stabbed, and her dead body dumped in the lake near the trail. Haven't we all had fears about being accosted while out on a walk or run? Then there was the friction between Bailey, the intrepid reporter, and Jacob, the impenetrable detective. The plot reminded me of books I have loved by Lisa Gardner. But the last bit of the book was a disappointment. In the end, it was too "Harlequiny" for me. I don't think I'll be This one started out as a gripping suspense thriller. A young woman is attacked, stabbed, and her dead body dumped in the lake near the trail. Haven't we all had fears about being accosted while out on a walk or run? Then there was the friction between Bailey, the intrepid reporter, and Jacob, the impenetrable detective. The plot reminded me of books I have loved by Lisa Gardner. But the last bit of the book was a disappointment. In the end, it was too "Harlequiny" for me. I don't think I'll be watching for the rest of the series. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    Good start to a series. Although I thought the secondary characters felt undeveloped, I enjoyed the plot and development. The main characters (cop and journalist) felt a little cliché from the relationship standpoint as I have read too many cop/journalist scenarios and they all contain the same constraints. Read the preview for the second book in the series and it looks real good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I had a few moments of why are you making dumb choices while reading this, but on the whole, it was incredibly readable and I liked it. I did feel sort of weird about the cop aspect of this--just something to think about as I pick books to read moving forward.

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