I have been eagerly waiting for this book since the end of the 5th book in the series, Little Boy Blue, the review of which can be found by clicking this link , I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint.

Sometimes it doesn't matter if you jump into a series without reading the predecessors, in this case though I don't think I'd recommend it. There is so much assumed knowledge that I do think you'd be on a bit of a backfoot if you skip straight to Hide and Seek. But please, please don't let that put you off in any way, just imagine, I've actually recommended the other 5 to you too, so now you've got a bumper crop to get working on. It would be a huge shame for you to miss out on the DI Grace series, it's a terrific one - and there's nothing better than finding a new author, or a new series, that you haven't read before.

Anyway, the reason I say all this is, if you didn't know the backstory you'd be really confused that this particular episode in the career of DI Helen Grace, sees her in Holloway Prison, as an inmate. It was a very interesting dynamic I thought, and at the start I did wonder just how successful it was going to be, I mean how can a police officer in a prison work as a detective novel. The answer is very successfully! The prisoners are, as you'd expect, a colourful bunch of characters, each bringing something different to the story. There's a quite touching element of the prisoners' families too, which adds an extra layer to these troubled women.

Helen Grace, whilst being incarcerated and quite rightly feeling the injustice of the situation, is still the same feisty, impulsive character as before. Her insatiable quest to seek justice for the murdered still underpins her whole purpose, and whilst she may be down, she's certainly not out of the game; finding ways to seek retribution even though all of her power has been stripped away. There are none of the views of prison as a cushy number nor is it portrayed as a bleak and desolate institution, instead its show as obviously dangerous, but with the ability to forge some sort of friendships even in the unlikeliest of places. I certainly wouldn't fancy a stay in there, even though at times the relative peace of segregation seems a little too inviting!

Outside of the prison, Charlie Brooks is still trying to achieve justice for her ex-boss, and hunt down the real serial killer, Robert Stonehill. Brooks has always been an interesting character, though in this novel she seems only to be there to serve as a potential plot resolution. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it's just worth noting in relation to not jumping into this series with this book.

I think Arlidge is proving himself to be a consistently excellent choice for a really meaty thriller, and his experience on TV shows like the tremendous Silent Witness, shows through in his writing with its ability to keep you guessing right to the end. Whilst I did slightly miss the interactions between Helen Grace and her team, and in particular, Charlie, I'm looking forward to seeing how bridges are built in the next novel, Follow My Leader. And yet again, this will be on my must-read pile of book orders.