Release Date: February 23, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Thriller
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice.
It took me six weeks to finish HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes. I've been seeing mad ravings about You and naturally I got so curious that I have to know and experience the high y'all have been getting from her books. Now I don't know if it matters because it didn't really affect my ability to grasp the story, but I have yet to read You. Sure there are spoilers in that I know what Joe did in the first book, but as there's really no overarching arc, I eased into HIDDEN BODIES pretty quickly.
So Joe is in LA, hobnobbing with some rich folks in Hollywood after his current girlfriend, Amy, stole some priceless books from him. Joe went searching for her and while on a hunt, he met and got involved with several interesting people and situations. Naturally, death follows Joe and it's how he gets away with it all that had me very curious. Sure he's a sociopath but he's not as calculating as, say Dexter for example, where the murders are carefully plotted from start to finish to refrain the clues from pointing to him.
As a character, I did like Joe Goldberg. He's a very contrasting character in that he's passionate and sincere about his feelings of love, his inner monologues are abrasive but funny. The dude tries, sometimes too hard, to be accepted, to fit in, to be good, very normal stuff. It's when he snaps that had me super fascinated in the inner workings of his mind. I don't consider joe cold-blooded, there's a lot of feelings involved in his murders in that he romanticizes and justify his kills. Joe, for all intents and purposes, is very normal, boring even.
It was on the halfway mark that I stopped reading HIDDEN BODIES. Joe's assimilation to the LA crowd and all its superficialness and other nonsensical situations bored the hell out of me. I don't really care about you writing a script, doing a movie, getting in on with a new rich girl, why aren't you HUNTING AMY!?! I love the storyline of the con artist getting conned! Sadly, CKepnes abandoned that and gave us chapter after chapter of "How to make it in Hollywood". Bleh!
I liked the ending, it's fair and it's when we truly see Joe's psychosis. HIDDEN BODIES just wasn't what I was expecting and I'm vacillating whether or not to read You. Spoilers aside, I didn't quite catch what the fuss is about.