Tracy Clark amassed quite a fan following with her Cass Raines mystery series (including Broken Places and Borrowed Time), so when news broke that she was leaving this beloved character behind, there was obvious disappointment and concern. The release of Hide proves this was all unnecessary. Everything fans love about that first series—a strong female lead character, a rooted sense of place (again Chicago), touches of humor, and well-crafted mystery plots—is present in Hide, only kicked up several notches. Hide is the best thing Tracy Clark has written to-date and the sky seems to be no limit for the future.
Despite starting a new job in a new precinct, Detective Harriet Foster carries with her enough baggage to reach some far-flung destination with an extended stay in mind. She’s divorced, she has lost a child to senseless violence, and most recently her previous partner committed suicide, seemingly out of nowhere. And she’s also Black in a society that continues to undervalue people based on race and gender. But Harri knows if she doesn’t jump back into the game now, she likely never will.
At her new station, Harri is assigned the partner we would all dread. He’s old-school in the worst definition of the word—meaning he does minimum work and jumps to maximum conclusions. And he clearly doesn’t think Harriet is ready or able to handle the job. It’s unclear if his issue is that she is a woman or that she is Black, but readers will get the sense that it is both things and more. Needless to say, Harri is about to prove him wrong in so many different ways.
Their first case involves a young red-headed woman killed in downtown Chicago. A prime suspect is located near the body, but Harri thinks there is more to the case and won’t stop investigating. When another murder is committed while their suspect is in custody, it’s clear that not only was Harri correct, but they also now have a serial killer on their hands.
Interspersed with this central police procedural are some POV chapters that lean more heavily towards domestic suspense. Bodie Morgan, a troubled man obsessed with red-headed females, has recently been released from care and his sister is trying to ensure he stays on the straight and narrow. Fans of crime fiction will correctly predict the intersection of these two cases, but Tracy Clark has the twists and turns ready to keep this from being as cut and dried as it may seem.
The plotting of Hide is extremely tight. A plethora of characters are introduced, keeping the reader on their toes and likely also expanding the canvas for future entries in this series. Tracy Clark keeps things moving with short chapters and consistent cliffhangers that virtually force the reader to read just one more chapter—until before too long Hide is over and the reader is craving the next novel immediately—like a drug addict jonesing for another hit.
Fans—both new and old—can rest assured that Fall—the sequel to Hide—will be released by year’s end, ensuring that 2023 goes down as the year of Harriet Foster and more importantly, as the year of Tracy Clark.