Hideout: A Mystery by Kathleen George (Minotaur Books, $15.99, 320 pages)
“But to live outside the law, you must be honest…” Bob Dylan, “Absolutely Sweet Marie”
In Kathleen George’s Hideout two hooligan brothers, Ryan and Jack Rutter, become entangled in a late night hit and run accident in Pittsburgh that results in the death of the victim. Both have a tendency to abuse virtually any chemical substance ever invented, though throughout the story the younger brother Jack is portrayed as having some redeeming qualities and a semblance of conscience. The same cannot be said for Ryan.
Colleen Greer is the detective most involved in the search for justice. At the beginning of the story, George attempts to create some depth in her that would bring a measure of human interest to the whodunit, but mostly falls short. That’s the real problem with this book. It can’t decide if it wants to be a story that grabs the reader because the character interests them; or if it simply wants to be your basic copy thriller. For this reason, it falls short on both counts.
The action of the story spans the time from Saturday evening to Thursday of the following week. As the brothers flee, they continue to commit various crimes from robbery to what might be construed as attempted murder. Make no mistake about it, these two are stupid. The most surprising part of the story just might be that it takes the police over five days to catch them.
The author attempts an interesting twist when the brothers are separated for the first time, but, they soon reunite. The story continues on as they discover that the authorities are on to them. They must try to find a way to avoid capture with less money and less of a plan. In the end, Jack enjoys some compassion upon his capture, but the resolution as to what that might mean for his future is not explored. (It seems that including this element at the closing of the book serves little purpose.)
Fans of the genre will probably enjoy this book the same as others, but the general reader might give something else a try.
Recommended for crime novel fans.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Hideout is also available as a Kindle Edition and Nook Book download. Kathleen George’s latest novel is Simple.
Dave Moyer is the author of Life and Life Only: A Novel, and is a public school administrator in the Midwest.