The Hidden – Tobias Hill

Ben has run from his life in England to Greece.

Just separated/divorced from his wife and child, he is running from something that isn’t inherently known right away.  They want to talk to one another, but there is never a good time since Ben is in Greece, and his wife is in England taking care of their child.  Could it been the differences in class and social standing? Could it have been an affair?

Ben is also a student attempting to finish his Spartacus thesis in Archaeology from Oxford.  When he finds a job working at a meat grill, he comes across one of his colleagues that let it out of the bag that he is travelling to a dig not far from where they are.  Not being terribly close and each having presumed assuming of one another, they leave one another as they found one another.

Unknown to Ben, this group of diggers have something hidden that he wouldn’t even begin to imagine, after he joins their ranks, how it all fits into the scope of what they are digging for, and why they are even there in the place where they are in the first place.

Curious after a jackal has invaded the digging site and left them a portion that they hunted, they decide it is time to let Ben into the fold on a night of hunting the jackal.  As disturbing as Ben and literally me as I read it, it seemed to be some sort of initiation into being “one of them”.

Which, he regrets almost immediately.

I liked the writing switching between his life in England and the things that haunt him there and what happened to his marriage, then in between his notes from his thesis about Spartacus and all of the battles won and lost in that era was quite fascinating, which in a strange sense have some strange similarities in both, but in different ways.

I almost tired of the story, as the real reason why they were all there in the first place was slowly being played out, but then again it could have been possibly that thriller/ adventure reading part of me that expected it quick and then on to the next thing.  I was just about ready to give up when in the last pages it was revealed, and what a reveal it was.  It left me with a few questions –

Are we always sure of what was want when we make a decision?

Do the secrets we keep hurt us when they are revealed, or when they are kept hidden for a period of time?; Would it cast us in a different light if we opened up about it right away, or if hidden for an amount of time then revealed?

If we are in a group and have close ties to the people we are in the group with, would the ties that bind, bind us forever whatever happens?

Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Can’t be both I am afraid.

HarperCollins

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