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Hidden Things

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3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  317 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Watch out for the hidden things . . . That's the last thing Calliope Jenkins's best friend says to her before ending a two a.m. phone call from Iowa, where he's working a case she knows little about. Seven hours later, she gets a visit from the police. Josh has been found dead, and foul play is suspected. Calliope is stunned. Especially since Josh left a message on her pho...more
Paperback, 323 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Harper Voyager
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(showing 1-30 of 851)
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Marlene
This debut contemporary fantasy by Testerman is a slice of mythmaking and myth-breaking with a dash of urban fantasy and horror. Calliope Jenkins runs a tiny private investigations firm with her best friend and ex-lover Josh White. When Josh is killed in the middle of a bizarre case, he leaves her a message from beyond the grave, "beware the hidden places." Those hidden places include pockets of weird creatures in the midst of the city, strange borderlands back in the midwest they both left behi...more
Dr susan
Sometimes one reads a book, and the author seems to be talking only to that reader, describing the reader's thoughts and life in the metaphor of driving down the road and taking a wrong turn around a twisty corner where everything is so familiar, yet so awesomely, horribly not right. Hidden Things is one of those books. It sat so innocently on the library shelf with its deceptive cover and simple title, hiding a tale of loss, and love, and guilt, and acceptance.... and magic, such believable, wo...more
Zach
Hidden Things shows us that highway rest stops and roadside diners are every bit as rich in magic and mystery as the lands described by Tolkien or the alleys of Sam Spade's San Francisco.

This is a noir fantasy, a story about letting go, and a complex adventure that veers wildly between the deeply personal and the grandly universal. I'll recommend this book to my friends because they'll love it, and I'll recommend it to my enemies because it'll make them into better people.

I could go on and on ab...more
Sarks
I read this in a single sitting, staying up until 4am to do so. I was utterly absorbed in the book. The characters are rare, if not unique, and fit perfectly with the story. HIDDEN THINGS is a refreshing kick to urban fantasy. It is in a new setting, and doesn't have vampires, or even vampyres, which was a pleasant surprise considering they seem to be everywhere.

The story is engaging, seriously engaging. I read it for 8 straight hours, and then some more. Its dark, creepy and absolutely wonderfu...more
William Bentrim
Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman

Calliope Jenkins has a serious chip on her shoulder. She takes no crap, no how, no way from nobody. When her best friend and former lover “disappears” she is forced to ally herself with unlikely allies some of whom may not exist.

This is either a psycho thriller or a fantasy horror or maybe both. Testerman does an excellent job in crafting the unlikeable character of Calliope Jenkins. Calliope makes a porcupine seem warm a cuddly. She does her best to keep anyone...more
Lee Razer
Calliope Jenkins is the sort of private detective who prefers to kick you in the chest first and ask why you've stopped by her office later. Her partner/ex-boyfriend has just been reported murdered while thousands of miles away on a case he told her nothing about, and a mysterious guy called Vikous appears who promises to lead her to answers. After assaulting and pepper spraying the poor funny-looking fellow, our marvelously short-fused protagonist agrees to be lead on a dangerous and magical jo...more
Katie
This is a difficult book to review. In some regard it was a 5-star books that kept me fully engaged for the two days I ripped through it. In other respects it was a 2-star book that left me with more questions than answers. I liked the main character, she complicated, thoughtful and witty. I did not care much for any of the monsters in the book, although their unique natures did make for fantastic reading. The dialogue was amusing and the plot kept moving along. My complaints are with too many l...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2012/08/...

When Calliope Jenkins gets a call very early in the morning from her ex and work partner, Josh, she’s not sure what to think. He’s obviously following a lead, but what? And why did he tell her to watch out for the hidden things right before hanging up the phone? These are certainly the questions that are on Calliope’s mind when she gets the news the next day that Josh has been found dead, and she’s the last known person to...more
Suspense Magazine
In Doyce Testerman’s first novel, he takes the reader on a journey to the shadowy edges of our reality, where the beings of myth and legend still reside. A middle of the night phone call awakens Calliope Jenkins. It’s Josh White on the line, her boss and partner in their two-person detective agency, telling her that he’s in Iowa following up on a new case. Early the next morning, the police inform Calli that Josh’s body was discovered outside a small Iowa town four hours after he talked to her....more
Alan
Nov 24, 2012 Alan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers unsatisfied with surfaces
Recommended to Alan by: Charles de Lint
"What's in there?"
"Answers." Vikous watched the front door. "Monsters."
—p.314

Charles de Lint led me to Hidden Things through his strongly positive review in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (a print magazine, in this electronic era? Yep—worth paying for, too). And de Lint was right; it really is that good.

From its title forward, this book has that whiff of the occult that I like, the notion that things are going on beneath the surface that most people don't know and wouldn't want to k...more
Sue
I really wanted to like this book, especially given the enthusiastic cover blurbs by some of my favorite authors. The premise is interesting and I like urban fantasy in many of its iterations. Unfortunately, for me this book didn't gel until literally the last 20 pages or so. For most of the book, I felt as if I couldn't sink into the story. The main character was a bit too strident and angry, to the point where conversational exchanges were simply blurts of partially finished sentences, with th...more
Meera
I don't write book reviews, so I don't know what you should expect in reading this.

It is only fair to say that I read an early, early draft of this, and in some ways, because of the "draft" nature, the story-as-published has lost a bit of its magic. In a draft you can evoke things that a final needs explained, answer questions that should not have been asked, and time and memory fades to make what came before perhaps a little more poignant, more mysterious. The magician has gained in skill and y...more
Melissa Sodano
I find this book difficult to assess, in truth, as it's not exactly a consistently three-star book. About half the book is a four-star book, while the other half is a two-star book; thus the three stars. It drew me in because from the beginning it reminded me of my favorite book, American Gods. Not in the mythology sense, but in the "strange people coming to find you when something has happened to an important person in your life" sense. While the book is fairly well-written, and the plot is qui...more
Ariadne
I'm still not sure what to say about this book. It felt like American Gods swirled together with early Anita Blake. Spunky female detective gets tangled up in supernatural weirdness. I liked our protagonist though. While she fit the urban fantasy heroine roll, she felt human. A strong woman, who makes mistakes but isn't stupid. I particularly enjoyed it when she would do those things we wish characters would do more often (ie. mace the creepy guy following you around rather than talk to him). Wh...more
Wayne Palmer
Sometimes I read a book by jumping in and out of it as I feel the urge. For other special books I become absorbed by the characters and world that they reside in and I am compelled to see what is around the next bend. This is one of those stories. It weaves normality and oddity into a unique blend that requires your imagination to pry loose an understanding rather than laying it out on a plate. I so love it when this is done well and this book is an excellent example of this.
If your feet are fi...more
***Dave Hill
This is a remarkable book. And, beyond remarkable, it's a good book.

I had a big review all written up full of glowing praise for marvelous world-building, and of admiration of the twisty-turny plotting and intricate scene-setting, and of deep satisfaction with the sheer, frustrating humanity of the protagonist -- but as I know the author, it seemed more than a bit over the top, even if all of it was sincerely felt.

So all I can say is that this is a deeply-crafted urban (or perhaps rural) fantas...more
Clarice
Amazing dialogue. Modern middle America highway fantasy. And Calliope is a character that I could understand, even while she acted in ways I would not. A fully realized character in many ways, although sometimes the landscape of setting blurred and became anywhere as opposed to a specific place.
Jillian Kuhns
I liked this book. Kind of reminded me of AMERICAN GODS light. I got a little freaked out when I found out one of the main characters was a clown, though. They're scary beyond reason.
Debra
Wonderful urban fantasy. Shades of DeLint. Happily, there are no vampires or werewolves. Yay! I read this in one sitting. It grabbed me from the get-go. Very enjoyable.
Liwayway
I'd say this is more like a 3.5 for me. I loved the weird supernatural aspect of this mystery. I liked that there was a meaningful and randomly intriguing road trip involved. And I enjoyed learning about different characters, watching them develop, understanding why they did the things did, the way they did them. Calli is kind of messed up, and her best friend's death seemed to open her eyes a little bit more to the world (obvious and hidden) around her and give a clear-cut purpose. Vikous would...more
Nancy Chen
A wonderful midwestern heartland fairy tale, reminded me of my favorite Neil Gaiman books.
Vern
It's difficult to know how to rate this book. It's a perfectly fine example of urban fantasy, and the premise/mystery is an interesting one. The writing is engaging. That being said, I feel like my rating of 3 stars is more for the too brief parts of the story that gave a glimpse of what the book COULD have been. I found the character of Calliope Jenkins to be absolutely ridiculous when we see her in "real time," but heart-breaking and real when we see her in flashbacks. Yet we hardly ever get t...more
Cameron
So, "Hidden Things" was my first dive into true fantasy. I dont know why i picked this one up. I think i was browsing the section and came across the cover and took a look at the back cover for the summary. It sounded like interesting fare, and at around 300, a relatively short one.

Since it was my first fantasy, i didnt really know what to expect going into it. The story itself never seemed to develop at a decent pace. I was interested in the first couple sections, but had a hard time keeping i...more
April
Debut novel from a (now) Denver author... This is how it was pitched to me.

Here are my thoughts:
If an epic poem could be broken down and reassembled into a novel, Hidden Things would be moving in that direction. But it isn't quite there.

Calliope Jenkins receives a fresh voicemail from her best friend & work partner hours after his body was found. Soon a bad smelling harlequin appears and the shenanigans start... Thing is while there are good lines and the story of who killed the friend is ev...more
JJ DeBenedictis
This is an extremely well-written book. The characters are raw and authentic, extreme and yet completely believable. Woven into this great writing is a low-key fantasy quest with high-impact elements, like a helpful demon clown, a highway-cruising dragon, and a satyr who runs a karaoke bar. Together, they create a persuasive portrait of small town America as a mythical place.

The title refers both to the inhuman entities who hide among humans and the personal baggage of the main character, a fail...more
Anne
The dialogue and flow were great. The story was interesting and had me the entire time I read it. I could pick out all the "whats wrong with it"s but I feel like this is a good start for an author. Reminds me of another author, I think she wrote "Discord's Apple" or somesuch with the same theme; this author is much better and that one was a best seller. Some serious potential here. One thing that annoyed me was some of the dialogue, though, that went no where and implied stuff but I have no idea...more
Velma
This novella was all over the place, which may be accounted for by the fact that I read an ARC version, or because this the author's first offering. I don't know, but it just didn't work for me.

It started out so bad that I considered abandoning it, but picked up in quality and momentum as it progressed, maybe as Testerman found his voice. There was some well-written dialogue, some interestingly-drawn (if inconsistent) characters, and clever plotting as well, but overall it was disjointed, spotty...more
Stina
Jan 06, 2013 Stina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Stacey Procopio
Recommended to Stina by: Doyce Testerman
Book #39 for 2012

Let me just first say that I'm thoroughly chuffed to see a fellow Colorado WriMo get his NaNo novel professionally published. It gives me hope. But first I will have to produce a manuscript this good. It's not perfect, by any means, but there is so much of the freshly quirky in Testerman's tale of dragons in Iowa that I can forgive a lot. For instance, the pacing seemed a bit off in spots, and some of the flashbacks were more confusing to me than anything. It will be interesting...more
Sharon Hughson
This book looked at fantasy from a different angle. It was a unique perspective. I admire the way the author gave fantastical creatures a new dimension and connected them believably with our modern world.
The main character was a fallible human but I wanted her to succeed. In the end, I still didn't understand the monsters that motivated her. She remained mysterious and I wonder I that was intentional or if the author didn't truly know the protagonist either.
The disappointing aspect of the book w...more
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Doyce Testerman was born and raised in the wilds of South Dakota, where he developed an early and lifelong love affair with the written word, especially stories that included a bit more magic, mayhem, or mystery than one typically finds around a large Midwestern farm. He moved to Denver in 1995, where he has steadily ceded control of his weekends to two dogs, his brilliant wife, and two astounding...more
More about Doyce Testerman...

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