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The Hiding Place

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Some houses have their secrets. But so do some people . . .

From the bestselling author of The Missing Girl and Our Dark Secret, comes The Hiding Place: a story about identity, love, long-buried secrets and lies.

Abandoned as a baby in the hallway of a shared house in London, Marina has never known her parents, and the circumstances of her birth still remain a mystery.

Now an adult, Marina has returned to the house where it all started, determined to find out who she really is. But the walls of this house hold more than memories, and Marina’s reappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed by the other tenants.

Someone is watching Marina. Someone who knows the truth . . .

First published February 18, 2021

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About the author

Jenny Quintana

12 books63 followers
Jenny Quintana has become the 20th Curtis Brown Creative student to land a publishing deal, just days after her book was sent out to UK publishers by Conville & Walsh’s Sophie Lambert. On the eve of the London Book Fair, UK rights were bought at auction by Mantle Books, an imprint of Macmillan. German rights were snapped up by Goldmann after a hefty pre-empt, and Italian rights have also been sold already. Jenny workshopped her novel on our creative writing courses in Spring 2014, and we’re thrilled with the news of her success.

When Birds Forget to Sing (a title which we’re told may yet change) is the story of Anna, whose sister Gabriella disappeared years before as a teenager. When her mother dies, Anna returns home, reigniting her questions – and her quest to uncover the truth – about what happened to Gabriella. Sam Humphreys, Associate Publisher at Mantle, who bought Jenny’s book, has called it, “… a wonderful, wonderful novel: part whodunnit, part account of a life interrupted – not just Gabriella’s, but also Anna’s.”

Jenny is a teacher and mother of three who taught English in England, Spain and Greece before turning her hand to novel-writing.

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5 stars
105 (19%)
4 stars
232 (42%)
3 stars
163 (29%)
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36 (6%)
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11 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 146 reviews
Profile Image for Natalie  all_books_great_and_small .
1,976 reviews69 followers
January 26, 2022
I received a gifted advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review as part of the book tour hosted by Lovebookstours.

The Hiding Place is an unputdownable mystery that kept me reading right through the night. I just couldn't pull away from it and desperately wanted to know what had happened to Marinas mother and why she was abandoned.
This book drew me in from the first chapter. The characters of Connie and Marina (who the book flick from past to present) are both likeable and interesting characters.
Connie is 17 and lives with her father. She lost her mother to cancer a year ago and has fallen in love with someone she deserves better than. Marina was abandoned in a hallway of a house as a baby and has longed to find out why. What happened to her parents? Why did they abandon her in such a way? Marina rents a room in the house she was discovered in as a baby, hoping to find answers and the truth. Upon Marinas arrival, some residents are clearly uncomfortable with her presence - but why?
This book was written so expertly conveying creepiness, unease, and an air of mystery about it. It was the perfect blend, and I fell head first within the pages. I'm now desperate to read the rest of Jenny Quintanas books as soon as possible!
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 12 books288 followers
May 10, 2022
Wrapped in a blue shawl, Marina was found as a baby in the hall of a shared house in London. She has never known her birth parents. Circumstances of her birth remain a mystery. Now, as a adult, when she learns a flat is available, Marina returns to the house at 24 Harrington Gardens, searching for answers. Some tenants have left the property, others are still there. Marina hopes to uncover the truth. The story is told in two timelines. That of Connie in 1964 and the story of Marina in 1991. As a reader, you expect these will connect and they do. But the house and the events that happened when Marina was born are shrouded in secrecy. Gradually Marina uncovers clues. Not everyone is comfortable with the details of that time coming to light.
Something about the cover of this book led me to think it was going was to be a darker, creepier read than it turned out to be. I actually picked it up and put it down twice before deciding to give it a go. Once I stared to read I was hooked. I liked both Connie and Marina. There were others whose behaviour appalled me. Attitudes of the 1960s regarding men, women and young unwed pregnant mothers rang true.
In the end I was really glad I read it and loved the way the mystery was revealed. My first book by this author I would be keen to read more. A good mystery, well told with likeable and not so likeable characters.
March 18, 2022

**3.5 stars**

The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana. (2021).

Marina is adopted and the circumstances of her birth remain a mystery. She was found wrapped in a shawl in the hallway of a large, shared house in London - 24 Harrington Gardens. Now Marina is an adult and there is a flat available at the address. Marina feels drawn to the place and is hoping that the house might hold some clues. What if it's not just the house though? What if someone connected to it knows what really happened that day? Someone who doesn't want the truth revealed?

This book delves into the mystery of an abandoned baby and spans two timelines: 1991/1992 with Marina, the baby, who is trying to discover more about her origins, and 1964 where young Connie finds herself hiding a pregnancy. I found I preferred Connie's timeline, perhaps because it moved with a slightly faster pace and had more tension in the storyline. I thought events that occurred in Marina's chapters pushed the envelope of being believable at times, hence the 3.5 star rating instead of 4 - not totally unbelievable, but a little hard to swallow some things that just happened to occur/be found out.
Overall: a traditional type mystery novel that spans two timelines, I think any reader who enjoys the mystery genre would like this book.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,864 reviews261 followers
April 11, 2021

4.5 stars

The bestselling author of The Missing Girl returns with a riveting new mystery story. Questions of identity, family lineage, deep secrets and a tragic past circulate around this new suspense novel from British author Jenny Quintana. The Hiding Place proved to be an utterly absorbing read from cover to cover.

Featuring two timeline branches, The Hiding Place is set in Britain in the sixties and in the early nineties. In the nineties storyline we meet Marina, a woman desperately searching for her birth parents and family history, after learning that she was abandoned as a baby. The key to unlocking Marina’s mysterious past rests in a shady residential building, 24 Harrington Gardens. This unsettling abode has been the home to a range of residents over the years. Some tenants have stayed on for the duration, while others have left, but Marina is determined to find out who her parents are and will she find them in this complex? A series of connected events and figures help to slowly build a picture around the circumstances surrounding Marina’s birth and subsequent abandonment. But someone out there is keen to bury the truth. Will Marina find the answers to her past?

The Hiding Place is exactly the sort of mystery novel I love. This slow build suspense tale is drenched in intrigue and and a very tense atmosphere. Jenny Quintana’s latest is not a white knuckled thrill ride, instead it dishes out clues to a complex family mystery case in a reduced pace format. I would shelve The Hiding Place in the classic mystery novel genre and those who love a decent double timeline narrative will definitely find much to appreciate about this novel.

With one narrative supporting the other, The Hiding Place takes the reader to the years 1964 and 1991 respectively. I have to say I connected a little more to the sixties based storyline, it was slightly more interesting. However, I did find great merit in the early nineties timeline, it was essential to the novel as a whole. Without the nineties narrative we would not be able to travel so well into the past and observe how ill choices made in the past impact future generations. I liked how Quintana examined this angle of the novel, there is plenty to consider in this area in terms of choices for women who had babies before marriage. The Hiding Place looks at moral choices, societal attitudes and cultural norms of the sixties. Via the character of Will, Connie’s lover, we see how a man could indulge in his own passion and sense of freedom without responsibility. Even Will’s mother bowed down to his frivolous and selfish actions! This earned my ire, but it is an accurate depiction of the attitudes of this era.

In Connie, the lead character in the sixties narrative, we have a very naïve and innocent woman on the cusp of adulthood. The grief over the loss of Connie’s mother cuts deep in this novel. Quintana examines bereavement from both a father and daughter’s perspective very well. My heart went out to Connie, she definitely needed a woman’s touch and embrace in the difficult times she was faced with. Connie’s father is a man who suffers from ill health both mentally and physically during the novel. While I felt sorry for Connie’s father, I was also upset by the expectations he placed on Connie to replace his wife. He also failed to read the warning signs when his daughter was in trouble. However, good name, reputation and expectations ruled the world at this point in time, which is extremely evident as the story unfolds.

Quintana’s present time character Marina is an intriguing protagonist. I enjoyed following Marina closely as she worked hard to unveil the circumstances around her birth and ancestry. I also admired Marina’s approach to unlocking the secrets of 24 Harrington Gardens, the location base for the events of this novel to unfurl. Quintana builds an exceptional portrait of 24 Harrington Gardens. I conjured some very vivid and moving images of this locale in my mind. There was a strong sense of menace, unease, dodgy dealings and shadowy intrigue that filled my body as the full story emerged surrounding the characters of The Hiding Place. The intersection of the past and present merging together as the book moved progressively to its conclusion caught my undivided attention. I couldn’t turn my eyes away from this one, not for a beat! I was waiting with bated breath as the gripping conclusion was rolled out. I still had a few niggling questions about this one after I read the final paragraph. However, my overall impression of The Hiding Place was very high indeed.

*Thanks extended to Pan Macmillan for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Jacob Collins.
754 reviews116 followers
March 6, 2021
The Hiding Place is the first book by Jenny Quintana, which I have read, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read one of her books. I still have her first two novels on my TBR pile, and I’ll be reading them ASAP. Her latest book is a heart-breaking and a totally absorbing psychological thriller. I flew through it in just a couple of days.

We meet Marina, who, now an adult, returns to the home where she was abandoned as a baby to find out more about her heritage and who her parents were. But things are a lot more complicated here than Marina first realised. But she doesn’t want to give the details that she once was that baby away to the inhabitants of the house. Some of the people living there now remember that time and were there when it happened.

I really felt for Marina as she tried to understand more about her family. You can see just how desperate she is to find closure. She wants to know why her mother abandoned her all those years ago. It’s hard to imagine what that knowledge could do to a person over the years once they realise the truth about what happened. It must be heart-breaking for them to think that their birth family didn’t want them.

Right from the first few chapters, I felt that there wasn’t something quite right about what happened when Marina was born. I felt that there were people in the house who wanted to make sure that what happened stays a secret. I wanted to know who this person was and what connection they had to Marina’s story.

Jenny Quintana creates an air of mystery and a sense of creepiness about the house as Marina settles in and tries to get to know the residents there. You can see that already some of them are uncomfortable about her presence. But she is determined to see this through.

We also go back in time to 1964 when we meet a woman called Connie, and we start to see the bigger picture of what happened at the time of Marina’s birth begin to unfold. I became totally wrapped up in the story. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end. Jenny Quintana’s brilliant writing kept me gripped all the way through, especially at the end as Marina uncovers the truth.

The Hiding Place is so well written, and I can’t wait to catch up on Jenny Quintana’s previous books. I loved it!
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,728 reviews93 followers
May 3, 2021
From the off, I was pulled into this riveting, enthralling tale by Jenny Quintana. Marina returns to the shared house in London where she was abandoned as a baby. Set in two timelines, the 1960s and the 1990s, the reader is taken back to 24 Harrington Gardens as Marina searches for the answers to her questions about her past.

This is a slow-building family drama-thriller, dripping with intrigue, suspense and atmosphere.Jenny Quintana serves up the clues in this complex mystery offering the reader plenty to reflect on regarding moral choices, societal attitudes and the cultural norms of the sixties. I enjoyed following Marina as she worked to unveil the circumstances around her birth. With a strong sense of place and menace at 24 Harrington Gardens The Hiding Place had my undivided attention. Grab yourself a copy as soon as you can!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Pan Macmillan/ Mantle via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
March 22, 2021
A brilliantly-written and well-developed story, The Hiding Place is a bit of a slow-burner in the beginning but the second half really grabs your attention with its compelling and emotional story.

With great descriptions of the different settings, the story switches between 1964 and 1993 and is told through three perspectives – Connie in the past, Marina in the present, and Eva in the present. Each narrative is easy to follow and they work seamlessly alongside each other to build up to Marina finding out the truth and revealing what really happened to Connie.

Because it’s such a slow-burning story, it took me a good half of the book to really feel invested in the story. But the final 100 pages really grabbed my attention (and heart!). By then, I found the story deeply emotional. I didn’t realise how much I had connected to the characters until this point, but I felt every ache of their pain.

The book has been described as a thriller but I wouldn’t say that it is. There is a mystery at the centre of the story and some suspense in places, but this is more of a slow-burning domestic drama with a dark feel to it.

Although there is a lot of talk about abortion, there are no gruesome details to put readers off. Instead, Quintana uses her story to explore the harrowing situations that many women found themselves in during these times. It was really sad to realise that this was the norm back then, to see how little options women had and the pressures they were placed under.

The Hiding Place took a while to grip me, but I was really moved by it at the end. It’s certainly worth sticking with if you have the same issue, as the final half is sure to captivate you and pull on your heartstrings.

This was my first book by Jenny Quintana but I will definitely be adding her others to my wishlist now.
Profile Image for Michcah.
7 reviews1 follower
February 1, 2022
Thank you so much, Jenny Quintana and @lovebookstours (Instagram) for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m so grateful to have gotten a chance to read it 💛

The Hiding Place follows Marina, who was abandoned as a baby, trying to piece together who her birth parents were and what happened to them. It’s an incredible mystery, focusing on real-world issues in a grounded and heartbreaking story.

Told from the perspectives of Marina, Connie and Eva, the story overlaps in time periods, cleverly revealing clues and twists so that only the audience can see the full picture, whilst we watch Marina scramble to do the same thing with less information.

I loved the tiny details that transcended these time periods and the characters were all so interesting, each bringing something original to the story.

This has to be one of the best mystery books I’ve read. I love stories that focus on real lives and this didn’t disappoint. Touching on real issues like backstreet abortions and the social taboo of teenage pregnancy, it was an emotional tale that I’m so grateful to have read.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, stories that focus on people or even thrillers. It’s definitely not one to miss.
Profile Image for Rhianydd Cooke - Cambourne.
226 reviews10 followers
October 3, 2021
3.5 RTF
So coming back to this review I’m changing my 3.5 to just 3 stars… this book really wasn’t all that :/

The plot line had more holes in it than a crocheted blanket and that could have been excused if the story was in anyway believable or thrilling.

The main character was too gullible, took too much at face value and didn’t seem to question enough to make the plot seem “real”…. I *know* it’s not but some part of these has to at least seem plausible for it to be enjoyable and resonate with me…. Suck me in, you know?

And the “bad guys”, for want of a better term…. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️. Arrgggghhh!!!
Just don’t…..
This bad guy end plot was just so unbelievable that I wanted to get the time I’d used reading it back!
Had the last few chapters been slightly different it could have possibly turned it around, I’m my eyes.
April 25, 2021
The Hiding Place is the book I didn’t know I needed: a twisty-turney thriller without a dead or missing girl. Imagine that! Jenny Quintana’s third book is a compelling page turner without the tired tropes. Her attention to detail will transport you (though be aware that there are some passages regarding childbirth, abortion, and grief that may be triggering).

My full review of The Hiding Place is up now on Keeping Up With The Penguins.
Profile Image for Dawn Marsanne.
Author 11 books29 followers
December 28, 2021
Loved it. One of the best books I've read this year.
I felt drawn to read on which is surely a sign of a good book.
Well written, engaging and believable.
The two timelines worked well together.
A great talent.
Profile Image for Grace Bloom.
6 reviews2 followers
October 31, 2022
3.5 stars ✨ this book didn’t wow me, however i still liked the storyline & i thought the ending was good!
Profile Image for Rachel Bridgeman.
1,104 reviews24 followers
March 22, 2021
What a story, 'The Hiding Place' is heartfelt, and told in two timestreams-the 1960's and the 1990's , where the consequences of what one generation did, filter into the lives of those occupying the same building 3 decades later.
Marina-named by the nurse who cared for her in hospital after she was found, abandoned in the hallway of the house in Harrington Gardens-has moved into what looks like DIY programmes describe as a 'fixer-upper', a flat with a dodgy boiler, intermittently scalding water, and mould on the windows.

Despite having had a loving adoptive family, something in Marina has always looked for the answer as to why she was found, in a cubby, or hiding place, by the open front door of the building which has been divided into 5 flats. She works as a translator of a Polish writer's memoirs, and as she translates the lives of others, she has come to realise that she needs to be the narrator of her own story.

As Marina navigates her investigations into flat occupants, present and past, her chapters are interlaced with the voice of Connie, a young woman living with her bookshop owner father, in the 60's. Finding herself with a certain 'predicament', abandoned by her boyfriend and pretty much harassed by the basement flat dwelling colleague of her dad, she suffers from the same disillusionment and dreamy nature that she finds so frustrating in her father. Lost in poetry and books, she believed all of the words whispered to her in the snatched moments that they steal in the attic. After the death of Connie's mother, both she and her father have become un-anchored and find themselves adrift in imaginary worlds until they are forced to reckon with the reality of racing calendar months and bills to pay.

As the two stories move towards an intersection point, you are not entirely sure whose baby Marina is-you suppose it could be her that Connie is carrying, but through the clever dropping of clues throughout the narrative of the other flats, it is not entirely certain whose baby Marina is until near the end of the book. And it becomes clear to the reader that this is about Marina finding her place in the world by taking a step back, and examining her past in order to move forward with a brighter future. Connie's story is heartbreaking as you realise it really was not that long ago that women had very little option when it came to having babies out of wedlock. She has no mother to guide or advise her, her father is loving but immensely impractical , so her burden is hers alone to carry.

Marina has the option to be her own person, time has moved on since Connie lived there, and the notion of stories lying in wait until people like Marina bring them into the light, is weighted with so many feelings of regret, time lost and bones left unburied. 

The characters in the house, in the 60's and the 90's, all play a part in the story where Harrington Gardens becomes emblematic of the passage of time, the lives that are touched in this house and how it gives up it's secrets. You can never really clear away every trace of your belonging somewhere, and, although, this is kind of a mystery in what happened to Marina's mother that meant she abandoned her, there social and cultural norms at the time were such that men had their fun whilst the women were left to deal with the consequences. And. as several of the women attest, there was not always a happy ending for everyone.

The idea that I was left with after the book was finished, was that the stories of the places we inhabit are there, just waiting for a patient observer to find the clues, take apart and translate the past into a story which makes sense in the present. 

A fantastic character study, this was such a great read, one that was deeply moving and incredibly satisfying.
Profile Image for Joanne Robertson.
1,349 reviews549 followers
April 2, 2021
The Hiding Place has a beautifully crafted storyline told in two timelines. In 1964 we meet 17 year old Connie who lives with her father in a flat within 24 Harrington Gardens; in 1992 Zoe moves into the same address looking for answers to the mystery surrounding her abandonment as a baby. Both viewpoints are engrossing and intriguing as the reader try’s to work out how these two women are connected and why. But at the heart of this gripping novel is the house itself, full of ghosts and mementos of the past, waiting in the shadows to reveal themselves to those seeking the truth…

Jenny Quintana writes beautifully immersive mysteries with an emotional twist, full of atmospheric detail and perfectly pitched characters. I devoured this book in a day as I would become so wrapped up in the timeline of the past that I just had to see how it affected the present timeline and vice versa! The character of Connie especially drew my attention whenever she was on the page-her determination and strength of mind when faced with adversity brought a huge surge of empathy as I prayed for everything to work out for her and the situation she found herself in. I liked her a lot! Zoe was also a relatable character and I liked how her focus was purely on discovering the secrets and lies of the past, no matter how much danger she faced from the unknown.

The Hiding Place unravels its truths at the perfect pace, delivering a breathtaking conclusion to this heartbreaking tale. I loved it and didn’t want it to end and take me away from the most memorable female protagonists I’ve read about this year. Recommended!
Profile Image for Cleopatra  Pullen.
1,340 reviews298 followers
March 7, 2021
Having read and enjoyed Jenny Quintana's debut novel The Missing Girl, I must admit I was expecting more of a traditional mystery. Instead I was treated to a stunning a slow-burner of a novel set between 1964 and 1992.

In 1964 seventeen year old Connie Littleton is pregnant, her artist boyfriend has gone to Paris before she even knew.

In 1992 Marina Alexander visits the house where she was abandoned as a baby, the only clue to who walked through the open door and left her to be found, was the blue shawl she was wrapped in.

With a cast of characters that included armed robbers and bookshop owners this is a real character study with an underlying mystery that seems to have an obvious outcome. The characters had me entranced, vivid in both time periods even though I was sure I knew what the ending would hold, I had to keep on reading to find out for sure.

A book that I think will haunt me; for me the mark of a really good read.
Profile Image for Jennifer SK.
588 reviews16 followers
May 6, 2022
*Bittersweet Discovery*

Marina was abandoned in a old house and seemingly her biological Mother never looked back. Marina has wonderful adoptive parents but she has always understandably been curious about her biological mother.

The story flips between Marina and her biological mother Connie. The story skilfully weaves between the different timeframes but it is somewhat engaging.

Marina now fast forward as an adult decides to go back to the house where she was abandoned and rents a room. The house takes on an eerily dark feel for me, lots of secrets and Marina is on a mission to get answers and from the moment she arrives more than one person knows who she is. All Marina knows is that her mother disappeared to Paris, but the truth is much darker….
Profile Image for Emma Curtis.
Author 6 books198 followers
December 27, 2020
With thanks to Mantle Books for my ARC of this novel. I honestly loved it. It reminded me of Barbara Vine novels. A great story beautifully written, full of mystery and intrigue as we follow Marina's quest to discover what happened to her birth mother. Abandoned in the hall of a subdivided house as a newborn, Marina was adopted. At twenty-eight she decides to stop wondering and start asking questions, so she rents a flat in the house where she was left and gets to know the other residents. Thrilling and sad, it kept me enthralled right up until the final page.
Profile Image for Nikki Smith.
Author 3 books32 followers
February 23, 2021
With thanks to Mantle Books for my ARC of this novel. I loved it. A gripping suspense story that expertly interweaves the past and present - as with all Jenny Quintana's books, beautifully written and extremely moving. I loved Marina (& her fingerless gloves) and Connie. Such a heart breaking story about the choices women were forced to make, even in relatively recent history, and how the past forms so much of who we are in the present. A fabulous read & I would highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Jessica M.
627 reviews8 followers
April 10, 2021

Jenny Quintana’s The Hiding Place is a crime thriller about an abandoned baby in a share house, and that child’s search for the truth about her parents.

The Hiding Place switches between three POVs — Connie in 1964, and Marina and Eva in 1991. Marina, who was abandoned as a baby, moves into the house she was discovered in to try and find out who her parents were. Eva, her new neighbour, is an emotionally unstable, anxious woman with long-buried traumatic memories. Slowly, we come to understand how these three stories correlate, and why Marina was abandoned.

“The sky hangs low and claustrophobic and Marina loosens her collar despite the chill. She has an odd, prickling feeling as if she’s being watched, but the houses are as silent as they were last night, their windows shuttered — and when she looks back at number 24, there is no shift in curtains, no one looking out.”

There’s quite a large cast of characters in this novel — a lot of people moving in and out of the storyline — and Jenny captures each character and role with enough unique personality that makes it easy for the reader to follow. There are plenty of rooms in the house, and therefore a lot of threads for Marina to follow in her quest for the truth.

Jenny always crafts a premise that will entice readers. The abandoned baby is not the only crime to be uncovered in this novel, and Jenny captures a claustrophobic, eerie setting very well. What secrets and memories does this house hold? In a way, the house feels like another character in the book, holding on to its own secrets and slowly releasing them when necessary.

One of the things I love most about Jenny’s books is how she concludes her chapters. There’s either something reflective about the ending, forcing you to feel the emotion she’s working to transmit, or it’s a cliffhanger that forces you to keep turning the page because you want to see how that thread continues.

“Was Connie in desperate straits? She wasn’t sure. And perhaps she could solve the problem herself. She had heard that moving heavy furniture might bring on a miscarriage, or flinging yourself down the stairs. There were poisons that would flush the baby clean away.”

Admittedly, Marina does feel like the weakest character of the three. Eva’s personality immediately draws you in — she’s mysterious and plagued by childhood memories. You immediately want to know more. And your heart breaks for Connie. She’s hopeful and ambitious, but incredibly naive. And she’s very much in love. Marina’s search for the truth comes across a bit stiff at times, the storyline blocking her personality from shining. She comes across unfeeling, unemotional, devoid of compassion. She’s determined and I admire that, but I found her characterisation to be lacking.

Additionally, the ending was a bit of a letdown. For such a slow burn of a novel, I was expecting big twists or surprises — neither happened. Whilst some people withheld the truth, the circumstances around Marina’s birth and abandonment weren't quite as enticing as I’d hoped.

“At school, when she had managed to get there, she had been silent and serene, unemotional, a remarkable musical talent. The bullies hadn’t understood her so had left her alone. At music college, she had taken on a similar persona, staying in her room at halls and avoiding communal areas like the students’ union and bar.”

An engrossing tale of long-lost secrets, The Hiding Place is the perfect rainy day read. Recommended for fans of crime, thriller and mystery. Readers of women’s fiction will also enjoy this.

Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Janell Madison.
291 reviews8 followers
January 28, 2022
"From beginning to end, The Hiding Place is fantastic. Likable characters, a plot that is believable, great storylines, and the ending was unexpected. Five stars! A really great book!"
-Books and Pens on Green Gables

Marina loves her parents, Ruth and David.
And, she knows they love her, but she has always wondered. What happened to her birth mother. Why doesn’t anyone seem to know more about her? What were the circumstances of her mom? Marina has read all of the articles her adopted mom, Ruth, saved, but she still wants to know more. She was somewhat famous as a baby.

Marina feels like she’s a bit lost, drifting along. She’s a teacher but doesn’t want to teach right now, so she’s editing a manuscript, but something is missing. She decides what she needs to do. It’s time to find out about her birth mother and why she was left abandoned in the front entry of a shared apartment building.

Marina rereads the articles, searching for anything she has missed through the years. And makes her plan. Soon, she is living in the run-down apartment building where she was found as a baby. How did she get there? Everyone thought that the front door was left open and a random person put her there. But who? Why? So many questions surround her. Marina finds out there is an empty unit in the building where she was left. She knows this will be the best place to try to learn about her mother. She starts asking questions and doing her own investigating without raising suspicions.

The Hiding Place is written in an intriguing back and forth style by Marina and her birth mother, 17-year-old, Connie. Connie has been left alone by aspiring artist Johnny, who she loves and now desperately needs to hear from so she can tell him she’s pregnant. She is sure he’ll send for her to join him in Paris. It’s 1964, and Connie is alone. Her mother has passed away, and she cannot tell her poor father. Once Connie admits to herself it’s true, she hides her pregnancy from everyone. But, one person knows. When that person tries to influence Connie’s decision, Connie becomes determined to keep her baby.

I was given this book to read and review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Mini (Minireads7).
93 reviews12 followers
February 4, 2022
Thank you so much LoveBooksTours and Jenny Quintana for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, ahead of the book tour the author clarified that this is a family drama/mystery rather than a thriller (what it is sometimes marketed as). This means I went into the book with better expectations of what the book is actually like and I am so glad! (So please, can we just stop marketing everything as thrillers?!)

The Hiding Place follows Marina, who was abandoned as a baby, moving into the house she was found in and trying to figure out the truth about her birth parents.

The story is told through 3 different perspectives - Connie in 1964 and Marina and Eva in 1992. I really enjoyed how the three storylines slowly come together and through this reveal more and more secrets about the house and it’s residents. All the little links between the past and the future definitely kept me intrigued.

Jenny Quintana gives each of the three characters a distinct personality and develops them in a way that made me feel invested in their story. I was particularly moved by Connie’s story, as it shows what women had to deal with in the past if they accidentally got pregnant, especially as teenagers.

This first half of this book is quite slow-paced, but it picks up in the second half and I could not put the book down! So please stick with it!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed my first book by Jenny Quintana and cannot wait to check out her other books in the future!
Profile Image for Laura.
137 reviews3 followers
February 21, 2022
The story:
Marina has always known she was adopted, the only link to her past the blue shawl she was found wrapped in as a baby, abandoned in the hallway of No. 24 Harrington Gardens. Despite growing up in a loving home, there is a part of her story missing, and she is determined in to find the truth.

Moving into the house she was found in, Marina starts to fill in the story of the house in 1964, the year she was born. But not everyone is happy to see her back in Harrington Gardens; someone is watching her, someone who would prefer the secrets of her origins to remain buried…

My thoughts:
I enjoy a duel-timeline story, and in Jenny Quintana’s “The Hiding Place” this works brilliantly. Moving back and forth between the inhabitants of Harrington Gardens in 1964 and 1991, we get to know Marina’s parentage quite early on. But the real mystery is how she came to be discovered as she was, especially as we get to know her mother; a caring and devoted person in a horrendous position, but seemingly the last person you’d expect to abandon a child.

Marina is a strong, interesting lead, and Harrington Gardens is home to an eclectic cast of characters in both time periods. Working out how the two connect, and the final revelations of the last few days before Marina’s discovery, make for an intriguing, heart-wrenching and exciting read that I’d highly recommend to all mystery/domestic suspense fans.
Profile Image for amber_reading.
289 reviews8 followers
May 7, 2022
Nel passato c’è una libreria attorno alla quale ruota e aleggia il mistero.
Nel presente c’è Zoe, o Marina se preferite, che fa l’editor ma sogna di passare al giornalismo.
Lei è la protagonista di questo scorrevole romanzo dalla suspence costante e ricco di emozione soprattutto nel finale.
Due piani temporali divisi da trent’anni.
Il tempo ha modificato vite e ricordi rendendo la matassa difficile da sbrogliare;
l’unica costante è la casa al 24 di Harrington
Nel portone di quel palazzo la piccola Baby Blue è stata abbandonata ventisette anni prima.
Ma perché?
E come è sopravvissuta?

La famiglia adottiva è perfetta e amorevole, ma la piccola, che ora è diventata donna, non riesce a liberarsi dal passato.

In un’atmosfera immobile e claustrofobica, alla ricerca della verità nella casa in cui il tempo sembra essersi fermato.

Quel piccolo fagotto è di nuovo lì dopo tanti anni…
tocca e sfiora inconsciamente oggetti appartenuti ai suoi avi ed in questi momenti la scrittura di Jenny Quintana si fa più poetica e toccante aiutandosi e citando opere e artisti famosi del passato.
Temi importanti e delicati si scoprono durante la narrazione nella quale non mancano nemmeno le dolci note di un pianoforte.
Tra il gotico e il drammatico, non è un thriller anche se ci sono degli omicidi irrisolti.
Una lettura coinvolgente e appassionante che fino alla fine vi terrà legata a sé.

“La verità è come la vediamo, o non riusciamo a vederla.”
Profile Image for Naomi (aplace_inthesun).
571 reviews18 followers
April 10, 2021
Family Secrets and finding out who you really are. These are two of the underlying themes of The Hiding Place by Jenny Quintana. Told from two timeframes 1991, and from 1964. We meet the adult Marina, an adoptee who was otherwise known as Baby Blue when she was found on the doorstep of 24 Harrington Gardens. But what of her parents? Why did they give her away? And why leave her there? So when one of the flats at 24 Harrington Gardens is vacant, Marina moves in an attempt to trace her family heritage, and find out once and for all the events leading up to her birth to add to her life story. Upon moving in, Marina meets and ensemble of renters, each with a backstory as she sifts through the minutiae of their lives, to find out more about hers.

This was a character-laden, atmospheric novel, and has a sense of sadness and foreboding about it. You can't help but feel Marina's pain at not knowing the details of her lifestory, and feeling that parts of her are unknown. Discovering who was who throughout the story, was a little slow moving and detail laden, that seemed to run with Marina's thought process as she continued her search. It was very lonely and you felt her struggle with continuing to acknowledge her adoptive parents whilst searching for her birth parents, despite her appreciation and love for them.

This is a reasonably sound suspense novel with some intrigue and mystery. It's more domestic drama than thriller. Any tale about an abandoned baby and the outcome for the child, and the parents is bound to be an interesting one. There are a myriad of characters to keep up with which worked with each character in differing degrees, though I found Marina as being one of the least enticing characters overall. The pace picked up a little with the book's culmination, however it did not reach any dizzying heights as far as me feeling like I HAD to know what happened.

Thank you to Macmillan Australia for a free copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Rhian Eleri.
317 reviews20 followers
February 16, 2022
The Hiding Place is an emotional tale of love, hate, secrets and most of all, identity.
Marina is on a mission to find out where she came from and why she was abandoned as a baby in an unlikely shared house back in the 1960s.
This is a mystery, a family drama, a story that will touch many hearts.
What it isn't is a thriller, but would probably be a good place to start if your looking to ease into the genre.
I enjoyed the writing, and the descriptive language used for the colourful characters.
With many voices coming though each chapter, I felt I was given a wholesome account of this story that was a tangle of lies deception and big secrets.
Profile Image for Demelda Penkitty.
499 reviews11 followers
January 24, 2022
Some houses have their secrets. But so do some people . . .
Abandoned as a baby in the hallway of a shared house in London, Marina has never known her parents, and the circumstances of her birth still remain a mystery.

Now an adult, Marina has returned to the house where it all started, determined to find out who she really is. But the walls of this house hold more than memories, and Marina’s reappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed by the other tenants.
Someone is watching Marina. Someone who knows the truth . . .

I really enjoyed The Hiding Place. It is a great story full mystery and intrigue. Well written and perfectly paced, I had to keep reading once I had started so invested was I that I finished in two sittings.

The story takes place over two interweaving time periods that are expertly crafted and equally engaging. The characters are superbly written and I felt a real affection the two main characters. The supporting cast were well rounded and they gave the story real depth and sincerity.

The timelines read well and you feel as though you are transported back in time as the narrative is so vivid. Jenny Quintana writes descriptively regarding the atmosphere of the scenes, and it feels as though the house on Harrington Gardens is a character in itself with all its secrets.

The mystery of the abandonment unfolds through Marina’s investigative conversations with the house’s residents, intertwined with the gradual revelation of Connie’s heart-breaking story.

A gently captivating and beautifully told mystery, highly recommended.
March 18, 2022
4.5 rounding up

*spoilers just so I remember the book**

Girl who was adopted as a baby after being found in an apartment building hallway moves into the building to find out who her biological mom was
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
197 reviews5 followers
April 11, 2021
The Hiding Place is told in alternating timelines from the perspective of seventeen-year-old pregnant teenager, Connie in 1964 who lives at 24 Harrington Gardens in a flat with her father and her determination to re-connect with the father of her unborn baby who has gone to Paris and is unaware that Connie is pregnant and in 1992 where Marina, an adopted child who was abandoned at birth is searching for her biological mother.

A suspenseful but emotional read, with the two women sharing their stories alternatively to the heart-wrenching ending. A bit of a slow burn to begin with but as we begin to learn more about the unsolved mystery of the abandoned baby at 24 Harrington Gardens and its inhabitants of the past and present, the story really picks up pace and was hard to put down. I became invested in wanting the best outcome for both Connie and Marina. Beautifully written and full of intrigue, this was a very enjoyable read.
Thank you @macmillanaus for my #gifted review copy
Profile Image for Frances Maynard.
Author 2 books79 followers
October 21, 2021
Marina, a young woman, adopted at birth, tries to solve the mystery of her origins. But, staying in the house where she was found, a house full of secrets, the truth becomes more and more dangerous. Beautifully constructed, The Hiding Place is both a vivid reconstruction of a 1960s unwanted pregnancy and a gripping thriller. Expect plenty of goosebumps!
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