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The Hidden Man

(Jason Kolarich #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,508 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Jason Kolarich is a Chicago attorney with a lineman's build, a razor- sharp intellect-and the grief of a tragic personal loss. When an estranged childhood friend is charged with murder, Kolarich must create a solid defense-even while doubting his client's innocence. But it soon becomes clear that Kolarich will have to uncover long-forgotten events from their shared childho ...more
Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published (first published September 3rd 2009)
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Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
You have to love a guy who can prosecute the impeachment trial against Rod Blagojevich and write a crackling crime novel at the same time.

Chicago lawyer David Ellis has done that with this book, and even if the McGuffin is a little far-fetched (don't worry, you won't need spoiler alerts here), Ellis has produced a well-paced novel with good Chicago characters and a satisfying outcome.

Attorney Jason Kolarich begins the story at a low point. His wife and young daughter have died in an accident an
Brian O'Leary
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character of Jason Kolarich is the beginning of a great character and on that alone I will read the rest of the series. Some of the sub characters, like the girl who he shares his law office with, are good too. There are 5 or so other main sub characters that need work, as the reader you weren't really rooting for them, just Jason. The end had a nice twist to it. Probably could have trimmed about 100 pages. Overall a good read for the first book in a series.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is billed as “Another exhilarating thriller from Edgar Award winner David Ellis, introducing the new series protagonist Jason Kolarich.” After reading it, I concluded: One, this book is a textbook definitive exhilarating thriller. Two, if this is just another of such that Ellis’ has written, it absolutely raises my interest in getting my hands on more of Ellis’ work starting with whatever won him the Edgar Award. And finally, that Jason Kolarich is the perfect character to anchor a ser ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3 1/2 stars

Interesting, exciting story. Held my interest. The ending was a bit weak in a couple of aspects, otherwise I would have gone with 4 stars.

Jason Kolarich is an attorney hired to defend Sammy Cutler, a childhood friend accused of murder. Many years ago, Sammy's two-year-old sister Audrey was abducted and presumed dead, although no body was found. The current murder charges and the long-ago abduction are connected, but Kolarich can't get anyone to talk. Meanwhile, the shady character wh
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3-1/2 stars. A decent thriller with the main character Jason "Coke" Kolarich, lawyer, friend of Sammy, father, and husband. His world turns upside down and he has to deal with serious family issues as well as the arrest of his best friend. Clever, quick witted and a fun read.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Ellis- The Hidden Man 3.25 Stars

Jason Kolarich’s neighbour and best friend’s little sister is abducted when he is a young boy. Everybody suspects a pedophile that lives in the area, but can never prove his guilt. Now years later Sammy Cutler, his estranged best friend, is accused of murdering the man suspected of abducting his sister. A shady man hires Jason, now a lawyer, to get an acquittal for Sammy, but he is not supposed to do anything except show up, they will handle everything else.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story starts when young toddler Audrey Cutler is taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Cops later find convicted sex offender Griffin Perlini in the neighborhood, and find pictures of the girl in his house. Without further evidence though, they are unable to convict. Audrey's brother Sammy watches his family fall apart. His sister is presumed murdered, his father disappears, and a few years later his mother dies.

Jason Kolarich was Sammy's best friend when they were young. But Ja
Dec 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for an interesting, easy read.
This is a slightly above average book that could have been a lot better.

The good: characterization, beginning with the protagonist, a competent solo practitioner / criminal defense lawyer who is failing to cope with recent personal tragedy while also defending a murder case involving a childhood friend on very short notice. The nuances of a lawyer navigating through a case was also very good - both the procedural hurdles you have to go through by code as well as the unwritten charm and political
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jason Kolarich is a midwestern lawyer who is contacted by a mysterious Smith to prevent a childhood friend from being sent to prison for murder. Sammy is accused of murdering a pedophile who is suspected of kidnapping and killing his baby sister Audrey 20+ years ago. Jason remembers the crime vividly and how it destroyed Sammy's family. He also remembers that the pedophile was not found guilty. As he prepares for Sammy's trail, which he had taken because he feels he owes a teen debt, he uncovers ...more
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a proof copy - so I don't know what might have changed in the final. It was interesting and I didn't figure out the final outcome untlil almost the end! The only thing that really bothered me (don't finish reading if you are going to read the book) was a third member of the main character's family was introduced in one very short scene and then nothing else was ever said. All in all, it was avery enjoyable crime story!
Kurt Young
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging story. A lawyer from grieving the loss of his wife and child, is sucked into a murder trial. His client: His best friend from childhood. The victim: The man who molested and murdered his friends young sister decades before. The catch: Someone else is paying for the defense, and they have their own evil and mysterious motives.

The constant flashbacks to our hero's wife and kids became annoying, and added little to the story.

Unexpected ending.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first standalone David Ellis novel, (and definitely not my last), after having previously encountered Mr. Ellis as a James Patterson co-author. The main protagonist, lawyer Jason Kolarich, is definitely a character to build a series around, and this is an engaging and absorbing legal thriller in the same vein as a John Grisham classic. Great work David Ellis!
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I was expecting more legal courtroom drama, this was a compelling and psychologically insightful novel . Nothing too hard to grasp, but the leading character struggles and inner conflict struck me as true and skillfully portrayed.
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
a good story that kept me guessing right up until the end. looking forward to reading breach of trust.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had this book in my collection for a while, and I really can't remember why I purchased it. So, I started it (to determine why I purchased it) and I was unable to put it down until I finished it.

Jason Kolarich had just lost his wife, daughter and unborn child in a car accident. Unable to function for several months, he quit from a high profile law firm, and started his own single lawyer law firm. As he is still struggling from his tremendous loss, a childhood best friend has been arreste
Jun 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I like a good legal thriller - there's something inherently entertaining about the good vs. evil of them (even though the actual legal system is a billion shades of gray & good & evil don't necessarily factor in). My favorites in the genre are John Lescroart and Robert K Tanenbaum who have managed to write some exceedingly long series that are both consistently good. I hadn't read David Ellis yet, but he won the Edgar Award & he prosecuted Rob Blagojevich so I figured I'd give him a ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read some of David Ellis' books after finishing Guilty Wives, a James Patterson book which he corroborated on. So I admit that I had high expectations.

The Hidden Man is book one in a series of three about defense attorney Jason Kolarich. In this book, Kolarich, having just lost his wife and baby daughter three months earlier to a tragic car accident, is just trying to cope and get out of bed each day, and Ellis does a good job at making us feel Jason's paralyzing grief. In the midst
Paul Pessolano
Jason Kolarich has a lot of problems.

His first problem is that he must get over the death of his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, this is going to difficult to do. You see, he was part of a high profile law firm and was trying a case. He was to drive his wife and daughter to her parents but became involved in a crucial part of the trial, and his wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident.

Guilt ridden, Jason leaves the firm and goes solo. He is barely making it but becomes involved
Jul 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I've read a lot of legal thrillers and some of them great, some of them not so great. This one belongs in the latter category. I really tried to like this book but as I got further and further into it the more I ended up hating it. Everything seemed so unrealistic and outlandish. I didn't even like any of the characters. The author even tried to make it more interesting by going back and forth from present to past with the main character, Jack. While it does work quite a bit for other authors, i ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books-read
Interesting story about lawyer Jason Kolarich, who is hired to get his long ago "buddy" out of a murder conviction. The plot includes a child abduction, a drug/ gun arrest, and all sorts of threats, until the interesting conclusion. Wish I understood the title of the book, but it was a suspenseful read.
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery, well written. Two twists at the end that I did not figure out ahead of time. I love when that happens!
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started off strong ended a little weak
Pas mal, un polar assez haletant et bien ficelé (même si j'avais deviné la fin à la moitié du bouquin, ce n'est pas vraiment gênant).
3.5 stars. Strange and at times crazy story about a lawyer who is asked to represent a childhood friend accused of murder. Sammy Cutler is accused of killing Griffin Perlini, the man who abducted and murdered his baby sister, Audrey Cutler. He's hired by Mr. Smith, a mysterious man representing people interested in seeing that Sammy is acquitted.

Jason Kolarich used to be a high-powered big firm attorney, but he took time off when his wife and baby daughter were killed in a car accident. Now he
Christopher Williams
I thought this was a good legal thriller but seem to have been reading the series out of order, which does not help a lot here. Not sue why Jason Kolarich's wife and child's death, which happened in a later book in the series is referenced here in what is supposed to be the first of the series?
Another mystery, I guess. Started really well with a good plot and, as usual, with this writer a good unraveling at the end. Maybe not quite as strong as the other two I have read so far but maybe it is m
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okuduğum en kötü polisiye ödülünü veriyorum kendisine. Bir roman baştan sona ancak bu kadar yapmacık olabilirdi. Bitse de gitsek modunda okuduğum, tam bir zaman kaybıydı. Baş karakterin buhranları insana saç baş yoldurtacak cinstendi. Ayrıca yazarın katilin göz önünde olduğu romanlara laf atıp, katili gizleme gayesiyle boş boş tekkerürden ibaret bölümler yazıp okuyucuyu boğması çok trajı-komikti.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Very compelling, and hard to put down. I enjoyed the bits of humor in the beginning and wished that had carried through. I like it when there are clues sprinkled throughout a book, and this had those clues in spades. Great character development. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Good but it takes time to become a page turner

Hard to say on this book. I had told one of my students that I was struggling reading this book and at that point I didn’t really care who the person was that did it! About half way through the story became a page turner and I did care! Just took some time to “get into the story”. But a good read with an unexpected twist.
Dr. John P. Schaefer
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First rate and novel plot

A well written treat with an interesting and engaging hero. As the tale evolves a highly complex plot and puzzle is brought to a satisfying conclusion.
Highly recommended.
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David Ellis is a lawyer and the Edgar Allan Poe Award winner for Best First Novel for Line of Vision. Ellis attended Northwestern Law School and began his legal career in private practice in Chicago in 1993. He served as the House Prosecutor who tried and convicted Illinois Governor Blagojevich in the Impeachment Trial before the Illinois Senate. He was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2 ...more

Other books in the series

Jason Kolarich (4 books)
  • Breach of Trust (Jason Kolarich, #2)
  • The Wrong Man (Jason Kolarich, #3)
  • The Last Alibi (Jason Kolarich, #4)