New psychological suspense: review of Hide and Seek

New psychological suspense review. Compared to Gone Girl.



I was asked by Amy Bird to review her new novel, Hide and Seek, because she saw my review of Gone Girl, and read that I love psychological suspense. Both of those reasons for approaching me were very appropriate. Hide and Seek is most definitely psychological suspense at its finest—and comparisons with Gone Girl will be inevitable.

Hide and Seek starts more gently than Gone Girl—not with an apparent kidnapping or crime, but with a mystery. Why does thirty-four-year-old Will look so much like the genius pianist Max Reigate? Why does Will’s mother have Reigate’s CD hidden away in her study? Why is Will so drawn to the music? The mystery does arise at an eventful time in Will and wife Ellie’s life. She has recently lost her parents, and they’re about to  become parents themselves. Ellie is six months pregnant at the start of the story. Her pregnancy and her loss actually jumpstart the disturbing events of this story. And what it is to be a parent, to be family—to lose family—are recurring themes.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons for this book’s comparison to Gone Girl will be the unlikableness of the characters in both books. I’m beginning to wonder, though, if that’s almost a prerequisite for the kind of twisty, surprising fiction whose suspense is based on the shocking choices characters make—and the depths they’re willing to plumb to get what they need or want. Generally in a novel, really likeable characters may have terrible things happen to them but they don’t surprise you with their actions.

There are many, many surprising and regrettable choices by a whole host of people in this book, and I think they’re made for a variety of reasons. One of them probably doesn’t even realize what he or she is doing. At least one may be emotionally damaged. One or more think they’re being protective. And that’s one of my favorite things about Hide and Seek or any other suspense novel—complex characters, who keep me guessing not only as to what they’re going to do, but also as to why they’re so motivated.



Nonfiction author Pearl Nsiah-Kumi: using indie publishing companies to produce books

Nonfiction Christian author Pearl Nsiah-Kumi on using an indie publishing company.
Pearl Nsiah-Kumi

I love the variety I’ve had on “How I First Published.” Today’s guest, Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, is a Christian author of nonfiction works, and like me, she went through indie publishing companies to help her produce her first books. I’m delighted to have Pearl, who is also one of my lovely online prayer partners. And now, here’s my interview with Pearl.

What was your first published book?

Pearl Nsiah-Kumi's first published book, using publishing company Westbow to produce her indie book.

My first book was published in 2012, titled; GET ON BOARD AND STAY ON BOARD, published by WestBow Press.  It contains poems and short articles, and is in three sections.  The first section contains salvation messages, the second section has messages on the Christian walk, and the third section has articles on special days like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and the Christian’s responsibility towards government.  My target readers are mostly unbelievers, with the hope that they’ll come to know the Lord (get on board), and stay in the faith (stay on board).  For the believer it is useful as a devotional and a witnessing tool.

My goal is that Christians will purchase copies for family and friends they’ve been trying to witness to, because unbelievers might not consider it as something of value

How did this experience come about?

I didn’t know much about publishing, and still don’t, but I chose to go with a Christian publisher with the hope that they’ll understand the material.  Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as I had hoped; I was a little disappointed with the process, but life goes on, so I’ve moved on.

What’s happened with your writing since?

Pearl Nsiah-Kumi's book published by indie publishing company iUniverse.

My second book; THE LAST TRAIN AT SUNSET; was published in 2013, by IUniverse.  This one is in two sections, expressing the urgency of coming to faith in Jesus before it is too late, hence the name.  I hope to release a third book; TIME IS RUNNING OUT, before the end of the year, hopefully before Christmas.

The Lord keeps showing me different ways of explaining the gospel, and so I keep writing.  Until He stops showing me, I’ll keep writing with the hope of reaching souls for Christ.

About Pearl:

Pearl Nsiah-Kumi is a retired registered nurse, and a Christian author. She came to the United States from Ghana, West Africa. She has lived in Maryland for over forty years. Pearl has three children, a son in-law, and four grandchildren. She loves to write poetry and short articles based on Scripture. She has authored two books: Get On Board and Stay On Board and The Last Train at Sunset, and is working on a third one. These books contain salvation messages, and messages about the Christian walk. They are suitable for devotionals and also helpful in witnessing.

Both books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and also on her Website:

Pearl is also a Volunteer Counselor at a local Crisis Pregnancy Clinic.