I received this book for free from Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hidden by Laura GriffinHidden Series: The Texas Murder Files #1
Published by berkley on August 25, 2020
Genres: Contemporary RS
Pages: 328
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Buy on Amazon

When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up.

Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands.

As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek

I really liked the book Flight by Laura Griffin (you can read my review here), and when I found out that it was the second in a series, I immediately picked up the first book. Hidden is about a journalist named Bailey who spends her whole day hustling to find that next big story to avoid layoffs at the paper she works for. When a murder in her area is assigned to her, Bailey hunts down every lead, talks to every witness, and even starts trying to get information out of the lead detective. But soon the story becomes more than a woman being killed on her morning run.

Detective Jacob Meritt knows of Bailey by reputation. She’s tough and she doesn’t let go of a story. She’s decided she wants information from him, and he knows she won’t stop. But her tenacity is just one of the things that attracts him to her, even as much as it drives him crazy. As the case progresses, he worries for her safety. The two of them butt heads on the case

But she wants to solve the case. The case has become so much more than a story to her. What started out as a story she was hoping would hit the front page, became a deep dive into tech companies, ethics, and murder. What Bailey doesn’t take seriously is that she might be on the killer’s radar. Jacob goes from trying to stay away from her, trying to keep his case and Bailey’s story separate, but realizing she’s just put herself in the crosshairs of a killer, or killers. He wants to protect her as much as he wants to push her away.

When the FBI takes the case from him, Bailey is able to connect some things he doesn’t see. The two of them are great together and when things heat up, both in the bedroom and with the case, Jacob doesn’t want to leave Bailey alone. The two of them have to learn to trust each other and to work together not against each other.

The two of them are great together and I love how they are when they are working together. I did kind of get annoyed at Jacob fighting his attraction as long as he did. It felt like he was leading Bailey on for a bit. But the mystery and the writing are good enough it didn’t bug me too much. I wish they had worked together sooner. I like this author’s style and voice, so I’ve already bought a couple more of her books.

Laura Griffin writes well-plotted and well-written thrillers with plenty of romance and exciting moments. I really am enjoying the Texas Murder Files series and look forward to the next book.

***ARC courtesy of Berkley Publishing via Netgalley