I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of ‘Hidden Intentions’. And I am glad I was, as, again, it is a chance to try something new.
This novel is billed as a murder mystery – however, for me it is more of a study of human nature. You do not need to solve any murder mystery; you are of the motive, victims and culprit. Yet, you go on a journey with Toby as he moves through his formative years to adulthood. You become very aware of the impact that people and their experiences have on the person. There is almost a Jekyll and Hyde feel to the character of Toby. When loved, respected and trusted we have the gentle Toby, but when things are not as they should be and Toby or his world is threatened we the hidden Hyde – the dark side of human nature.
Although this novel is rather slow-paced, that is part of the charm of the novel. After all, time does not always pass at speed in day-to-day life. You need to take the journey at Toby’s pace to understand the path that it takes.
It has quite an ending, which I will not spoil, but as you reach the conclusion of this novel, you will be left contemplating what exactly makes people take some of the actions they do. Also, that age-old question: do you really know anyone? Can you hide who you are? Can we have conflicting emotions towards people?
There are some interesting questions raised in this book, too, as its setting of the 50s and 60s leaves you thinking about gender roles and cultural identity. Do these forced ideas of both create people and force actions, rightly or wrongly?
This is certainly an interesting read – especially if you have an interest in human nature.