There are plenty of ways to select a new novel to read. Cover art, of course. Recommendation from friends. Plot description. Here, let’s try an experiment. I’ll tell you some things about Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman, and you tell me when you want to read it. Here’s the description:
Watch out for the hidden things… That’s the last thing Calliope Jenkins’s best friend says to her before ending a two a.m. phone call from Iowa, where he’s working a case she knows little about. Seven hours later, she gets a visit from the police. Josh has been found dead, and foul play is suspected. Calliope is stunned. Especially since Josh left a message on her phone an hour after his body was found.
Spurred by grief and suspicion, Calli heads to Iowa herself, accompanied by a stranger who claims to know something about what happened to Josh and who can — maybe — help her get him back. But the road home is not quite the straight shot she imagined…
Okay, I’m intrigued. And the cover is okay. Still, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sold yet. Let’s look at some of the blurbs. Here’s The Blue Blazes author Chuck Wendig:
Testerman tells a story of a secret world that is sad, sweet, funny, and more than a little twisted. This world of wizened wizard-men and demon clowns will lure you into the shadows, and once you meet the characters who live in those dark, strange places, you’ll never want to leave…
Hmm. Wizard-men and demon clowns? Definitely getting closer. But for me, it was this quote from Maureen Johnson that sealed the deal:
Hidden Things reveals the America I want to believe in — dragons on highways, trolls in the hills, motels that lead to new dimensions. I’ll never look at a rest stop the same way again.
Yup, that did it. Dragons, trolls, and motels to new dimensions? I ordered my copy last month. Hidden Things was published by Harper Voyager in August 2012. It is 327 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $10.99 for the digital edition. See all of our recent New Treasures here.