The Hiding Places

Written by Katherine Webb
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

In the sweltering summer of 1922, the sleepy, idyllic village of Slaughterford in Wiltshire, is shaken by a brutal murder, and the son of the local doctor is arrested for it—a kind young man who came back from the war “not quite right in his head”. Only two young women are convinced of poor Donnie’s innocence: his sister Pudding, the “girl groom” at Manor Farm, and wealthy Irene Hadleigh, the squire’s new wife, fleeing the ugliness of an adulterous scandal in London. Can they find the real culprit in time? And how does the murder tie to a much older local crime? Around a whodunit premise, Katherine Webb weaves a rich, intricate, thoughtful story, peopled with wonderful characters. Pudding, Irene, and farm-girl Clemmie all come to vivid life, each with her own distinctive perception of the same little world. The writing is beautiful, the story is compelling, and clever surprises await at the end. A deftly woven, bittersweet, and truly lovely book.