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Friday, November 2, 2012

Book Review: What Hides Within by Jason Parent

What Hides Within
by Jason Parent
December 15, 2017
354 pages
What Hides Within tells the story of a man held captive by an unknown evil. Clive Menard is a spineless slacker leading an ordinary existence. But when Chester enters his life, it becomes far from ordinary. A disheveled Clive stands alone in a hospital waiting room. A series of incidences have led him to undergo unnecessary neurosurgery. A voice inside Clive's head nags him to kill the doctor.Weeks prior, a murder investigation and an unrelated kayaking excursion set the story's interlocking events in motion. When a remorseful killer, a bomb-happy psychopath and a mysterious widow spider converge upon Clive, they bring with them destruction and death. Clive must discover who or what is steering his very existence before he, too, is consumed by the carnage around him.With a driven detective following his every step and a vicious killer hiding within his circle of friends, Clive must walk a narrow and dangerous path, teetering between salvation and damnation. He must confront Chester and his own demons. But is he powerless to overcome them?

This is a story that almost was. There is a fabulously creepy plot with a cool twist and you have no idea what the evil is until the very end. But… for me, it gets lost in its execution. There are many subplots going on that merge together at the end, but they don’t feel connected to the main story and only added unnecessary length to the book. With the help of a top-notch editor this book could be a 4.5 sheeper, but I think since this is a debut book and most of its problems were with the technical aspects of storytelling the author will only get better with each book. You should keep an eye on his name.

I have to be careful talking about the plot because spoilers would ruin the story. If you have spider issues, stay away from this book! <G> Chester is a black widow spider who takes up residence in Clive’s ear and the reason why is one of the surprise twists of the story. I liked Chester, but I felt he acted more like an angry teenager than what he is supposed to be, which I can’t tell you without ruining things. I really didn’t like the main character Clive. He is an ass for the most part and I never really felt sympathetic to his plight or any of the other characters for that matter, but this might have been the intention of the author. There wasn’t much suspense until near the end of the story so it was easy to put the book down, but I always wanted to go back and find out what was going on.

It seems like I found a lot wrong with the story but like I said earlier, it is a good editor away from a great book. I think it is still worth the read for those who like a serial killer horror story. I read a variety of genres, everything from Oedipus to The Haunted Vagina and I have loved (and hated) everything in between, so I don’t want any grief over what I am going to say <G>. I think this is a guy’s book. Some stories appeal to both sexes and some appeal to only one. Movies are the same way. A guy’s idea of love and relationships is different. Girls won’t like Clive, he is a loser and a jerk. Having said this, there are a lot of female reviewers who have given this book 4 and 5-star ratings. So there you go… make sure to check out what others are saying.

3 “wearing pantyhose on my head while I sleep” Sheep

Sharon Stogner (edited by Kalpar)

About the Author:
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.


  1. Wow, thanks for the warning, because I DO have spider issues. lol

    Great write up, too!

  2. Thank you for the honest review, Ms. Stogner. I try to rebel against convention where I can, so no, Clive was not intended to be likable. I don't like him either.

    I also agree that this book was geared toward a male audience, but it seems my following thus far has been more female than male. But I am thankful for all of them!

    Your thoughts are well received. I hope my next work will achieve the higher standard you are right to demand from any book in which you choose to invest your time. Thanks again,


  3. Love that cover. Sounds like a very original story. I'm looking forward to reading it. I don't have spider issues..I rather like them. lol

    1. I really liked the reveal at the end of what the "spider" is