Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice.
Hidden Bodies picks up right where You left off. Joe has a new relationship (i.e. obsession) with Amy Adam and guess what…he’s in love. And this time it’s different as Amy reciprocates his love and things are wonderful…until they’re not. I won’t give anything away but what happens leads Joe to LA, land of sunshine, healthy foods, and shiny happy people. Once settled with a job and an apartment, Joe’s revenge plan is in high gear and he’s out for blood!
The whole storyline started off so strong for me. Joe was his funny, witty, crazy, yet happy self. About a third of the way into the story, however, when Joe is settled in LA and the newness is wearing off, things seemed to take a turn in terms of plot and tone. Joe became mostly angry, pessimistic, complaining…non-stop angry complaints and whining. This wasn’t the Joe that I knew and loved from You (perspective…I know what he is but I still loved him:). In terms of the pace of the plot, it slowed down…way down. Although Kepnes’s writing was still top notch, the plot became bogged down in what I felt was so many irrelevant details and long drawn out whiny rants from Joe. I may have also struggled with the change in Joe because I was listening to it and although Santino Fontana was again fantastic as Joe, it was A LOT of angry, drawn out, excessive us of language ranting which resulted in me deciding halfway through the book to (gasp) stop listening. It really seemed that nothing was happening and Joe had changed for the worse.
After almost a two week break I decided to start back up because bottom line… I love this series, I know I’ll pick up the third book, so I had to know if the old Joe came back in this one. Continuing on, Joe gets himself in more hot water while the loose threads of his past are slowly catching up with him. Then, at about 3/4 of the way through there was a twist and then a twist of that twist and YES…finally I’m excited! And the old Joe is returning and things are looking up. The ending was unexpected and I thought a perfect way to leave this story because I for one will be impatiently waiting on Kepnes’s next book to see how this all plays out.
**The audio narration was again outstanding! Santino Fontana IS Joe Goldberg in these books. I don’t think anyone else could possibly bring Joe to life like he has. I could listen to his voice all day long and I don’t care what he’s reading. Although I didn’t care for Joe through most of this book, I appreciate that Santino embodied all of Joe’s angry, bitter rants perfectly**
For the first time, I feel the need to break up my rating…
3/5 Stars for the book (the last 1/4 of the book brought my rating up from 2.5)
5/5 Stars for the audio narration