The Hidden

Published: 07-11-2013
Format: EPUB eBook
Edition: 1st
Extent: 496
ISBN: 9781408844182
Imprint: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
RRP: £7.99

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SYNOPSIS

‘You’re ours, Ben. Now you are. Now you’re one of us.’

In Sparta, southern Greece, a close-knit group search for the buried traces of a formidable ancient power. A latecomer, Ben Mercer finds himself drawn to their brilliance and charisma: to the double-edged friendship of his countryman Jason, the unsettling beauty of the women, Natsuko and Eleschen, and the menace of Max and Eberhard, who idealise the extremes of the ancient Spartans.

Thrilled by the possibility of acceptance and excited by the dangerous games they play, Ben gradually wins his way into the circle. But there is more to the group than he understands, and Ben finds out too late that some things should remain hidden. He must decide where his loyalties lie - before the decision is taken from him.

Written with grace and power, The Hidden is a novel of the secrets we keep, the ties that bind us and the true cost of fulfilling our desires.

EXTRACT

The goats came down to the dig that morning. They were pretty creatures, mild-mannered as sheep, inquisitive as tourists, their familiar bells ringing as they strayed here and there among the pits, their voices rising in complaint when Chrystos shooed them away from the huts and shepherded them back towards the hills.

He remembered the one time he had seen wild goats. It had been on Ithaca when he was a child. They had been driving through the mountains when the trees above them had burst open. Two minotaurs had come crashing down the steep embankment onto the road. His dad had sworn and thrown on the brakes, but the goats had been oblivious. The car and its pale occupants were like so many ghosts to them. Nothing had mattered to the animals except themselves.

The way Ben remembered them they were massive, big as horses or bulls. Their coats fell down in thick foul skirts of piss-stained white, tramp-black, and rust. One had shouldered back up the slope while the other struggled to its feet; and then the pair of them had charged, their horns clashing with a sound like trees splitting. Ten or a dozen times they had come together, locking and wrestling, and as the Mercers had sat watching, the windows all rolled up in fear, the smell of the creatures had filled the car like gas, their musk inescapable, the power of it unmistakeable, and its double-meaning, too, clear as a voice raised in anger. The rank ripe stink of their sex. The unassailable eminence of their violence.’