Every Hidden Thing by Ted Flanagan—A dark, gritty thriller filled with suspense, double-crosses, and buried secrets.
Big city politics, nasty secrets, a dirty cop, and a deranged sociopath set the stage for a riveting journey deep into the urban jungle.
The last scion of a once-powerful political family, Worcester mayor John O’Toole has his sights set on vastly higher aspirations. When night shift paramedic Thomas Archer uncovers a secret that could upend the mayor’s career, O’Toole is set on silencing him, and sends Eamon Conroy, a brutal former cop, to ensure the truth remains under wraps.
But O’Toole doesn’t stop there. With bribes, buried secrets, and personal attacks, he wreaks havoc on Archer’s life in an attempt to save himself. Archer’s troubles continue to mount when domestic terrorist and militia member Gerald Knak, who blames Archer for his wife’s recent death, sets in motion a deadly plan for revenge.
With two forces of evil aligned against him, Archer doesn’t stand a chance. But things aren’t always what they seem–and he may just have a few tricks up his sleeve in a last gambit to get out alive.
When Worcester (Massachusetts) EMT Thomas Archer and his partner respond to a childbirth emergency call, they find the child already delivered and in severe respiratory distress. Archer is then shocked to learn the person who delivered the baby, still at the scene and is none other than Eamon Conroy, a sociopathic former crooked cop Archer once helped send to prison. Things go downhill fast from there for Archer, who already has more than enough problems in his life, including a young son suffering from life-threatening brain cancer. He’s also a recovering alcoholic in a marriage that has grown shaky due to his son’s serious medical problems. But when Archer learns the child’s mother is a low-level city employee and the father a crooked and powerful local city politician who hired Conroy to keep the affair and baby out of the press, he is determined to do the right thing. He reports Conroy’s unethical conduct. In response, Conroy goes about doing everything in his power to destroy Archer’s credibility and silence him by blaming him for the botched delivery that left the child brain-damaged.
A lot is going on in this book. Every major character, of which there are many, has backstories and character flaws that bear on the primary plot. Besides the former bent cop, plenty of buried secrets get unearthed, and lots of dirty big city politics are involved. It’s a deep dive into the gritty underbelly of the urban jungle. There are multiple points of view and several subplots that the author weaves into this dark, gritty tale.
With multiple forces of evil arrayed against him, it doesn’t seem as if Archer stands a chance of surviving the salvos of personal attacks even if he manages to escape with his life.
I really liked this book because Flanagan touches so realistically on the very sort of political sleaze and media dishonesty that is so much in evidence today at almost every level in the country. Some of it reads almost as if it were ripped from recent headlines and serves as a sad reminder of how modern society and culture today seems to be coming apart at the seams because of shady, power-grabbing politicians and a corrupt media that readily distort the truth to make a fast buck and to promote its own social agenda.
Despite the multiple story lines and numerous major characters, Flanagan’s plotting chops keep the reader on track and free of confusion. I found it an intriguing read with plenty of suspense and surprising twists that kept me turning the pages until the very end. I recommend Every Hidden Thing to those who enjoy suspenseful thrillers, especially when such novels offer something more than the usual thriller story lines and plots.
I received an advance review copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley used for this review, representing my own unbiased opinion.