Hidden Bodies is Caroline Kepnes’ sequel to her debut novel, You. I really like You. It is disturbing, addictive, and somehow the main character is both appalling and charming. You shocked me and made me laugh out loud. Hidden Bodies is much of the same, but for me that is also the problem. After the events in You, Joe seems to be happy. He has a new girlfriend named Amy and he is acting normal… for him anyway. However, Amy suddenly leaves him and the revenge driven side of Joe returns. His chase after Amy leads him to the land of fame and fortune- California.
Joe Goldberg is a woman obsessed murder, but in You I found myself almost… rooting for him. Joe is still a very interesting character in Hidden Bodies, but he lost a little of the appeal. He still has an entertaining inner monologue on technology and social situations, but I got tired of hearing his repetitive thoughts. The narcissistic tendencies of his new Californian friends appear to be rubbing off on him. It is harder to find sympathy for Joe in this sequel. Perhaps it shows that his madness is catching up with him or it could be that we’ve already seen all there is to see of Joe.
Hidden Bodies does not feel different enough from You. The plot of Hidden Bodies cycles through the same events. Joe gets distracted from his quest, he gets angry, he does bad things, we are led to believe his is about to get caught, but he doesn’t. Repeat. Fortunately, near the end this cycle changes slightly. And because of the ending I am sure there are going to be more books in this series. Also, I know that in the mystery/thriller genre the belief in coincidence has to be flexible times, but some events and characters’ actions feel a bit too unbelievable.
You is more of the same in a different setting- more of Joe, more of the same situations- if that sounds good, then I would recommend Hidden Bodies. I still enjoy Kepnes’ addictive writing and realistic (and often fun to hate) characters. Though still a good read it does not bring enough new material to the table for my liking.