Hidden Pictures

A Novel

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 10, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.



“I loved it.” –Stephen King

From Edgar Award-finalist Jason Rekulak comes a wildly inventive spin on the supernatural thriller, for fans of Stranger Things and Riley Sager, about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets.

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.

Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.


Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
One Year Later
Copyright Notice

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I’m so glad Will Staehle and Doogie Horner agreed to draw the pictures in this book—long before I had a contract, or a manuscript, or even a clear idea of what the pictures might be. Thanks, guys, for your faith in this project, for the terrific artwork, and for keeping me company during the lockdown.

Dr. Jill Warrington shared valuable insights on addiction, recovery, and prescription painkillers, and her daughter Grace alerted me to some embarrassing first-draft mistakes. Rick Chillot and Steve Hockensmith gave me close reads and good ideas. Nick Okrent helped with fairy tale research. Deirdre Smerillo helped with legal questions. Jane Morley gave me information about distance running. And Ed Milano shared additional perspective on addiction and recovery.

Doug Stewart is a great guy and a fantastic literary agent. He introduced me to Zack Wagman, a terrific editor who suggested many smart ways to improve this book. Thanks also to: Maxine Charles, Keith Hayes, Shelly Perron, Molly Bloom, Donna Noetzel, and everyone at Flatiron Books; Darcy Nicholson at Little Brown UK; Brad Wood and the rest of the Macmillan sales force; Szilvia Molnar, Danielle Bukowski, and Maria Bell at Sterling Lord Literistic; Rich Green and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein at the Gotham Group; Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein; Dylan Clark, Brian Williams, and Lauren Foster at Dylan Clark Productions; and Mandy Beckner and Liya Gao at Netflix.

Above all I am grateful to my family, especially my mother (who worked as a nanny), my son Sam (a cross-country runner), and my daughter Anna (who has been drawing since she could hold a pencil). I couldn’t have written this book without them. Or without my wife, Julie Scott, who has this book’s dedication and all my love. XOXOXO.

On Sale
May 10, 2022
Page Count
384 pages