Clive Menard was leading a dull uneventful life. He wasn’t unhappy but he wasn’t passionate about anything either. He was just going through the motions. His whole life changes though when he goes Kayaking with his friend Morgan and discovers a giant spider nest. Since that fateful day Clive got a new unwanted roommate in his head. He named the spider Chester and even a lobotomy couldn’t get rid of him. It’s not all bad though, Chester is making Clive’s life better, but at what cost?
Chester helps Clive get the girl he always wanted and a promotion at work but then things get a little weird. There is also to be a killer stalking the neighborhood, a mad bomber on the loose and the person sharing Clive’s apartment is wanted by the police. Could all these events be connected and where did this talking spider come from? Clive has to decide if he can overlook all the things happening around him in order to keep his new improved life.
What Hides Within by Jason Parent is a murder mystery , a horror novel and a study on how people will act when their morals get challenged. We know early on that Chester has an agenda but he promises to make things better for Clive if he cooperates. Clive doesn’t necessarily like Chester but he sees the benefits to having him. One thing Chester brings to Clive is a passion for life that he has never had before. Clive’s new passion also has a big effect on Morgan who has always loved Clive, but now she can’t bear to be away from him.
. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Chester says he has to leave Clive’s skull for a while causing Clive to break down and say he is nothing without her(Yes Chester is a girl). Clive knows that Chester has changed everything and he is willing to overlook certain things but soon he has to make a decision. Chester is faced with whether he wants to be responsible and take care of his young niece and work his better job or do Chester’s bidding. This book is all about choices, are you willing to sacrifice your morals and free will to get what you’ve always dreamed of?
What Hides Within is a good book that is well worth your time, but it does have its flaws. I found that I didn’t care about the mad bomber or the killer on the loose. There is no good explanation on why the killer did what he did except to add a little to the mystery surrounding the bomber. What I was really interested in was the relationship between Chester and Clive, so the parts that didn’t include the two of them together fell flat for me. That being said there was one great scene where Chester on his own goes to kill one of Clive’s rivals that ends up being the most suspenseful part of the book. What Hides Within has more good parts then bad. It also has some funny moments such as when Chester informs Clive on what Clive did when he got drunk and passed out at a party. I’ll be looking forward to reading more books by Jason Parent in the future.