It's Friday, which brings up an age-old question for me: what to read over the weekend? It's too bad I've already finished Tobias Hill's excellent book, The Hidden: a stirring, literary thriller that takes place during an archaeological dig in modern-day Sparta. Ben Mercer is a student at Oxford, who leaves behind a failed marriage and baby daughter to travel to Greece in the hopes of escaping himself. What he finds insteadis a high-risk dig where the archaeological team has as many secrets as the ancient Spartans who they idolize. Hill deftly draws some fantastic, compelling characters--the brutal and mercenary intellectual, Eberhard, or the beautiful and ambivalent Natsuko. Adding to the interest of the book is its structure--the main plot is interspliced with fascinating notes on the history of Sparta.
The Hidden is a rare find, with searing writing and a plot to match. One of my favorite authors, A.S. Byatt, has said that Hill is “one of the two or three most original and interesting young novelists working in Britain today. . . . There is no other voice today quite like his.” Look out for The Hidden when it hits shelves on October 13th.