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November 6, 2020

No Place to Hide by Opa Hysea Wise ~ a Review

by MK French


Smythe Windwalker Daniels has been compromised, and there are credible threats to her life. She accepts the FBI’s protection, hoping to testify and bring justice, as well as meaning to her life on the run.
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No Place to Hide
Nov. 2020; Made For Success Publishing
978-1641464772; audio, ebook, print (300 pages)
women's ficton
No Place to Hide
takes place in Hawaii, so many features of native life are mentioned and discussed. Smythe's history is given upfront as soon as we meet her and she contemplates quitting her job. When she does, she's in the wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing a murder. Involvement with the FBI brings up past times she or indigenous family members were racially profiled by police and authority figures. Smythe is biracial, which means she has microaggressions coming from all sides of her heritage and doesn't trust authority. While the reader gets all this backstory, the agent sees it as willful obstinate and wanting to make her life miserable. We get more info-dumping on the agent and her friend, which really slows the pacing in the beginning of the book.

There are interesting characters in the book, such as the philosophical baker Joao. I enjoyed the time spent showing the characters getting to know each other and appreciating each others' strengths. Initially, there were a lot of choppy sentences, and some errors jumped out at me; "wha-la" instead of voila is a huge one that threw me right out of the narrative, for example. Some of the conversations feel a bit stilted at times, particularly when there's exposition. Smythe is trying to find her place in the world, but the philosophical discussions come across as heavy-handed at times. I don't know how long it takes to get a case going to the courts, but it seems like an incredibly long time over the course of the book.

In addition to philosophy, there are discussions about childhood abuse, mental illness, and religion; the discussions make up the bulk of the book, with short bursts of action in between. I had expected this to be a thriller, but this novel is more about relationships and conversations. Mindfulness exercises and meditation are described in detail, as well as Smythe's concern for her business and conferences to learn coaching techniques. If you have any curiosity regarding life as a success coach, this will give you an idea of how it works.

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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