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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
Hidden Mysteries by Sandra Olson is the eighth book in the James Ford mystery series. A former police officer and now private investigator, James Ford moves into a newly purchased and refurbished house in the country with his family. On an expedition to the accompanying root cellar, his daughter Lily makes a startling discovery. There are blankets piled in one corner of the floor, carefully protecting two sets of human bones. James, his wife Lacey, and the forensic anthropologist of Benton County try to identify the remains. A parallel storyline takes us back to 1838 when the government forced thousands of Cherokees to move from Georgia to the “Indian Territory” designated for them. When these two storylines finally interconnect, the Ford family unearths a forgotten piece of history.
Although a part of a series, Hidden Mysteries can be easily read as a standalone book. Sandra Olson provides background details about the Ford family that lets us glimpse the loving bonds among the family members. Through her masterful writing, Olson compels readers to become a part of this family. The past and the present storylines develop simultaneously at a steady pace, complementing each other. Olson’s thorough research into the Cherokee exodus during the early 1800s makes a heart-wrenching portrayal of the “Trail of Tears” and the countless people who had to undergo this harsh and fatal journey. The ending is satisfying to read. The novel is laced with sorrow yet is sweet and will make readers emotional.