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Jeremy Hart a senior prosecutor in the LA District Attorney’s office is a young widower whose grief counselor sends him to a charity party to jump start his social life At the party he meets Claire a young married woman with two small children who is trapped in a loveless marriage to Peter a very wealthy and abusive man When a courtship develops between Jeremy and Claire Claire’s violent husband Peter discovers the affair After a brutal beating Claire confides to Jeremy that she believes that Peter is planning on taking her life When Claire’s husband is found shot to death in the driveway of his home detective Ulysses S Gibson and his partner Jennifer Donahue are called to investigate the murder For the prosecutor the crime is an easy conviction when all the leads of the investigation point to JeremyFor detectives Gibson and Donahue nothing is so obvious How are these individuals connected? And what of the death of Jeremy’s wife Elizabeth years go? Gibson and Donahue keep the scales of justice in balance as they discover everyone’s ‘Hidden Agenda’

10 thoughts on “Hidden Agenda

  1. says:

    This is the kind of book that will make you yell at anyone who interrupts your reading A roller coaster ride is almost an understatement I thought I had figured it all outnope So glad there's another book by Berman

  2. says:

    This book was given to my by the publisher for the purpose of an honest reviewWould I read it again YesPlot very well executed concise and to the pointCharacters intriguing uniue and mysteriousMovie Potential ★★★★★Ease of reading Simple to the point and very easy to followWell I have to say I was a little wary of this book It sounded fabulous but I was a little worried about how far the writer would take the domestic abuse stuff Turns out I shouldn’t have worried too much But fair warning I will use copious amounts of capital letters and exclamation marks in this review Why? Because it needs them Because this book is outrageously clever witty charming and like one of those mysterious men you read about in romance novels You have no clue how to work them out but you like it And they are full of surprisesThe book is definitely an 18 over kind of book but you miss out the worst things and feel only mildly disturbed through parts However unlike how other books would put me off with this the story is so intricately woven the bad parts hinted at often than shown and when they are shown they’re spread out and far enough apart that you’re not bombarded with the violence The story handles the worst subjects very well and you never really feel overwhelmed by anything going onI have to say the first chapter or two are definitely the worse If you can get through them you are fine Not because they’re terrible no but because they show the worst of the violence and it is one of those things that just makes your skin crawlThere are very few bad things about this book What little errors spelling or repeated words there are in this 414 page book are few and far between They do not interfere with the reading of the story and look to me like left overs from previous edits I know because I do it myselfMy first thoughts on reading the first few chapters was that this book is like watching a train wreck You don’t want to see what’s going on you don’t want to know any but you just can’t tear yourself away and stop looking That’s this book And let me just say that I devoured it over two days I probably would have only taken 1 except I had previous commitmentsIt’s intriguing beguiling and I was suspicious about everyone until the very end No one seemed to be who you start of thinking they are The second thought I had was when it was creeping onto one in the morning and I hadn’t put it down yet This book is engaging and you can’t put it down for a second because you don’t know what’s going to happen next AND YOU NEED TO KNOW It’s that kind of book It’s like you say to yourself ‘Just one chapterI have to know what’s going on’ And then you get to the end of the chapter and it’s a total GOGGLE moment where you sit there and think ‘That didn’t actually happen’And you think you’re a real idiot because nothing spectacular or monumental happened but it’s the little things in this book that get you The confusing conversations that make you feel like you missed something important The hints of something going on in the background that you’re not getting to seeAt first I thought the skipping of six weeks or a few days was nothing I’ve done it myself in a story when there’s nothing really going on in that time that needs excessive explanation so you just jump ahead to the important part Then you begin to think what were they talking about in those six weeks those two days? What did they do? What were they planning? What happened?I think I started off reading the book suspicious about the wife Clare and the husband Peter They were both a little ‘off’ for me Not uite normal strange and a little difficult to figure out Jeremy seemed straightforward and simple Then the I read the I began to wonder and think Who is what they seem to be? Apparently only Peter or at least that’s what I thought In fact I was right Peter is the only character in the book that doesn’t surprise youAnd I better say it now because it will come out in the end I am in love with Jeremy Yes I said it It’s true He’s smart charming witty he’s all the things this book is and And if you read it you’ll know why He’s certainly the smartest man I’ve ever read about in a novelWhat irritated me?One thing One tiny little thing I’m a major fan of anything crime related I studied forensics and first officer on the scene and everything I watch all the crime shows movies and read all the books This book has me second guessing myself That is really unusual I’m one of those who after the first five minutes of a crime TV show usually knows who did it Not here Trust me it doesn’t sound like a big deal but it is I was 100 pages into this book and ready to tear my hair out because I had no idea what was going on The same for 200 and 300 pages It was only at the end when I was done that certain suspicions I had were confirmed And I might have had the gist of what I thought happened in my head but I NO WAY saw the full story That was a total shockThe start the middle the end This whole book was fabulous I want to read it again to make sure that I didn’t miss anything and to see if I could tell knowing the ending what the story was from reading it over again But I doubt it It’s just one of those that jumps out at you from nowhere and you’re left saying to yourself NO FRICKIN’ WAYYou have to read this book You have to go right now away from this page and order this book When it comes ditch everything else hide yourself away for 24 hours and READ THIS BOOK

  3. says:

    This first book in the Tales from the Robbery Homicide Division by Peter S Berman was a most intense and thrilling detective story And just when you think you have it all figured out the author throws in one hell of a surprise for the reader to digest The characters were distinct and of course there was the bad guy and the good guy and the really bad guy all of which led to a suspenseful trial The story flowed freely and smoothly even with all its twists and turns I have already started reading the second book in the series This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Hidden Gems Books

  4. says:

    'Hidden Agenda' by Peter S Berman is an amazing five star crime thrillercourtroom drama novel It keeps the reader engaged with plenty of dialogue brilliant characters and most importantly a dramatic storyline Hidden Agenda is separated into four sections books beginning as a crime thriller taking the reader right into the thick of a courtroom drama as it builds it's way with many twists and turns into the concluding fourth sectionAfter losing his wife in an accident a few years before Jeremy Hart a senior prosecutor in the LA District Attorney's office is encouraged by his counselor to try socialising again She offers him a ticket for a charitable event where he first meets Claire Carleton Ex model Claire is trapped in a loveless marriage to a wealthy and powerful man Peter Carleton who is also very abusive and possessive towards her Love blossoms between Claire and Jeremy and they wind up in an affair that neither one wants to walk away from However with Peter always looking over her shoulder it is difficult for Claire and Jeremy to meet up After messaging to each other over the internet Peter's suspicions of an affair are proven when he catches Claire sitting as her computer as a message from Hart pops up Peter goes on to violently attack Claire and threaten her life – either that or she could lose her two daughters if Peter was to take them to Brazil with him Leaving her with no options Claire is trapped and reveals all to JeremyLater Peter's body is found on the driveway of his home where he has been shot to death It is then up to the detectives Gibson and Donahue to establish the motive the opportunity and the culprit Jeremy Hart is suspect no1 and as the evidence points to him it is not long before a trial begins However as uestions are raised Gibson and Donahue continue to investigate behind the scenes to find out the truth of Peter's murderHidden Agenda is beautifully woven together and is written in such a way that it is easy for the reader to follow and yet produces an engrossing story The first section Book 1 of Hidden Agenda introduces the readers to Jeremy Hart and Claire Carleton as the reader follows Jeremy's story getting to know the main characters involved Book 2 focuses on detectives Gibson and Donahue as well as the main investigation where we are made aware of the evidence This takes us to Book 3 concentrating on the courtroom drama of the trial with lawyers Brunon and Kelly and then finally we reach the concluding section Book 4As a reader I really enjoyed that Hidden Agenda keeps to the one crime continuously and is written and broken down in order It keeps the reader engaged and interested as well as opens up your eyes for those who are not too familiar of the courtroom system I really enjoyed reading this style of writing Even during the trial scenes Donahue and Gibson were still working and uestioning certain areas of the case behind the scenes which constantly keeps the story moving forward and the reader hoping that they find out the answers to all of their uestionsOne of my favourite pieces of writing in this book is when Berman describes the sun setting as Hart is about to visit his colleague John Taylor At this point Hart is at a loss as to what to do regarding the beating that Claire has taken from her husband Peter“It was just after 600pm The sun had set in a crystal clear sky and the city far below him was a twinkling sea of lights blanketing the horizon like so many stars in the Milky Way”These lines create a beautiful and moody atmosphere for the reader and I personally drowned in these words as I felt the dilemma that Hart was in I found myself being a little sympathetic for Hart's character when he becomes emotional when speaking with his attorney Brunon After being locked up awaiting for his trial Hart is growing weary and was a shadow of a man in comparison to earlier on the book However this was mentioned subtly but still had an impact on me This certainly helped keep the character Hart aliveMy overall favourite section of Hidden Agenda was Book 2 where the reader is introduced to detectives Gibson and Donahue Gibson is a family man with a loving wife He is used to working alone but on this particular case he is asked to work with female detective Donahue Donahue is a feminine but strong and level headed woman Gibson and Donahue work really great together and whilst keeping a great sense of professionalism there is also a nice friendship that grows between them The reader really gets a sense that Gibson admires and respects Donahue to the point where he considers working with her on a permanent level Considering that Gibson was always used to working alone this would be uite a change for himFor the characters alone especially 'Gibby' and Donahue I would love to read another story by Peter S Berman I can only hope that he will create another great crime novel with these fantastic detectives in The crime in Hidden Agenda is laid out well for the reader and this style of writing is so easy to follow and yet constantly keeps the reader interested and guessing the outcome If you like a great crime thriller you will not be disappointed with Hidden AgendaFor the purpose of an honest and fair review A Reader's Review Blog received Hidden Agenda gratefully from BookHub publishing

  5. says:

    Hidden Agenda by Peter S Berman a Review Jeremy Hart Senior Prosecutor for the California DA’s office based in Los Angeles appears to have it all – the life one would dream of – a good paying high ranking position in the State Government the semi luxurious lifestyle and freedom However it is all a façade yes he has the job the car the house in a gated community but his life is missing something – a widower of two years he feels empty – his life without his ‘Lizzie’ is lacking the “shine” so to speak Without her he feels there’s a hole in his heart – one he is unsure anyone can fillthat is until his therapist Dr Shari Bauer gives him a ticket to a black tied fundraiser for the hospital in hopes that he will at least be open to the possibility of meeting new people Claire Carleton former model who definitely has the LA Lifestyle you only read about in magazines the money the luxury a husband and two perfect children But like Jeremy’s life and something you then turn around and read about in a book or even worst a newspaper obit her life is not what it seems Claire’s a prisoner in her own life her husband Peter Carlton is an abuser violent controlling and extremely jealous On the night of the benefit Dr Bauer gave Jeremy a ticket to he meets Claire – at first it’s just a dance then a conversation which then turns into an affair Eventually Peter finds out about the affair and ‘punishes’ Claire in his own violent manner Claire then reveals to Jeremy that she believes Peter is planning on killing her on a ‘vacation’ he’s planning On the same night she makes this revelation Peter turns up murdered in his own drivewaynow it’s up to the LAPD’s best of the best Ulysseus “Gibby” Gibson and his partner Jennifer Donohue to figure out the why what and most importantly the Who of the situation Just as they think they have everything figure out the case gets turned on its head Who really committed the murder? Is someone else being framed? And how does this case intersect with Lizzie’s death two years prior? It seems every player has their own Hidden AgendaA very intriguing read Peter Berman pulls you in from the word “Go” And yet he never truly reveals everything all at once – he instead chooses to hint at how everything will play out until the last several chapters of the book when the uestion of how does everything intersect is finally answered Even then not all of the uestions the reader has will be answered I have to say outside of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series I have not read many mystery novels yet I was pulled in immediately and did my best not to ‘see the trees for the woods’ – I tried instead to read between the lines however the twists and turns this story took me on kept interrupting my line of thought which then caused me to re think where I was going with it And that is why I was so intrigued by the book in fact so much so that I could not put it down – I just had to know how it was going to play outThe only downside I saw was not getting all of my uestions answered The story did slow at times causing me to get lost in the technical details of the investigation and the brainstorming sessions Gibby and Jen would have – but otherwise the author pulled me back in and the pace of the story picked right back up again I highly suggest setting aside a large block of time to read Hidden Agenda you will need it

  6. says:

    This book reviewed by Michelle Randall for Reader's FavoriteA year after his wife's death Jeremy Hart from the DA's office is attending a fund raising gala at the advice of his therapist She wants him to talk to at least two single women when he spots Claire Carlton he is smitten after an innocent dance he finds she is married and she will later pay the price at the hands of her husband for the dance Hidden Agenda follows Claire and Jeremy as they talk becoming friends and then lovers Claire wants to leave her husband but Peter is not a man you walk away from so they talk about it but you can tell it will never happen One night Peter is shot in his driveway and Jeremy is arrested for the murder but did he do it? Or is he being framed? Author Peter S Berman introduces us then to Ulysses and Jennifer the Detectives on the case and what they find or don't find All the while there are side vignettes of a stranger that is attacking women How does that tie into this investigation?Peter S Berman does a wonderful job breaking the book in three main sections one about each duo of characters as it might be and telling what is happening from their perspectives The beginning of the story is all about Claire and Jeremy the middle is all about Ulysses and Jennifer and the last about another Hidden Agenda is aptly named in that one way as there is than one hidden agenda going on in the book As you go through reading you find so many people doing things just under the surface to right a wrong that the system failed them on in the past Now that is not an endorsement of doling out justice but it makes an amazing and captivating story for all readers

  7. says:

    Serial sex offenders adulterers and murderers oh my Peter Berman's Hidden Agenda has it all This multi layered whodunit is initially a somewhat slow read but as it gets going much like a locomotive it's hard to stopReminiscent of early John Grisham's works Berman introduces us to the likeable Jeremy Hart Head Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County who also happens to be a grief stricken widower At his therapist's suggestion he attends a fundraiser where he meets the beautiful Claire Carleton with whom he feels an immediate connection There is only one problem Peter Carleton Claire's husbandThe story is subtle gradually building in intensity leaving the reader wondering how our intrepid DA is going to extricate himself from a very difficult situation This story was provided to the reviewer for the purposes of a fair and impartial review For the full review and see Penny Dreadful Books and Reviews

  8. says:

    As an avid crime fiction reader I have to admit that I was immediately drawn into the story The plot makes you want to continue without interruptions Hart Gibson and Donahue are characters you can easily become familiar withThe cleverly elaborated plot steers the readers through different stages of sympathies and antipathies; the desire to shake one’s head as well as to giving the thumbs up on certain occasionsExplaining insights might lead to spoilers Therefore just note this A must read for all crime fansI definitely consider “Hidden Agenda” as movie material