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Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

Clare Sambrook

A compelling, exuberant story of love, loss and survival, Hide & Seek is a startling debut that will make you cry and laugh out loud.

‘The grown-ups held an inquiry into how a child came to disappear, but they didn’t name names like they do when children let grown-ups down. They talked about a catalogue of errors as if mistakes were something that turned up in the post and got paid for at leisure. I had my own ideas … ’

Meet Harry Pickles, aged nine and a bit. Harry is the fastest boy runner in the world (probably), first son of Mo and Pa (the best-looking parents in the school car park), big brother to Daniel (who runs like a girl but is, in his own twerpy way, a star). His life is good. He’s premier league. At least, that’s the way it was before the school trip …

Clare Sambrook
About the Author

Clare Sambrook is a novelist, freelance journalist and a founder of the citizens’ campaign End Child Detention Now. Hide & Seek is her first novel.

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Text publication date:
31 May 2005
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Praise for Clare Sambrook
andHide & Seek

‘Sambrook creates a symphony with one small instrument.’

‘In this there are echoes of Ian McEwan’s A Child in Time, but Hide and Seek touches lightly on a number of reference points. It wears its politics lightly too, so that the effect is both a complex and detailed interior life and a social world that scarcely cares to notice the damage.’

‘This is a great book, a brilliantly written account of what happens to a family after a child goes missing, as seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old…His voice is so thoroughly convincing your own inner nine-year-old comes back to read with you. The result is heartbreaking and funny…wonderful.’

‘This is a well-crafted, sometimes surreal exploration of loss, grief and slow recovery.’

‘This is painful, compelling yet soetimes humorous book…a vivid and brave attempt to bring life to a deeply unsettling subject.’


Hide & Seek doesn’t traffic either in cheap thrills or in fashionable literary effects. By resisting these powerful temptations…Sambrook shows she’s a writer who can be trusted.’