The Hidden

A fun code-breaking adventure in the Central Library of Edinburgh

The Hidden

Daisy Sinclair went missing three weeks ago, and she had been researching something. Something important. She left a message; follow the clues, and discover why she disappeared.

Splitting into groups, we quickly crack our first clue and start searching the library for the books Daisy has hidden messages inside. We find books on espionage, Alan Turing, computers and data collection, with scribbled notes and highlights inside. Pushing aside the slight pain of seeing a book defaced, we try to piece together her disturbing annotations, obvious fear, and various clues that each add layer after layer to the mystery.

The whole group comes back together towards the end to share what we’ve all discovered. There are ghosts and parallel universes, insects and neuroscience, frequencies and temperatures, pictures and postcards, and the more we discuss and debate, the more complex it becomes. It’s a delicious conundrum that I cannot wait to finally crack.

My only criticism is something of a spoiler, so if you don't want to know, stop reading now!


The conclusion is unbelievably dissatisfying. It isn’t a conclusion at all, really. Maybe I’m too obsessed with the puzzle side of it, but I want an answer! The one you get is so frustrating, and lots of clues are just left hanging, with seemingly no meaning at all. The message you’re meant to take away - to always do your own research, and never stop questioning - is a good one, but I think letting that be the conclusion on its own lets down the whole experience. I leave feeling disappointed and dissatisfied, and I’m still itching to find the real answer, even though there isn’t one.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place until August 27th. For information and to see events, see the EdBookFest website.


Sam Nead

Sam Nead Contributor

I am a 19 year old student who loves reading, writing and all things theatre-related. I am studying Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at Birmingham University and I'm trying to write a novel, but not doing very well at it!

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