The Hidden Book

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Released August 13, 2024

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The Hidden Book

From bestselling author Kirsty Manning comes a stunning novel based on a true story of clandestine courage in World War II as prisoners of war risk their lives to secure evidence of Nazi atrocities–and how one man concealed it for decades before passing it on to his family who struggle to understand their inherited legacy of trauma.

Austria, 1940s: Yugoslavian Nico Antonov is just one of more than 200,000 people imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp near the Danube River. Malnourished and forced into hard labor in a quarry, he still defies his captors any way he can. When fate brings him into contact with Lena Lang, a young woman living with her family in fear of their Nazi occupiers, he finds an ally.

SS officers have charged Spanish POW and photographer Mateo Baca with recording the events and prisoners of Mauthausen and to make five copies of the collected photo book for the Third Reich’s leaders. But Mateo also creates a sixth book to be smuggled out of the camp–where Nico entrusts Lena to hide it and protect their secret.

Australia, 1980s to present day: When teenager Hannah Campbell discovers her grandfather Nico’s mysterious photo album, filled with horrific visions of suffering and cruelty, the barbarities of World War II no longer feel like ancient history. Haunted by the images for years, as a university student and a married young mother, she pursues the truth behind her grandfather’s incarceration. As Hannah experiences love and loss in her own life, she comes to understand how the photos not only capture history but reflect a shared humanity that must never be forgotten.

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