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Literature / Hidden Bodies

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Things have been rough for Joe Goldberg since he murdered his girlfriend.

Having killed Beck at the end of You, Joe meets a nice girl — Amy. Well, at least he thinks she's nice. When she ends up robbing his book store and fleeing across country to Los Angeles, Joe's not willing to let her go. Joe wants revenge.

But his plans are thrown off when he meets Love Quinn, a beautiful widow and scion of the ridiculously wealthy Quinn family. Joe being Joe, he immediately falls head over heels for Love, and she seems to feel the same way about him.

But Joe being Joe, there are, of course, complications. Love's brother Forty is...well, he's just terrible — a vainglorious drug addict with Hollywood ambitions that far exceed his exceptionally limited talents. And then there's Robin Fincher, an LAPD cop who moonlights as "security" for movie stars and thinks he's more of a friend to them than he truly is.

Things are never simple with Joe Goldberg, after all. But Joe wants love, and he wants Love. And he's willing to do just about anything to get what he wants.

Followed by a sequel of its own, You Love Me. Adapted as the second season of Netflix's series based on the books.

This Book Contains Examples Of:

  • Adult Child: Despite being 35, Forty is an immature, loutish pervert who makes a fool of himself wherever he goes. His trip through the casino with Joe near the end of the novel is so cringeworthy that even Joe can barely stomach being around someone so embarrassing.
  • Almost Famous Name: As she cameoed in You, Joe's new girlfriend Amy Adam.
  • Asshole Victim: Forty is utterly repulsive both physically and emotionally, and zero tears are shed by readers once he dies.
  • Babies Ever After: What the ending promises for Love and Joe.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: In case the book didn't drive home enough that Forty is a terrible person, Love recounts that, as children, he had been so jealous about their puppy preferring Love that Forty stole it away, tied it up with a muzzle, and forced it to starve to death. Forty himself can hardly remember the incident and claims their parents gave it away.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The book ends with Joe's Contrived Coincidence pileup finally collapsing underneath him as a competent cop links him to both Peach and Beck's murders. Though he suspects that Love's assistance and familial money will get him out of trouble, he's left with the possibility of time in prison. The sequel proves that he serves no time, however.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Joe asks "what's wrong with the world?" after he buys supplies to tie up and murder Amy and a girl asks him if he's a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: Joe spends most of the book hanging around with the fabulously wealthy Quinn family. The wealth disparity is a significant issue.
  • Cheated Death, Died Anyway: Forty survives Joe's attempts on his life, but dies after a random tourist hits him with her car while he's crossing the street.
  • Chick Magnet: As usual, Joe has zero problems finding women, whether it be Tinder hookups, rich girlfriends, or obsessive neighbors.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Delilah sticks to Joe quickly and even begins stalking his whereabouts, tries to get him to meet her mother within essentially days of knowing him, and texts him incessantly when he's not available. It's implied she's done this to multiple other people in the apartment complex, hence her nickname "Don't Fuck Delilah."
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • When blackmailing Joe to write scripts for him, Forty is hit by a car and killed — and it had nothing to do with Joe.
    • Joe manages to guess how Love would've alibied him when he's being interrogated by the police at the end of the book.
  • Country Matters: In a change from the first book, Joe uses the C-word to describe any woman he dislikes. Amy is the biggest target.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Joe murders Henderson not only in pursuit of Amy, but also jealousy that he had apparently hooked up with her and had been told that Joe was a terrible lover, even though Henderson admits it was all a lie and Amy had apparently called him one of her best partners. Moreover, his relationship with Amy only collapsed because he couldn't stop being jealous and suspicious, and chose to go through her phone because he felt entitled to secretly do so, even though he would never accept reciprocated expectations. Joe also plots to kill Milo for no other reason than him casting himself as Love's romantic interest in a film project and writing a blowjob scene, though he doesn't go through with it.
  • Deus ex Machina: As in the first book, Joe's murderous tendencies are helped by the fact that most of his victims are incredibly stupid and self-involved, and luck always works exactly in his favor. Even in the end, after he's finally arrested for his crimes, he manages to simply guess Love's alibi and worm his way out of suspicion.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Played with, since Joe is a Villain Protagonist. Despite the fact that he had pretty cleanly covered his tracks in the first novel, the sequel finds his past catching up to him — but mostly because multiple anonymous tips push the authorities in the right direction, despite some coming completely out of nowhere. This is averted for his arrest, which comes as a result of a cop putting genuinely good policework together to nail him for the crimes.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Joe still treats Roy as if he's a good father and person, and Love treats it as a joke, that fifteen year old Forty was molested by a masseuse on his father's suggestion — though Joe is nevertheless somewhat disconcerted at it.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Joe draws the line at jokes about child abuse, possibly because of the insinuations of his own lonesome, loveless childhood that were brought up in the first book. He also isn't amused when Forty suggests luring a high school girl to join them after leering at her, and is actually relieved that the oblivious girl escapes unscathed.
  • Functional Addict: Forty is, generally speaking, a broadly functional addict, able to make his way through the world despite his addictions. He does occasionally slip into being an Addled Addict.
  • He Knows Too Much: Joe kills Delilah after she not only discovers his murder kit, but quickly puts the facts together.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Milo is one of Love's childhood friends and is clearly carrying a torch for her despite dating someone else, which annoys Joe to the point of considering murdering him.
  • Jerkass:
    • Forty is a truly terrible person, to the extent that he even steals credit for Joe's screenplays.
    • Joe encounters multiple relatives of Peach throughout the novel, and they're all as bitterly unpleasant as she was. One is so absurdly classist and disgusted by him that she assumes he can't speak English, then slips him a tip of merely five dollars because she assumes he's poor and starving.
  • Karma Houdini: Joe gets arrested on suspicion of murdering Beck and Peach, as well as possible involvement in Henderson's death, but he's relieved that nobody can pin Fincher's death on him (or Delilah's, for that matter) as killing a cop would completely deplete his chances of freedom.
  • Lack of Empathy: One of Joe's trademarks continues in this novel. Rather than feel pity at Henderson's false front and obvious torch held for his ex-wife, Fincher's pathetic attempts to get noticed by celebrities, or Delilah's hapless feelings, Joe looks at them with no emotion whatsoever except contempt.
  • The Lost Lenore: Though he was the one who killed her and is fairly happy she's dead, Beck is constantly on Joe's mind and informs a lot of his choices on the women he dates.
  • Love at First Sight: Joe believes that he feels this way about Love, but since it's, well, Joe, take it with a grain of salt.
  • Love Makes You Evil: While Joe claims to be ready to give up murder for Love, Love herself is so unbothered by his admissions of murdering Beck and Peach that she willingly becomes his accomplice and helps him cover up Peach's murder.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Joe stages Henderson's death to be an unfortunate casualty of a BDSM orgy.
  • May–December Romance: Love is actually only 35, five years older than Joe, but he can't get over her being the oldest woman he's ever been with and thinks about it often.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Invoked. Joe is repeatedly frustrated by near-misses with Amy after he moves to Los Angeles to track her down.
  • Morality Pet: Love, sort of. Joe becomes so wrapped up in his relationship with her that when he finally encounters Amy again, he lets her go instead of killing her, which was the whole reason he was in Los Angeles in the first place.
  • New Technology Is Evil: Amy is a technology-averse drifter who gets a different phone and number every few months, only pays in cash, and eschews social media. This makes Joe besotted with her, though he's somewhat miffed and disillusioned after she indeed demonstrates everyday computer skills and a shallow interest in acting after she robs him.
  • Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Subverted. Joe is instantly drawn to Love's cotton candy-colored hair, but she's really as conformist as they come.
  • Not Quite Dead: Joe drowns a drug-addled Forty to the point of the latter pissing himself, and departs with the assumption that he's dead. Naturally, he's the only victim that comes back with a vengeance.
  • Parental Issues: Love and Forty both have serious long-term issues with their parents, though the elder Quinns are generally fairly supportive.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Though Love and Forty are close, the pudgy, swinish, selfish, commitment-phobic Forty is nothing like the commitment-chasing, all-loving, boho Love.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Joe hooks up with Delilah after simply assuming that Love was breaking up with him, due to his insecurity and jealousy. It leaves him and Love on the rocks, but they ultimately stay together.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Joe is more politically charged in this novel and repeatedly makes digs against Republicans, though he doesn't particularly enjoy liberals any more during his time in Los Angeles.
  • Stalker with a Crush: These books are basically Stalker With a Crush: The Novels.
  • Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Joe says Forty looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • After getting caught snooping through Joe's belongings and discovering his murder toolkit, Delilah accuses him of killing Henderson as though it's something Joe wants to hear. Joe can't help but ruminate on how stupidly she handled the situation.
    • Officer Fincher totally believes that Megan Fox would not only hire him — a complete nobody — as a bodyguard, but also personally reach out to him directly to invite him to a sensually-charged getaway.