I have read all of Wilkie Collins's major works (The Woman in White, The Moonstone, No Name, Armadale) and a couple of his minor works (Basil, The Dead Secret). Hide and Seek was written before Wilkie Collins made a name for himself as a 'sensation novelist'. Unfortunately whereas Basil, another early novel, showed the promise of Collins's later years, Hide and Seek does him no justice.
Hide and Seek is a melodramatic story of a young deaf and dumb girl of illegitimate birth (..a big no-no in Victorian society) who, through much trauma, finds herself adopted by a kind middle-aged couple (..adding to the melodrama, the adoptive mother is handicapped). Not wanting to cause a scandal, the adoptive parents try to pass the girl as their natural daughter. However a stranger from the girl's distant past makes a sudden appearance and ... you can guess the rest.
Wilkie Collins often uses rather contrived elements in his stories. Often times they are not central to the theme, and so one can forgive the author for resorting to 'cheap tricks'. However in Hide and Seek Wilkie Collins goes WAY overboard with not one, but two 'one in a billion' coincidences which directly affects the plot. This ruined the book for me.
But otherwise Wilkie Collins does write in a pleasent, fluid style. His stories are readable without being too weighed-down with literary excess. He wrote literature (versus popular fiction) for the masses. So Hike and Seek might be a pleasent diversion for Wilkie Collins fans. For all others I strongly advise reading any one of his famous works (listed above) to see Mr. Collins at his finest.