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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.6 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Pure Brilliance

    Katie Straw works in a shelter for domestic violence but when her body is found in the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are preparing to write her death off as a female suicide. However, the residents of the shelter have other ideas - they believe it was murder. Even so, DS Dan Whitworth and his team still deem it to be a straightforward case of suicide - until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn't who she appeared. In a compelling story that seamlessly moves back and forth in time, Katie's life is gradually exposed. It tells of her involvement with a gracious and affable young man named Jamie and his volatile, controlling, and manipulative behaviour that reduces her to a petrified mess of a woman, with all possibilities of support severed. The Keeper is a superb, hard-hitting, powerful, début literary thriller with a feminist edge. Jessica Moor doesn't pull any punches when it comes to describing the horrific and harrowing abuse. Indeed there are parts of The Keeper that are exceptionally difficult to read due to its core subject. The plot is very well constructed, and there is originality in the author's writing which deserves particular mention. Overall, The Keeper is an excellent début and I believe a Jessica Moor is a writer with monumental potential. This book should make many top reads of 2020 lists. I'm already looking forward to seeing what Jessica Moor has in store for me next time. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Penguin Books UK/ Viking via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • Interesting

    Well written and makes you want to keep turning the page. Surprise twist

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  • A powerful read

    When Katie Straw’s body is washed ashore, all signs point to a probable suicide. But when her ID is checked, her name isn’t in any of the databases and the case gets a lot more complicated for the police. There’s no doubt that Keeper is a powerful read. The book is split into ‘Before’ chapters which detail Katie’s abusive relationship with boyfriend Jamie and the ‘After’ chapters which follow Detectives Whitworth and Brook try to investigate her apparent suicide. The Before chapters are a hard read – the portrayal of the slow burn of the dark side of the relationship is relatable and realistic. The After chapters are slightly more frustrating– the Detectives are old school and their opinions of women and feminism are hard to read. This is probably quite a realistic portrayal of some older members of the police force but as these chapters are mainly from their perspective it feels odd not to really have anyone to side with. The After chapters are also occasionally narrated from side characters from the women’s refuge, which also make for hard hitting reads, however these characters aren’t really very vital to the main story so you come away not really feeling like they had an impact on the book as a whole. I did very much enjoy (not quite the right word!) the ending to the story which holds a great twist. I think without this narrative choice I would have perhaps rated the book at a solid three stars but the last section of the book jumped it up to a 4 star read for me. It’s a book that very much feels bleak and helpless at times and isn’t a very satisfying read but I do feel it throws up very important points about how women are treated, both by loved ones in their own home and by the police and those tasked with protecting them. Overall Keeper is a bleak read, but an important one. Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin Books UK – Viking for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Challenging read

    This is an uncomfortable book to read as it’s about such a difficult subject however the different viewpoints telling the story and the now and then narration works extremely well. It’s not easy to like any of the characters in the book, you can feel sympathetic to some but they all have awkward ways which make it - thankfully in some cases - difficult to relate to. The twist was a real sting in the tale and left you wanting to yell at some characters well after finishing reading. This is a much needed contemporary tale and worth the challenging read.

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  • Keeper

    Excellent read. Kept me guessing until the end.

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