Friday, March 6, 2020

Mini-Review: The Keeper

The Keeper
Jessica Moor
Expected publication date: March 10, 2020
An addictive literary thriller about a crime as shocking as it is commonplace

When Katie Straw's body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they're running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder.

Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case--until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn't who she appeared. Weaving together the investigation with Katie's final months as it barrels toward the truth, The Keeper is a riveting mystery and a searing examination of violence against women and the structures that allow it to continue, marking the debut of an incredible new voice in crime fiction. - from Goodreads
I received this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways.

Told in alternating "then" and "now" chapters, The Keeper tells the story of Katie Straw, a woman found drowned in a river, as the police try to determine if she committed suicide or was murdered.  I wouldn't characterize this one as a thriller; there's definitely not a lot of action, especially in the "now" chapters.  The police kind of go back and forth on their theories, but there doesn't seem to be any real urgency.  The "then" chapters captured my interest more, as we follow Katie through the last months of her life.  As a warning, this book heavily features domestic violence and abuse.  It's not terribly graphic, but it's definitely there.  Moor did a great job detailing the many types of abuse - physical, mental, emotional.  In addition to Katie's story, we are also introduced to several women at the domestic violence shelter where she worked.  I did think many of the characters were not well-drawn.  They often felt one-dimensional with harsh edges, and then there's Detective Whitworth, who was so obtuse and clueless.  He was constantly saying the wrong thing, especially to women.  The writing was good and kept me interested, although there were a couple areas where the author incorporated a different writing style that I felt didn't work with the story and just left me confused.  A big twist near the end helped save the book for me a little and was definitely something I never saw coming.

3 stars

16 comments:

  1. Hm, this one sounds kind of middle of the road. The synopsis seems like it would be this fascinating, fast-paced thriller but the execution didn’t really deliver that.

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    1. Yeah, I think categorizing it as a thriller was a misstep.

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  2. Too bad it seems to be a so-so book. The lack of action sounds like it would be frustrating for me. Especially in a thriller.

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    1. Exactly. I think thriller is not the correct genre.

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  3. It’s always great when the ending is really good especially if the book kinda meh. Great review!

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  4. I appreciate your thoughtful review of this one, Angela. It sounds like it held a lot of promise and didn’t deliver.

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  5. Congrats on winning a Goodreads Giveaway! It always feels a little like winning the lottery, right?? ;) I don't think this one would work for me, since suspense isn't my go-to, but it seems like you had other issues with it as well. Bummer! At least it was still able to surprise you.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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  6. Glad to hear the ending saved the book somewhat for you. That's a shame that the characters weren't well drawn. How well developed the characters are is almost always what makes or breaks a book for me.

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    1. Exactly - here they all kind of felt too similar.

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  7. I'm sorry this wasn't as good as you'd hoped. It's even worse when the premise is so darn good!

    Great review.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!