He’s been looking in the windows again. Messing with cameras. Leaving notes.
Supposed to be a refuge. But death got inside.
When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police decide it’s an open-and-shut case. A standard-issue female suicide.
But the residents of Widringham women’s refuge where Katie worked don’t agree. They say it’s murder.
Will you listen to them?
Keeper is a powerful, brilliantly written story spanning various important topics, most prominently domestic violence, with engaging and, unfortunately, realistic characters that kept me completely engrossed.
Though this is a book seemingly about an investigation into a woman’s apparent suicide, and we follow two detectives as they look into it, it’s so much more than that. It’s a deep character study into Katie, following her ‘then’ many months ago, as we see what led up to the incidences of ‘now’, a plot which features various other characters including DC Whitworth, DC Brook and the other women staying at the women’s refuge that Katie works at. These two narrative timelines slowly build and entwine as we learn more about her character and exactly why Katie ended up where she did.
The inclusion of the two male police detectives is so brilliant at subtly demonstrating the casual sexism present among many men, some of whom are, unfortunately, also in the police force in a position of power. However these characters aren’t ‘all bad’; you can see they do care but their attitudes towards Val, for example, reveal a lot.
I loved the slow reveal of details throughout Keeper, and there’s a real shock at the end which left me completely surprised and I’m still reeling from now. It’s not a typical ‘thriller’ or police procedural as such but instead gives such an intriguing, heart- wrenching insight into the insidious way domestic violence can sneak into a relationship – we see so many different women at the refuge Katie works at trying to deal with their pasts, but most interesting of all is Katie’s life, which we start to unpick as the novel goes on.
Keeper is a skilfully plotted novel with just the right amount of information revealed at the end to avoid everything feeling ‘tied up’ too perfectly for me – this felt far more realistic and left me wishing I could read more. It’s not action-packed but I devoured every page and thought about it long after finishing. It really struck a chord with me – definitely recommended.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.