Today dear readers it is my turn on the blog tour for Keeper (Published in paperback 21st Jan 2021) By Jessica Moor. A big thank you to the publishers at Viking for sending me a copy to review and an invite to the blog tour, always appreciated.
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?
About The Author
Jessica Moor studied English at Cambridge before completing a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University. Prior to this she spent a year working in the violence against women and girls sector and this experience inspired her first novel, Keeper.
The narrative follows Katie’s life before her death, Then, and the current present, Now, with DS Whitworth investigating the case. As the two timelines flip back and forth you begin to see a connection. It’s in the details and Moor has buried them brilliantly to make sure you continue to question what exactly happened the night Katie died. It isn’t until the final few pages that it all suddenly clicks into place and your mouth is left wide open in shock at such a cunning twist.
As we follow DS Whitworth and his trainee, DC Brookes investigating Katie’s death in the Now, you are left debating whether it was suicide or something more sinister. They interview the residents of the women’s refuge where Katie worked. These women are vulnerable and are recovering from traumatic experiences that have broken them. The mixture of different voices, cultures and ages adds depth and makes you realise how many women are effected with domestic violence every day. It’s very real dear reader and breaks your heart to read each one’s story. The two men are vastly outnumbered yet they still try to hold a strong, dominant, male presence on the page. However the women unite and appear to offer no help in their investigation. Moor’s depth of characters is vast and come in a variety of forms that keeps the story intriguing. Valerie Redwood who is in charge of the women’s shelter is a mighty force that comes storming onto the page at the mere mention of her name. Her presence overpowers the two men as she demands to know who has been sending online threats to her. She helps empower the women and support them on their road to recovery and taking back control of their lives and situations.
There is little evidence for DS Whitworth to investigate Katie Straw’s death. The body barely had any marks, there were no signs of a struggle or sexual assault. Given the location of the body being at a popular local spot for suicide, there seems very little to uncover. However the women at the refuge whisper of sightings of a man outside the house, cars parked across the road and side gates being unlocked. Val continues to harass the police about the online threats she is receiving, desperate to keep the women safe. DS Whitworth can’t shake the feeling that there is more to the case than suicide. He backtracks and goes over the evidence, wondering if he has missed something. Moor creates an itching paranoia throughout as to who the reader can and should trust. It keeps you gripped and desperate to know just what exactly happed that fateful night on the bridge.
As the reader learns more about Katie’s past relationship with Jamie, they slowly start to see the fog clear. On first meeting outside a nightclub a tipsy Katie flirts with Jamie who quickly tells her he’s not that kind of guy and wants to get to know her first. He walks her home and appears the perfect gentleman while telling Katie that she doesn’t seem like that kind of girl. It is in these little glimpses that something begins to feel off about Jamie. He begins to control what she wears, preferring her in knee-length clothes and she begins to see her friends less and less. The further I dove into Katie and Jamie’s relationship, the more I wanted to pull her out. I was screaming at the page for her to leave him and waited with baited breath in anticipation for her to be free. Moor captures the raw reality of being in a domestically violent relationship brutally and honestly as you can read Katie’s thoughts, processing Jamie’s actions and blaming herself when he’s in the wrong. It’s difficult to read and a lot of women’s horrifying reality. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wrong, the mind is clouded and confused and Moor has brought awareness to how being trapped in a toxic relationship can be a struggle to escape.
I give Keeper By Jessica Moor a Five out of Five paw rating.
Intoxicatingly addictive, you will struggle to put this down. The intensity of feeling suffocated and trapped by love is overpowering. You feel yourself griping the page in anger: How can another human be so cruel? It makes you want to do something, anything to help.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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