“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?
An addictive literary page-turner about a crime as shocking as it is commonplace, KEEPER will leave you reeling long after the final page is turned.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of Keeper by Jessica Moor. Keeper was published by Penguin Books on 21st January 2021 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats.
I was drawn to Keeper thanks to it’s stunning cover, intriguing blurb and the numerous brilliant reviews it received when it was first published. I’ve been meaning to pick it up for a while now so when the opportunity arose at the end of 2021, I grabbed it.
When the body of a young woman is pulled from the river, all the signs point to suicide. Katie Straw was fairly new to Widringham but had settled quickly and seemed to enjoy working with the women at the refuge. But in truth, no one really knew her. However, the women at the refuge know one thing for sure. Katie didn’t take her own life. Something terrible happened to Katie but no one will listen…
Keeper is an all-consuming novel about losing control and not being able to do a single thing about it. It broke my heart, it made me angry – I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before. The themes are not new but oh my gosh, the way the author has presented Katie’s story really got under my skin. The reader watches as bit by bit, piece by piece, the situation changes for the worse and it’s devastating. So subtle, so precise, so absolutely terrifyingly real that I feel I lived this book alongside the characters.
Katie’s story is told in the past and following the discovery of her body, the present. Leading the investigation into Katie’s death are DS Whitworth and DC Brookes. Whitworth’s old-fashioned approach to policing, his somewhat outdated views and his penchant for being a little patronising all add to the uncomfortable feel of the book. He’s not an unkind man but he could certainly do with going on a few more cultural diversity training courses! However, saying that, I believe the author wrote Whitworth beautifully and he ended up evoking in me all of the emotions he was supposed to. Sublime writing.
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Keeper is a dark, emotional and powerful tale of abuse and control which I struggled to put down. At times, I read from behind the safety of my hands, not wanting to completely see what was coming. At other times, I yelled at the book – anger and frustration bubbling over. I discovered after finishing Keeper that Jessica Moor has worked with female survivors of abuse which didn’t come as a surprise. The author’s compassion and understanding for her characters shone through, making it a book everyone should read. If a book can make you feel something then it’s a winner for me and Keeper made me feel a whole host of emotions. For that reason, it will be hard to forget this one and I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next. Recommended.
Keeper by Jessica Moor was published in the UK by Penguin Books on 21st January 2021 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop |
Jessica Moor grew up in south-west London and studied English at Cambridge before completing a Creative Writing MA at Manchester University where her dissertation was awarded the Creative Writing Prize for Fiction.
Prior to this she spent a year working in the violence against women and girls sector and this experience inspired her first novel, Keeper.
She was selected as one of the Guardian’s 10 best debut novelists of 2020 and is currently working on her next book.