The Keeper

Jessica Moor. Penguin, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-14-313452-7
Set in rural England, Moor’s clever debut presents a movingly sympathetic portrait of the victims of domestic violence. The investigation of Katie Straw’s apparent suicide takes two policemen, old-school Det. Sgt. Daniel Whitworth and his trainee, Detective Constable Brookes, into the women’s shelter where she worked and where the director is protective of the women under her care. Meanwhile, in an alternating narrative, Katie relates the deterioration of her relationship with boyfriend Jamie, who’s initially indulgent, if overprotective, then becomes isolating, controlling, and worse. Though the characters hit a lot of the expected tropes, such as the addict with mental health issues, the skittish wife and mother, and the tough feminist, they come through more as archetype than stereotype. Katie’s simultaneous identities as protagonist and corpse effectively build a sense of resigned dread, while also helping the reader understand how an intelligent, resourceful woman could become trapped in an abusive relationship. Moor is off to a fine start. Agent: Alexandra Cliff, Peters, Fraser & Dunlop (U.K.). (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/12/2019
Release date: 03/24/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-50631-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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