Today it’s my absolute pleasure to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Keeper by the new queen of French noir Johana Gustawsson. You can get a kindle copy right now or pre-order the paperback which is published on the 28th April by the fabulous Orenda Books. If you love a crime thriller that’s dark, disturbing and intricately plotted then look no further this is the perfect book for you. Before I share my review here’s the book description to whet your appetite.
Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
London, 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.
Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?
Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down. Following the highly acclaimed Block 46 and guaranteed to disturb and enthral, Keeper is a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.
There are some books I like, others I love and then there is the rare book that blows me away with an ingenious plot, incredible writing, and bucketfuls of suspense and Keeper by Johana Gustawsson fits the bill perfectly. Block 46 the first book in the series actually made it on to my top reads of 2017, so I couldn’t wait to read this one. Keeper sees the return of French true crime writer Alexis Castells Canadian profiler Emily Roy, I do like the author’s career choices for her two main protagonists, as it means the plot doesn’t feature heavily on police procedures, which I find can sometimes overwhelm a plot. There are a lot of characters in this book so it did take me a while to work out who was who, but this in no way distracted from the read. Keeper is told through past and present events, and suffice to say the author skips flawlessly between time lines. I must give a mention to Maxim Jakubowski who translated the book, he’s done a fantastic job.
Keeper has so much to offer it’s a crime thriller with a unique plot, the author combines crimes committed in both Sweden and the UK with crimes from the past, in this case the horrific and gruesome crimes committed by Jack The Ripper. I found myself trying to work out the connection (I failed miserably I should add) between the Jack the Ripper crimes in Whitechapel 1988 and the crimes committed in Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015, how the hell could the two connect? I thought I had a fairly vivid imagination where crime thrillers are concerned, but I couldn’t even begin to figure out where this book was heading. I should mention that this book does contain some pretty gruesome and disturbing scenes, but as it’s a crime thriller they are very much part of the plot.
Johana Gustawsson has an incredible knack of writing in such a descriptive way that it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up the images she writes about, from the poverty stricken Whitechapel, to the gruesome crime scenes that sent shivers down my spine you can’t but help but become immersed in her writing. Without a doubt the author has created a dark and unsettling read, Johana Gustawsson has such a vivid and creative imagination she takes you to the darkest places, explores the most gruesome crimes and then brings all the elements together to create one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read this year. I really can’t wait to see where the twisted imagination of the new Queen Of French noir takes her readers next. Highly, highly recommended, and yes this compelling crime thriller will be on my top reads of 2018 without a shadow of a doubt.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to see I’m giving Keeper the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page and plus this one gave me a #Major #BookHangover something I don’t suffer with very often!
Print Length: 276 pages
Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 Feb. 2018)
Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.
My thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for my copy of Keeper in exchange for an unbiased review and also for the opportunity to take part in this fabulous blog tour.