Book Review: Keeper

KEEPER | Johana Gustawsson
(Emily Roy & Alexis Castells #2)
04.28.2018 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


The body of a woman has been found mutilated and with feathers in her ears in Falkenberg, Sweden. Shortly after the discovery of this body, a well-known actress, Julianne Bell, is abducted from her London home. These two cases bear a striking resemblance to the Tower Hamlets murders. The problem is, a man was caught and charged with those murders ten years ago. Since his conviction and subsequent imprisonment in a mental hospital, no new crimes have been committed until these.

These new crimes and the Tower Hamlets murders mimic the work of Jack the Ripper. In 1888, London was saturated in fear of Jack the Ripper. I local woman, Freda, witnessed a close friend of hers be discovered as one of his victims. Does Jack the Ripper and his murderous reign have a connection to the cases of present day? Emily Roy and Alexis Castells have once again been called in to assist with these new cases. Roy is there serving as a profiler hoping to catch the killer and Castells is involved because her past holds an deadly connection to the Tower Hamlets murders. Can this duo save Julianne Bell before she is murdered?

Sheer horror ravages her face. Widens her eyes. Twists her mouth. She releases a primal scream. A howl that tears right through the stale air of the tiny room in which she is held captive.

Last month I read BLOCK 46, the first book in this series, and Johana Gustawsson absolutely blew my mind. Reading KEEPER was an equally fantastic experience! KEEPER once again ties London and Sweden together with the past through an entirely fresh set of cases and killers. This time around Emily and Alexis are on the case of a missing actress, whose abduction screams similarities to a closed case known as the Tower Hamlets murders. These cases and the abduction also appear to be tied to the body of a woman who was found murdered Jack the Ripper style with the strange edition of black feathers in her ears.

All the while the reader is learning about these present cases, they are also treated to interwoven chapters focused in the past, starting in the year 1888, which just happens to be when Jack the Ripper was terrorizing London. See the connections happening? Also mixed throughout are chapters about Julianne’s abduction and imprisonment. Seems like a lot to take in right? Well Gustawsson spells everything out in an engaging, spell-binding style that leaves the reader with no choice, but to continue flipping pages.

The pain of the past is like quicksand: as soon as you set foot there, you just have to accept the situation, keep calm and avoid struggling, or you’ll sink even faster. Your mind has to be in the right place before you can embrace the saving grace of resilience with open arms, and you have to get to a place of acceptance before you can even think of bouncing back.

Each narrative section of KEEPER stands alone as an interesting topic, but woven together, they truly create a masterful book. Chapter are kept short, but information and suspense filled, as they propel the reader towards the truth. I simply couldn’t stop myself from becoming invested in Emily and Alexis, who are intriguing and complicated women with strong intellectual gifts. These characters and the cases that they are solving make KEEPER a perfect read for any crime fiction, mystery, or thriller fan. I cannot wait to see what Johana Gustawsson comes up with next!

A special thank you to Orenda Books for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my full review!

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