Many thanks to Orenda books and Anne Cater for having me on this blog tour. Having been fascinated about Jack the Ripper for years this book captured my attention and so I had to read it, my thoughts are below but first, read the blurb to find out more about the book.
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.
My Review: I’ve always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper and the fact that he was never caught so when I heard about this book I was immediately interested. The historical parts, while good were a smaller part of the book than I expected with the main focus being on the murders and abduction in 2015. That being said the historical details and the descriptions of the cases at that time an in 2015 were very well done, so much so that I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone who is squeamish. The images that are conjured up by the writing are very vivid and quite unpleasant at times.
If you’re not a fan of historical fiction but love crime I would still suggest giving this book a go. The historical parts are relevant and interesting but are also giving background to the 2015 murders so the book has quite a different feel from one that is set entirely in the past. Because of that I would recommend this book to both crime lovers and historical crime fans.
Although this is a crime story and the police in both London and Sweden are very much involved it’s more a story of Emily Roy investigating both disappearances and murders in her job as a profiler. Alexis Castells is present too but in a smaller capacity and while what she is doing is connected to the current murders it has more of a personal connection for her. The story moves about quite quickly, one chapter you are in 1888 London, the next Sweden in 2015 but thankfully the chapters are very clearly labelled which avoids the confusion that does arise in some novels.
It’s a gripping story, I found for me there were times when it didn’t flow as well as others but it kept my attention throughout. All the time I was wondering what was next, was there more to the 1888 connection, why were there murders in both London and Sweden. I did have ideas about the conclusion and in part I was right but there was such an unexpected ending that this book really does deserve that much used phrase of ‘a twist you won’t see coming’. I really didn’t see that ending coming at all and am still dealing with the shock!
About the author:
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. Her debut, Block 46, became an international bestseller, with Keeper following suit. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.