An addictive literary thriller about a crime as shocking as it is commonplace.
When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they’re running from to catch up with them.
They know immediately: This was murder.
Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case–until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared.
Weaving together the investigation with Katie’s final months as it barrels toward the truth, Keeper is a riveting mystery and a searing examination of violence against women and the structures that allow it to continue, marking the debut of an incredible new voice in crime fiction.
Years ago I worked for an organisation that supported victims of domestic violence, I saw how hard the IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocates) and ISVA (same but for sexual violence) teams worked to support women and children living with the effects of this particularly insidious crime, an often ongoing, sometimes non-physical abuse.
Refuges are few and far between, they’re poorly funded and despite attempts at keeping them secret, not always as safe as they want to be.
The refuge Katie works at in Keeper, has some of these problems, and unfortunately the paranoia, totally understandable as it is, often means reports of a man hanging about outside aren’t taken very seriously.
Katie has secrets, but as her story is revealed to the reader, they too are completely understandable.
The police do cursory investigation, never taking the women’s claims that Katie was murdered seriously, and once the twist at the end is revealed (no spoilers) you’ll see an entire new narrative.
Powerful, shocking and sadly still necessary, this puts human faces to the terrible things that some people go through.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.