Title: Keep Her Safe
Author : Richard Jay Parker
Publication Date: 01/11/18
Dates Read: 12/30/17
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“The figure froze, and Maggie saw blue surgical gloves
clutching a carving knife. Her shoulder butted hard into
the door frame as she reversed from the nursery.”
Maggie is a single mother who has endured unspeakable things in order to protect her daughter, Penny, but she is not out of the woods yet. She can hear someone in her home–someone she knows is there to kill her. She knows this because she was in their same position only days prior.
Holly is also a single mother who is trying to protect her daughter. But her daughter, Abigail, is currently in the arms of a mysterious man who calls himself the Babysitter. The Babysitter has instructed Holly to break into Maggie’s home and drive a knife into her chest in order to save her own daughter from harm.
How far will these women go to protect their children? Is the maternal instinct stronger than our morals and rationalizations? Will they continue to play the Babysitters game, or can they find a way to work together to exploit him, while also saving their daughters?
Wow. The synopsis of this novel is fantastic. A very unique concept for a thriller and the beginning of the book sucked me right in. Unfortunately, it fell short to my expectations.
The initial premise of the novel was great. The whole concept of a serial killer using others to do the killing, all driven by their choices. It’s a maternal version of Jigsaw, the Saw ‘mastermind’. I really wish that the author would have honed in on this concept more and made that the main focus and mystery of the novel. Or even broken this entire book down into a series. It was honestly so action packed that a series would have been doable–break it apart into three sections, add in more “down time”, backstory, character building, etc.
With traditional novels, you see the rising action, the building of the story line where readers are learning about the characters and anticipating something exciting to happen or trying to piece together the puzzle pieces of mystery that are being scattered along for them. Then you enter the climax of the novel, action-packed and eventful, before a resolution. Sometimes you even have multiple climaxes thrown into a novel so that just when you think your MC is in the clear, another turn of events comes your way.
This novel does not follow that expected pattern. Keep Her Safe drops you right into the climatic action from the very first sentence and does not slow down until the end of the novel. It almost got the point of being unrealistic for me—how many crazy events could two people endure in one 12-hour period of time?! Some people may see the abundance of action as a positive aspect and absolutely love this title. It’s different and doesn’t stick to the ‘status quo’ of plot layouts. However, it just wasn’t for my liking. It was just too much plot, all taking place over the course of one night, stuffed into one novel for my brain to process and enjoy in the way the author intended.
**Thank you to Bookouture, the author, and NetGalley, for a digital advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.