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, Keeperis a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.
I was impressed with the superbly written plotline in Johana Gusawsson’s first novel in the Roy & Castells series, Block 46. My admiration has now only grown deeper for Gustawsson after having finished Keeper. This is one of my top reads this year!
I don’t normally reach for historical reads but I enjoyed the historical settings in both of her books so much more than I dreamed possible. In Block 46 she blended the crime part of the novel terrifically with a past storyline that originated in a concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany. This time she steps up her game even more. Not only did she transport me to Sweden and London again but she also inserted a present and past plotline, one that dates back to 1888 in London, an awful time marked in history where historical figure Jack The Ripper was roaming the streets looking for his next victims. The story flips mercilessly between present and past and I have to say I felt completely immersed in that day and age, it came so alive. I already had a healthy fascination for this figure of the past who tickles your imagination and I felt I was allotted a front row seat where I could almost smell the oppressive atmosphere in Whitechapel. Gustawsson was able to construct a story that spans not one lifetime but several generations, where evilness is passed through the DNA it might even seem at some point. Where does it end though, that’s the big question.
The build-up was so good, it was so fascinating to follow the trail and anticipate that moment where the past would catch up with the present. Although I pride myself in being able to be rather quick in unmasking a villain, I really couldn’t make any sense of how it all fit together and whose shadow I was chasing. I can only say I was seriously blown away when I found out! She also delivered a twist in Keeper that was just impossible to anticipate for me but she made it happen, it so well done and unexpected, it was nothing else than jaw-dropping. I can highly recommend this novel to everyone and I can’t wait to see where she’ll take us next time!
My thanks to the lovely Anne Cater of A Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for the opportunity to join the blog tour and for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
***Don’t miss the other fabulous bloggers on the blog tour!
FYI I’m sharing today with Maria who blogs @Varietats***