Cover Image: And There He Kept Her

And There He Kept Her

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Member Reviews

okay hold up what just happened ..i dont even know what to say ..Thank you to the author and his team this book left me speechless and confused also wanting more.I was up all night trying to figure out what was going on .To be honest the writing was captivating ,the characters unbelievable and i cared fro each of them and felt their stories with understanding .Every good thriller has a way of making you want more and this book did more than that .The book was well placed and has a certain  rhythm  my sister most probably thought am crazy cause i was so stuck on my phone.Those moments i was just like ''what just happened he did not ""Am looking forward to reading more of his books
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This is the second book I have read recently that I did not finish.  I was interested in this novel because it was set in Minnesota, my home state.  The book started out pretty suspenseful and then when it moved into the male homosexual sex scenes, I realized that there was nothing more here that I wanted to continue to pursue.  

I am not a big fan of sexual scenes in any book as it is never really required, just a toss in because authors need to  try to punch things up. (note: it doesn't)  Definitely not a fan of the gay sex and it has nothing to do with the storyline of two missing teenagers.
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And There He Kept Her is the ultimate dark mystery thriller.  When teenagers Jesse and Jenny disappear in the middle of the night, their parents’ worst nightmare will come to light.  Where are they? What happened to them?  Did they run away?  Are they in trouble?  If you are a parent, you know the horrors that can come to mind in such a situation.  When the local Sheriff’s department becomes involved, it will be led by no other then Ben Packard, newly appointed acting Sheriff.  Packard may be a recent addition to the local force, having left the big city to join the department, but he knows the area well.  He used to spend many summers there at his grandparents’ home until his older brother disappeared. Packard will uncover clues that will lead to horrifying results.  It will also put to rest some past criminal activities.  Though this novel begins as a missing persons investigation, it will blossom into a much larger story touching all the players in this well written story.  The detailed plot is very interesting, the descriptions are spot-on, and the suspense is incredible.  I felt every emotion and it kept me intrigued from the first page to the last.  This may be Joshua Moeling’s first novel, but I do hope to see more from this great storyteller.  I do want to read more of Ben Packard.  I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Ben Packard, after the death of his close friend, moves to small town Minnesota where he becomes an investigator in the Sheriff’s Office.  Shortly thereafter the Sheriff becomes seriously ill and Packard, based on his previous experience, is appointed acting Sheriff.  A pair of teenagers sneak out of their respective homes in the middle of the night and disappear.  Packard begins looking into their absence and comes across murder, drugs, serial killers and kidnapping.  Going further into the plot will lead to the kinds of spoilers that will ruin the reading experience.  The story is fascinating, the methods of discovery even more so.  The characters are winning and complex.  I am looking forward to more of Ben Packard and his coming into himself. Thanks to Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press (Sourcebooks) for an ARC for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this ARC of And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling.

Wow, well what a debut that was. An amazing, thrilling, yet dark story of two teenagers breaking into a home to steal the drugs of an (unknown to them), deranged killer. When one of them is kept prisoner, Sheriff Packard begins his pursuit to find them delving into his own past and that of the town.

This was such an intense read that at times I couldn't decide whether to put it down or keep turning the pages as fast as I could. I absolutely love that this author didn't join the current fad of putting as many twists and turns into this as possible as it's honestly becoming so repetitive with so many books now. This was a brilliantly put together book where you already know who the perpetrator is and you are dying to see what happens next. I can honestly see this becoming a new series with the main character Sheriff Packard as he is such a likeable, intriguing character that you keep rooting for. Kudos to this author for his fabulous debut.
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This was such a unique read. We get a dual POV from the antagonist and protagonist, which is a rare narrative to have in books! I thought the characters were really interesting! They each had their own personality and flaws. 

However, I did find it odd that the book was characterised as a thriller/mystery/suspense novel, as there were zero elements of those genres. We knew the story from both ends, we know what happened, the plot was predictable and there were no plot twist. It isn’t what I was looking for in a thriller read. 

Thank you Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Review of Advance Reader’s Edition eBook

When Detective Ben Packard suffered a tragic personal loss and left the Minneapolis Police Department after serving there for some twelve years, he headed to Sandy Lake. As a child, he and his family had spent time in this small town and, although it continued to hold the secret as to what happened to his brother, Nick, more than twenty years ago, it also held some warm memories of time spent here with family. And his cousin, Susan, and her family lived there, too.

With Sheriff Stan Shaw currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, Packard has assumed his duties as acting sheriff. And now, with Jesse Crawford and Jenny Wheeler missing, the whole department now hunts for the two teens.  

Ben will need to unravel the secrets of Sandy Lake if he is to have any hope of bringing Jenny home to her family.


Dark, grim, and compelling, this captivating narrative pulls readers in from the outset and keeps the pages turning at a brisk rate. Well-defined, nuanced characters populate the story; most are relatable and likable. [But a couple of characters are so detestable they redefine evil and are unlikely to elicit even a drop of sympathy from the reader.] The story is character-driven; surprising revelations keep the characters authentic as relationships are revealed and secrets exposed.

The evolving tale is complex and intriguing and, at the same time, sinister and disturbing. Nightmarish events keep the tension high while a strong sense of place anchors the narrative. The small town atmosphere permeates the telling of the tale. 

In a twist from the usual mystery, readers know from the beginning exactly what’s happened and who did what, meaning there is no big mystery to unravel, no stunning reveal, no twisting plot to parse out answers or red herrings. Instead, the unfolding story is, for the most part, a police procedural that follows the investigation into the disappearance of the two teens. 

The only disappointment here is that, with so much made of the missing brother, Nick, throughout the story, readers are sure to be disappointed that the question of his fate remains unanswered. 


I received a free copy of this eBook from Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley
#AndThereHeKeptHer #NetGalley
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“When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he’s been keeping his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim abuser, and protector.
Personal Tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff’s deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home”

This story was filled with a lot of suspense and a race against time as sheriff Ben Packard is trying to find the missing teens and he gets pulled into a loop hole of drugs, kidnapping and trying to piece together the clues that will lead him to the missing teens.

The characters are well developed and some likable (Gary Bushwright❤️❤️❤️). Some parts of the story take us a little back to Ben’s childhood and this small town and at some point towards the end of the story it seemed like it was coming back around full circle and then it was left alone. Is there a part 2 coming?? 😳😳

Thank you @netgalley @poisonedpenpress and author @jmoehlon for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book is set to publish June 14, 2022
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Creepy, disturbing and definitely nightmare worthy!  Like they always say, "The daker, the better" (or.. maybe that is just me?) 

 Two teenagers break into a home with something tragic happens - The owner is HOME and AWAKE. Their charade comes to a quick stop as a shotgun is pointed at them.  Without giving too much away, this story has some twists and kept me on the edge of my seat.   This book would be perfect in a series, I would love to know more about Detective Ben Packard and what case he will be on next. 

I enjoyed all of the detective procedural, there was more "cop-talk" than I initially anticipated, but it was so well written that I enjoyed it.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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There were no huge plot twists, reveals, or earth-shaking announcements in this story, and it still worked well. Interesting main character who was complex and likeable. A pretty well-written debut novel. Recommended.
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Thank you Net Galley and the publishers for an ARC of this book for my honest review. 
I really enjoyed this book !  It was a page turner for me . It grabs you right away and you go down the rabbit hole with a couple of dark characters !!!  I want to read more books by this author. It’s chilling. I would highly recommend.
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Loved this book! I can't believe it's his first one. From the first page to the last it kept my interest. I would love to see Detective Packard become a series.
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A very good story that caught me  from page one.  What was supposed to be a fairly easy in and out house burglary for two teens turns into a deadly surprise when the owner shows up unexpectedly and the teens go missing. What follows is a story filled with mystery, mayhem and a little look back history.  Just when you think you have all the pieces in front of you, a one goes missing.
Detective Ben Packard leaves his big city job and  returns to the place of his summer visits as a child and becomes acting sheriff.  He is the man in charge as the search for the missing teens evolves.   As he follows the leads, glimpses into both his youth and his more recent life experiences adds a touch of intrigue to the evolving story of the search for the teens.  As he goes about searching and is faced with some of the seedier sides of life in his town, he draws some parallels between life today and what he knew as a young boy summering here, when his brother disappeared.  He cannot help but see some similarities, when dealing with the mother of one of the missing teens, who also happens to be a cousin of his and the anxiety and fear faced by his own family when his brother Nick disappeared.
Characters were well developed and relationships defined.  I could not help but feel that Ben Packard has a future ahead of him here.
I would be happy to continue unraveling his story.
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Thank you NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for a copy of this ARC!

I really enjoyed this debut novel by Joshua Moehling! I thought the writing was excellent. Thrillers can lack character development for me at times, but not this novel. 

I enjoyed the main character, Packard. I hope the author continues his character in future novels. I liked how he is, what some may considered, an unconventional main character in a thriller/police procedure drama. I will recommend this book to fellow friends when it comes out!
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I was selected for an ARC of this book. The title and cover interested me so I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did! This is hands down the best book I’ve read this year. I didn’t expect this much from a debut author but i couldn’t put this book down. The characters were interesting and well planned out. I hope this is a series! I highly recommend reading this book!
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What a good story. Some plot twists and lots of tension.  Loved Packard. Down to earth and steady. Grwat idea making him a gay cop in a small town. Great supporting characters. Read this book in one sitting. Quite the page turner. Hope this becomes a series.
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This thriller was utterly unique. There are no whodunnit questions, no big reveals and no surprising twists and I absolutely loved that about it. We, the reader, know everything going in and are taken on the journey of investigating with the police. This was such a refreshing change of pace and so uniquely done. What I loved the most was the cover with just the title and author claims of "The most shocking thriller with a twist you won't see coming!" This book delivered on its promise of a dark, complex mystery and then some. It was dark and complex and very disturbing and it made for a gripping, tense read. As a parent the thought of anything happening to a child can bring you to your knees. I loved how the author didn't pull any punches but at the same time didn't give us gratuitous sex and violence...that takes talent. I appreciated that the author knew his readers were intelligent enough to be able to use their imagination. A horrifying and fascinating read in equal measure. Kudos to Mr. Moehling for a brilliant debut. All. The. Stars.
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I've read some other reviews about this book in which readers complained about how disturbing and over-the-top vile this book is.  I didn't find it to be overly graphic, which maybe says something about me.  I didn't dislike this book, but I did have problems with it.  My biggest problem was the antagonist, Emmett.  Emmett is a monster and his buddy Carl is even worse. But for some reason he decides that Jenny is different and he needs to protect her.  Or that because she's only 16, he can't abuse her like he's done with his other victims.  I get that the circumstances were different; Jenny broke into his house, while he chose and kidnapped his other victims. But it just seems strange that he's going to make that distinction. His thought process is basically, "I may be a disgusting, rapist, serial killer...but I'm not a pedophile."

I'm not an expert in the psychology of serial killers, but this seems odd to me as someone who has read a ton of murder mysteries, some of them even more twisted than this one.

I also find it funny that Emmett considers himself a "retired" serial killer. Which in Emmett's case just means too fat and handicapped to go prowling for victims. So when Jenny and Jesse break into his house to steal pills, one would think that he would consider that the equivalent of "Serial-Killer Christmas Morning."

I did like Ben Packard as a character and would say that if this is going to be a series, I would continue just to see how his life progresses.

I'll give take a couple of stars off just for my dislikes, but add half a star for Ben. 3.5 stars overall.
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The title “And There He Kept Her” is a sufficient summary of a creepy nightmare  happening in a small rural town. Two teenagers go missing in northern Minnesota and we get to know immediately why they disappeared — the rest of the novel is a dark thriller that slowly exposes what has happened. At its heart is a decent man, Deputy Sheriff Ben Packard, a guy with a dark connection to the town as well as one of the victims. Ben is trying to unravel the disappearance and getting to know more and more about the townsfolk. He’s the heart of the story — he’s the acting sheriff (the actual sheriff, also with connections to the victims, is dying of cancer). The atmosphere is totally small town creepiness, but it has a hero worth rooting for and villains that you despise immediately. Mr. Moeling has crafted more than the usual police procedural — it’s a suspenseful thriller with a central character worthy of a full series. 4 stars!

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!

Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES That’s Jenny, one of the missing teenagers.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO It’s the beginning of May when there are few leaves on trees but some tulips are springing up as they should be.
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I have to say that when a debut author blows me away, I'm always so darn excited for what comes next. Make no mistake, And There He Kept Her was that book and I can't wait to find out if we will get more of Ben Packard. There were so many layers to his story, and I feel like we just got a taste of a few of them. Sign me up for a series but if this is standalone, it was hard to put down.

Ben moved to Sandy Lake after a personal loss leaves him wondering what comes next in his life. He spent summers here at his grandfather’s house until tragedy struck his family. Now he is the acting sheriff and when his cousin Susan calls stating her teenage daughter is missing, he will have to learn the ins and outs of this small town if he has any hope of finding her. Not only did Jenny sneak out of the house she also left behind the medicine that she needs to survive. This adds an extra layer of tension as time is truly running out to find her.

While it is not a mystery to us the readers what happened to Jenny, Ben is starting his investigation with no clues or witnesses. The kidnapper or kidnappers have done horrific things in the past and I kept crossing my fingers that Ben would find Jenny in time. No jaw-dropping twists, just a very good character-focused story about the monsters that hide in plain sight and their victims.
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