Cover Image: And There He Kept Her

And There He Kept Her

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Cover: Well, it drives the point home, I guess.

Wow. And I mean, wow. And There He Kept Her is a straight five, no questions asked; it’s also going to be in my 2022 top ten list—yeah, it’s that good. Also, it’s a debut. I’m sobbing here

The plot is intricate because Moehling went and decided to craft an intricate story from the get-go. No dull moments, no boring characters, just a fast-paced main plot and some exquisite subplots on the side. What more do you want?

Take the MC, Packard. He’s a complex character, one that reads as real as it gets. He’s got personal issues he needs to solve—interesting issues, with the drama factor toned down, and thank you for that, Moehling—but his focus is on the case.

What about the villain? Emmett is as despicable as you’d expect him to be, but he’s not your regular cartoon antagonist. He’s got layers. Kudos to Moehling for creating a nasty, execrable character with depth and substance. Frank maybe reads weaker than Emmett because he’s even nastier, but I guess Moehling took a calculated risk with him.

Side characters, please allow me to be repetitive and say wow. They’re all realistic it’s easy to tell them apart because Moehling took his time crafting and perfecting them. Susan is the one I’m less thrilled about, and still, her personality punches a hole through the pages.

You know me: I like to split hair in my spare time. And There He Kept Her is almost perfect, to the point that I couldn’t mention a single misstep, a lone mistake. Moehling, you wrote an incredible story, and I’m looking forward to reading more!

5 stars on GR, well-deserved.

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This book was decent. While it is a thriller, there isn't much "whodunit" about it. But I really liked the dualing viewpoints in the story.

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*4 Stars*

Copy kindly received via NetGalley for an honest review.

Good characters and read. I felt some characters didn't deserve things that happened to them and some people did. Some also got closure. I liked the ending.

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I really loved the cover and description of the book. I felt the name of the book should have been a little less revealing.

I was intrigued by the premise of the book.

When two teenagers break into an old and seemingly harmless old man's house on a remote lake to steal his prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare. The old man is not as harmless as they thought and one of the teenagers is killed and other is kept in the basement. The one that's in the basement is the main detective's niece and the search begins.

First 25% of the book kept me involved in the plot, but as the story progressed, I started losing my interest. From the name of the book, we knew what was going to happen and also we know who the culprit is from thestart!! Even though this happens in many books, the storytelling saves the day, but in my opinion, it doesn’t happen here. I loved Packard's character and found his relationship with Marcus sweet. But other than that, I felt the story dragged on.

For me it was a 2 star read.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC copy.

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This was a great book for a debut author! I love the dual point of view and being able to see the crime being committed/the mystery on the law enforcement side.There are also many times where you just question "how is this book actually going to end?" which is great for a mystery book. There was one part of the book that made me question and that is the heavy emphasis on the smoking. I am just not sure what it added to the story, and it's brought up at least once a chapter. There were also a few plot holes that made me go "hmmm" but other than that, really enjoyed it!

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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!

I really enjoyed this, but found myself wanting to read more about Emmett and Jenny and would be on edge when the next chapter would be focused on the police.

I found the story of Emmett interesting along with Carl. It’s good that it’s kind of left up to the reader to work out what they do to the victims and why. And I liked the fact that Jenny was really smart and strong in the situation.

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A special thank you to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the chance to read the title ‘And there he kept her’

5* An amazing read. I finally managed to get to reading this after so many work deadlines but when I finally did I sped through it, I really enjoyed this title, the characters, the storyline and I really enjoyed the alternative POVS.

At first glance I knew it was a horror, suspenseful and things that creep you out in the dark and boy did it stick to that and so much more, I consumed it.. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Starting with two teenagers who break into Emmett’s house to steal from him which quickly turns into a nightmare for them and then we meet the acting sheriff who is slowly uncovering the disappearance of the two teenagers.

The writing was great, it draws you in and makes you question different things throughout the book - where are the kids? - Who is Emmett and so on and so on. Overall I enjoyed this book and if I ever see any upcoming titles by the author I will he willing to pick it up as their writing is easy to get into as well as keeping you engrossed and wanting to read more.

Thank you once again to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for my arc in exchange for my honest review.

I will be posting my review on my platforms and Waterstones, B&N and other platforms close to its publication date.

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3.5 stars rounded down. I didn't find it to be very suspenseful. There wasn't anything to figure out; it was all just kind of given to you. The story kept me interested, but it wasn't a page turner. I spent a lot of time waiting for something to happen, which was surprising to me given the plot.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Really enjoyed this little thriller! The characters were interesting and distinct, and the plot was more than the usual shock-and-awe. Ben Packard is a deputy in a small lake town searching for two missing teens who stole prescription drugs from a reclusive old man. The story flips between Emmett, the old man the teens stole from, and Ben, as he tries to find them.

Sometimes the plot meandered, but the characters were all so well developed that I didn't mind. Would definitely recommend this as an enjoyable beach read this summer.

With thanks to Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the advanced copy.

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When 2 teens disappear from the small Minnesota town of Big Sandy, local (acting) sheriff Ben Packard investigates.
This book reminds me of the Prey series by John Sanford, in that the reader knows who the "bad guy" is and is able to watch with mounting tension as the story progresses to the ultimate "showdown" between the protagonist and the perpetrator.

This was a really great book and I'm hoping this the first in a series about Ben Packard.

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I think my favorite part of the book was the alternate POVs and as interesting as it is to find things along with the character, I find it even more intriguing to know things that character doesn't. The pace was steady and kept me on the edge of my seat.

I also loved the title, which was what brought me in in the first place.

The only thing I didn't really like was the dialogue. It felt a little forced and unnatural. But it might be a me thing

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4. 5* So good! This story drew me in immediately and held my attention. Even though it was an intense thriller, with police procedural vibes, there were times the author was able to sprinkle in some bits of humor. Gary, the former truck driver, was such a likeable character, and the author knew how to paint his personality so perfectly that I could imagine being in the story in person. He did a great job with that. Also, Mrs. MacDonald. What a hoot! This lady genuinely made me laugh out loud several times. She was so witty and full of life.
Joshua Moehling wrote a very good debut novel. I look forward to his next one and I'm hoping it will follow up on with our main character, Ben, in this small, charming town. We need more experiences with Gary and Mrs. MacDonald. What happened to Ben's brother? That is where I hope the next book will pick up and explore. It seems there may be more than one Emmett Burr harboring secrets among the residents.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Poisoned Pen Press for an arc.

I requested this book based on the cover and of course the synopsis. I was thrilled when Poisoned Pen Press accepted my request.

I jumped right into the book and at first glance, I thought this was going to be horror, creepy and things that go bump in the night. Let me tell you, it is all of those things and much, much more.

When two teenagers secretly break into Emmett's home for prescription drugs, what they thought was an easy score, turns into a nightmare. This is just the beginning of a journey that has many twists and turns that will have you asking...Who is the victim? Who is the prey? At times, it seems, the lines are blurred.....or are they?

And There He Kept Her, is a well written thriller novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, swiping pages faster than you ever thought possible.

A great debut novel!

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Special thanks to Poisoned Press and NetGalley for the ARC of this book!

I really liked this book. Initially I thought it was a horror so I was taken aback, sadly, it is not. But its a lot of other things. Funny, gross, with great characters. I loved the sheriff and how he went about his job, and Jenny main character who fights til the end. The villain so disgusting and gross the author did a great fringe worthy job of describing him and other great characters.

Oh, just read this one! You will be thanking me I think!********

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I was absolutely horrified for at least 90% of this book (the other 10% was dog and dog-adjacent) which is a good thing for a thriller to make you feel 😂

I liked the alternate perspectives between the “villain” and the “hero”. It made me want to scream at the page sometimes because I knew things they didn’t and couldn’t tell them! The pace was strong, and there are just enough messy knots to be realistic for such a small town.

I was a little weirded out by the concept of Emmett being a victim, since he made the choices he made of his own volition. Sure, the kids were robbing him and that was crummy of them - but he was a truly horrific man long before they came along. Some of the violence mentioned was a little gratuitous, but that’s all a matter of opinion. A very convoluted and elaborate story! I would check out any other stories from this author because the writing style was very enjoyable.

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The title and the cover were the ones that initially aroused my interest. I was enticed to find that they both proved more than fit for the narrative. On the downside, they add a see-through factor of predictability.

The omniscient writer gradually paints for us a plausible and multilayered image of a small-town community, where secrets never cease to fold and unfold. It is only the reader, though, who is lucky enough to witness and learn the truth at a satisfying pace, while the characters are slowly led to it by a realistic and intelligent police operation, almost single-handedly carried out by the charismatic Ben Packard. The acting sheriff is himself a "man with untold stories" and a complex character worthy of attention. His stern professional attitude and sophisticated righteousness shine hopeful light over the dark recesses of the story.

The account stands out as a detective story spurred by the disappearance of two local teenagers, but it goes well beyond the genre. Characters evolve without stepping outside their deeper selves, power relationships shift, social aspects are touched upon, insights into the human soul are scattered here and there, dramatic potentials are reached, plot dynamics are adeptly weaved.

The narrative is modern and easy to follow, the dialogue and character interactions have a natural flow, even when events roll out for the worst. I would have preferred a less graphic language used throughout the book. While it comes across as the genuine language real-life characters would use, I felt it was (occasionally) needlessly overemphasized. The plot is alert and tense enough to nurture the reader's interest.

Read Joshua Moehling's debut novel when you are ready to learn about humankind at its best, its worst, and its relatable in-between. The intermittent British-like humour is also something to look forward to.

Why 4 stars out of 5?
Ideas are too plainly laid out for the reader, leaving too little room for introspective, analytical approach or meanders. I was also bothered by a nagging repetitiveness in regard to certain details, suggestive of a cartoon where all clues are highlighted to make sure they do not go overlooked by the more aloof or unattentive.

I would be interested in reading the seemingly promised sequel to the novel. Ben Packard and Joshua Moehling need a second book to sort out the mysterious disappearance that occurred during the active sheriff's childhood.

My personal thanks go to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the early release sent in exchange for my honest review.

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3.5 for me. It wasn’t the most thrilling story I’ve ever read but it held my interest throughout. This was an easy, fast read.

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This was middle of the road for me. I never could quite get into the characters or storyline. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review.

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2.5/3 stars

I wanna start by saying I loved the idea, the writing was great, but it just wasn’t for me.

I was excited at first to read this seeing as it was very “Don’t Breathe” but from the outside POV and I was excited to see as I read we also get the antagonist’s POV. But as police POVs always end up for me, I just did not care much about the people. I could see where things were going and even if there was a twist I did not see coming I just had no motivation to find out what it is.

I found our main cop, Ben Packard, the one cop POV that I actually did enjoy at times. He had an actual personality and it seemed there was a backstory we were slowly uncovering with him, but at some point I just kind of stopped caring. It was just over and over, find the kids! Here’s the guy that kidnapped them after they broke in. Where are the kids? The dude again and how he’s just a bad dude.

I will say, if I ever see anything else by our author and it sounds interesting I will be willing to pick it up because the writing was nice and easy to follow, but this story just was not for me.

Thank you so so much Netgalley and Joshua Moehling for the chance to read this early in exchange for an honest review

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And There He Kept Her
A Novel
by Joshua Moehling
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc in exchange for my honest review.
The book was not a thriller. It was ok though. I guess, I just didn't care for the book enough to read it in one sitting. I won't really remember it by next week.

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