The much-trodden path of missing girl with a medial condition and the race against time to find her. But, in this instance, lifted above the norm in this excellent debut novel by Joshua Moehling. Yes, the acting Sheriff is a man with a secret in his past but it's not belaboured and he doesn't wallow in angst to the detriment of his job. As well as the investigation into the missing girl, Packard also goes about a variety of mundane tasks in the small town of Sandy Falls, thus allowing the reader to get a real sense of the man's dogged, principled persona.
Emmett Burr, about whom I can't say too much without spoilers, is a complicated, multi-dimensional character and I found my opinion of him varying from chapter to chapter. Although this is a fast-paced hold-your-interest read, alternating between a few different viewpoints, Moehling's strength is in his character building and I was pleased to see a little teaser at the end, intimating that we will be seeing more of Ben Packard.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. I could NOT finish this book of murder, mystery, and horror. It was terrifying to me at times...Although the story does move slowly, it does give the read an insight to the characters. I will try to finish it again.
Without question, I absolutely loved And There He Kept Her and can easily give it five stars! What a great page-turner. When life got in the way of my reading, I couldn’t wait to get back to the book. The pace was exciting and believable as the search for the missing teens took place.
I thought the author did an expert job at character development. It’s the complex story of a robbery gone bad, a couple murders, and a kidnapping, all among ordinary people. Ben was a conscientious detective who worked at being a stand-up guy, and I felt his angst at revealing his true self. I could picture the nosy neighbors of Gary and Carl. I enjoyed the interplay between Jennie and Emmett who kept her locked up and how that relationship roller-coastered. The description of overweight, out-of-shape Emmett had me visualizing everything that was described; well done. Some of the characters were ho-hum, some were interesting, and some were despicable; and it all worked.
The ending was wrapped up beautifully. This is one of those books that made me want to clap when justice was served at the end.
Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review And There He Kept Her. It was truly my pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
P.S. Did I read somewhere that this is a debut novel? I tried to find that but couldn’t verify it. If so, I am most impressed and look forward to Mr. Moehling’s next endeavor.
Pretty fun read overall, read this in a single sitting because it was fast-paced and easy to get through. The plot was kinda predictable, though, and sometimes the POV switches didn't work that well for the story and made the story drag in certain points. Because of that, I was never really all that thrilled. I didn't really care what would happen to anyone, which was why it was missing suspense for me. The ending was good, though, and overall it was an alright story.
And There He Kept Her is a fast-paced and tense thriller, following both the investigators of a crime, its victims and its culprits. It well-balances those three points of view—I’ve often read mysteries where the culprit is given a POV and felt it detracted from it—and the variation adds to the story.
The plot opens with the attempted robbery of an old man by two kids. This becomes the catalyst for everything: that man imprisons them (or at least one of them), which spirals into murder and a lot more besides, all of it steadily being uncovered by the detective who is searching for the disappeared kids.
There was a lot to like about this book. The characters were sympathetic (obviously culprit aside) and the mystery was compelling. I read the whole thing in a single sitting and didn’t want to put it down. Which, for a book where you know who’s behind it from the start, is pretty good.
I think, in part, it managed this well because there was still a lot you didn’t know, even with the kidnapper’s POV. Joshua Moehling balanced very well what you did find out and what that character didn’t even think about, so that, when all of the reveals started happening, it was still a surprise.
If there’s anything I would say that wasn’t so great about this book, it’s simply that, while I enjoyed reading it, I never felt very much for it. I wasn’t thrilled. I wanted my heart to be racing at some points, and it just wasn’t. But that’s probably a me problem, rather than the book.
So, if you’re looking for a quick mystery to devour in only a few hours, then I would highly recommend it be this one.
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 in his basement for more than two decades, and he'll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.
For a debut novel this is an exceptionally good thriller. Creepy story that moves a long at a very fast pace and keeps your on you toes as the action plays out. Some very well developed characters who in many instances are truly awful but also some that pull at your heart strings for what they are enduing. Sheriff Ben Packard is challenged as he struggles to find out who is behind the insidious circumstances, he is an honorable man with his own secrets who will struggle both personally and professionally through the book while he looks for justice for those involved.
I will definitely be looking out for more books from this author in the future, highly recommended. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling is a superb read with an engrossing plot and vibrant characters. Well worth the read!
Highly enjoyable albeit the plot was somewhat predictable. The author did an excellent job in both plot and characters development. Unlike many highly anticipated thrillers with dramatic twists and turns, "And There He Kept Her" was written in the style of the thrillers from the 80s and 90s. The nostalgic flavor and writing completely drew me in. Definitely was a pleasant surprise!
4.5 stars (rounded up to 5)
Two teenagers go missing when they try to rob an old disabled man in their area. He has a secret he’s been hiding and will do anything to keep it hidden.
When you pick up a book about kidnapping with a chain and padlock on the cover, you can assume it’s going to be a bit disturbing.. and it was, but it was also strangely uplifting as well. You really get to know the characters to root for them, especially the detective. You don’t often seen gay detectives in stories, but it was a great sub-plot. The bad guy in the story was especially interesting, different than most we see in modern thrillers. I loved the three legged corgi and am hoping to see him in another Detective Packard story.
“You didn’t have to be a copy and witness people on their worst behavior day after day to realize that pretty much everyone was capable of terrible things.”
And There He Kept Her comes out 6/14.
A disturbing plot that was surprisingly engrossing despite having quite a bit of gory content.
After the death of a loved one, Ben Packard has moved to the small town of Sandy Lake in Minnesota looking for a fresh start. In between taking down rogue bears, sorting out petty fights between the locals, and carrying out Acting Sheriff duties, he is faced with the task of searching for two missing teenagers, one of whom happens to be his niece. Though he is unperturbed at first, as the hours roll by with no word from the kids, Ben realizes there is something much more sinister going on and that he has to find the kids before they run out of time.
Though the storyline falls into the general trope of missing child/kidnapping, what makes the book stand out is its unconventional main characters. Ben Packard, the 'hot gay cop', was a fresh change from the standard straight protagonists that are usually portrayed. The antagonist, Emmett Burr, on the other hand, was a revelation. The helpless, 70+-year-old, obese man who suffered from chronic pain was so vile, it makes one shudder just thinking about it. The character of Jenny too, was quite impressive. Despite her young age and her predicament, she held on to life with her spunk and presence of mind.
The author's writing invoked equal parts of intrigue and dread. While I was invested in Ben's investigation, I had to skim read much of Emmett and Jenny's scenes. All the side characters have been depicted vividly enough to get a feel of the small town life. The ending was pretty satisfying and considering that Ben still has unresolved issues in Sandy Lake, I am wondering if there is a second book in the works.
Overall, a nail-biting read that I would have enjoyed more if it was a little less gruesome. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Absolutely riveting, nail-biting, and, yes, unputdownable. Characters are completely fleshed out and the pages simply fly by.
This one was a DNF for me. I made it through about a quarter of the book but the content was too disturbing. Thank you for the opportunity to read the book.
From a debut author, comes a dark thriller revealing true evil within. This has a lot of high reviews, but just a little too deep for me. Excellent writing and sets an excellent pace as a whole town searches for two teenagers missing.
"They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong."
Two teens, Jesse and Jenny, break into a house of an older man, Emmett, to steal his pain killers. Unexpectedly, they are met with the owner and his shotgun. Jesse dies and Jenny is wounded and has a worse fate than death. He chains her to his basement where she is kept in the dark. This basement represents the kind of person Emmett is. She realizes she is not the first he has kept there and he reminds her often what happened to the other victims.
What surprises her, Emmett takes care of her wounds and becomes her protector from his friend, Carl, who has darker intentions than him.
The story is more centered around the main character and the sheriff's deputy, Packard, who is carrying his own secrets and trying to escape his past while searching for the two teens. It is a race against time as the anxiety increases and tensions rise between Carl and Emmett.
Thanks NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this book title in exchange for my honest review.
I needed a good thriller to get me out of a slump, and this one did it for me! I love fast-paced criminal novels like this - it reminded me of an episode of SVU.
I live in Minnesota, and it was a plus for me when I realized this takes place in a small town in northern MN, close to where we travel to a family members cabin. Also a plus that the author is local! I think he has an excellent future as a thriller writer!
Wow I loved this book! I grew up reading the stories of male cops and male sheriffs dealing with their personal demons as they attempted to keep peace in their towns and solve crimes, they are as familiar as breakfast cereal at this point and perhaps getting just as dull.... I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel but it far surpassed my expectations and kept me enthralled for the entirety.
The novel begins when two teens break into a house to steal opiates. There is a shootout and the young girl is imprisoned. What follows next is a race against time as the local police search for the missing pair, mistakenly believing them to be runaways.
The story is told from the point of view of the acting sheriff Ben Packard and also surprisingly, the young teen's captor. Both become sympathetic characters through Joshua Moehling's stunning prose and tale. All of the town people are complex and complicated, beautifully created and important to the story.
Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake he is the sheriff while a good friend is dealing with health problems. From the start it's clear that this is a small town and there are lot of interesting characters that Ben gets to interact with.
I loved so many people in this book but the hero especially. Ben is nuanced and haunted by tragedy and his own secrets. They keep him from making deep ties and socializing with the citizens of the town. He too grows. This is a remarkable debut—sharp, suspenseful, and emotionally powerful If you love a thriller, police and sheriff stories or just enjoy a great tale, this book is for you! I can't believe it's the author's first novel and I look very much forward to hearing more from him and hopefully about Ben Packard. #NetGalley #AndThereHeKeptHer
This story was crafted to keep the reader on their toes the whole way through. We follow a small town cop to solve the mystery of two missing teenagers, except with each clue revealed, we just have more questions. One of my favorite aspects of this book was seeing the mind of the villain (or one of them) from this story. It takes a skilled writer to make you feel sympathy for them, and that's exactly what happened. I would recommend this book to any fan of thrillers.
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Poisoned Pen Press and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
An exciting thriller for fans of the genre.
Underlying, Dark Menace…
Emmett Burr has secrets. Secrets that he’s been keeping in his basement for over twenty years. He will do anything to make sure that it stays that way and the equilibrium maintained. When two teenagers break in so begins a tale of nightmarish proportions. Unsettling, dark suspense with a constant underlying menace providing the reader with an edge of seat, tense reading experience and a plot populated with a well crafted cast. An ideal read, perhaps, for these darker nights.
This is a well written debut novel.. I found it sharp, suspenseful, and emotionally powerful.
Two teens break into Emmett Burr’s house in search of opiates. The house is in a remote area of Sandy Lake, Minnesota. Emmett shoots and kills the boy, while the girl, Jenny, is chained and left in a cell in the basement.
Ben Packard, who recently moved from Minneapolis, is the acting Sherriff and related to one of the teens(Jenny).
Ben will uncover many truths about the dark side of Sandy Lake.
Ok, this was exciting!
This thriller seriously had me on edge.
I loved (loved, loved, loved) our main character and was equally involved with one of our victims. I was so worried!
What’s really going on is completely horrifying and some of it shocked me.
An excellent fast paced read that kept me riveted!
*ARC via publisher.