And There He Kept Her
by Joshua Moehling
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Pub Date 14 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 17 Jun 2022
"A dark and complex mystery that will consume you, starring a protagonist who is equal parts quirky Milhone and steady Gamache."—Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight
They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong.
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.
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.
Unrelentingly suspenseful and written with a piercing gaze into the dark depths of the human soul, And There He Kept Her is a thrilling page-turner that introduces readers to a complicated new hero and forces us to consider the true nature of evil.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 648 members
For a debut author, I must admit I absolutely loved it. It was such a different take on the kidnapping genre. Whilst I was reading it my thoughts were very grown up - the exploration into the different themes - small town, sexuality, etc was very interesting.
I will definitely look forward to any more books by this author.
I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.
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.
Peter Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Had a wife, but couldn’t keep her
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her, very well.
This stunning debut novel by Joshua Moehling ticks all the boxes. A nursery rhyme from my childhood on rotate in my internal dialogue along with the Clash’s Rock the Casbah (for another reason).
A couple of teenagers sneak into a house to steal narcotics, and encounter the houseowner. Armed houseowner. What happens next sends small town policeman Ben Packard on a trail of high school drug dealers, local characters, disappeared students, and fractured family ties (to do with his past, and hopefully this leads to a second book with the mystery alluded to here).
The writing in this is superb, let alone the story line. As a reader, the mental picture for me is important (I will categorically not see a movie of a book I’ve read, as it ruins my own mind movie), and this sets the scene perfectly. The people of small town Sandy Lake are flawed to varying degrees, and live normal, seemingly unremarkable lives in this town, until the final realisation that evil lives amongst them.
The reader has their feelings about a character (Emmett in this case) tossed and turned, firstly pity, a bit of revulsion (for he’s not a likeable person), horror, then empathy as he shows some kindness, then the author twists the emotion knife back around again.
This is certainly a recommended read, and hopefully the start of something great with Ben and Franklin. Yes, I see what you did there.
I could not put this down, it was beautifully written and intensely addictive.
I'm a sucker for chilly small town narratives and this one is excellent - the scene setting is superb and the story, not a whodunit but a race against time to stop yet more loss, is cleverly plotted and full of deeply drawn characters of the morally ambiguous kind.
The hero of our story, acting Sheriff Packard, is an engaging character who is relatable and focused, dealing with loss of his own in more than one way. He also manages to avoid all cliche which is a huge plus for this reader and I believe he'll be appearing in future novels which made me very happy.
The group dynamic and community vibe is enthralling and the author is cleverly insightful making you feel sympathy for both the good and the evil in this literary thriller, you occasionally have to shake yourself and remember who you should be rooting for.
Overall truly excellent. Likely to be one of my books of the year.
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 name....no 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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