Release Date: January 23rd, 2018
Trigger Warnings: dead parents, suicide, addiction, alcoholism, sex trafficking
Publisher: Atria Books
Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).
Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.
Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.
Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.
Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker’s reputation as one of today’s most talented new voices in romantic suspense
R E V I E W
When you pick up a book under the romantic suspense genre you suspect some of both. Some suspense in the plot and a dash of romance to undercut the horrific acts that are being put on the page. Keep Her Safe has neither. There is romance, but it is rushed while it is only being developed, with not much on the page that would lead to a romantic outcome. Then, there’s the fact the suspense is basically all ruined by 20 pages in. If that. The book tells you who did the crime and I went ‘it can’t be that easy, there’ll be a twist’. There is no twist. Well, there is, but it’s just that one of the characters is a creepy old man who cheats on his wife with prostitutes who are underage. What a charming guy. Not a twist either, just disturbing. Plus, I called it.
I love K.A Tucker’s attempt in this genre – He Will Be My Ruin – so I really was expecting to love this. I mean, I even read the blurb. Which, if you’ve read my other reviews you’ll notice I very rarely do this.
Keep Her Safe is a book full of missing parents who suffer from addiction (some succumbing to it), corrupt Texan police and a pair of characters who would have grown up together if circumstances had been different. It would have been a great story if it wasn’t so bland. The premise itself is interesting if it weren’t for the lack of suspense of mystery in the text.
L I K E S
✗WRITING IS GOOD
I think K.A Tucker has an excellent writing style. It’s very engaging and it’s very fun to read. The characters are usually a lot more fleshed out and enjoyable to read, but the writing is always solid. From the dialogue to the description, I can always count on K.A to deliver a decent and enjoyable book. It’s really the only reason I didn’t give this book one star as well.
✗FLASHBACKS WOULD HAVE MADE A BETTER STORY
There are a series of flashbacks in Keep Her Safe that reveal the truth of what happened the night Abe (a Texan police officer) was murdered. These tended to come as Grace and Noah made a discovery to support the flashback (the discovery was usually very obvious too). However, the flashbacks themselves were incredibly engaging and probably the best-written part of the book. There are a lot more suspense in those 10 (random guess) flashbacks than the other 50 chapters. I just really think K.A Tucker should have chosen to tell Abe’s story as the main plot instead of messing around with the dull Noah and Grace.
D I S L I K E S
Do you hear that? It’s me snoring from how boring Keep Her Safe was. Honestly. This book wasn’t even fluffy to justify the predictability of it all. I don’t even mean the romance itself I really do mean the plot. You can’t tell the audience who committed a crime early in the book and then have that person actually commit that crime. It is boring. Honestly. I had no reason to guess or no mystery. There was no suspense either. There’s a dirty cop in the force and another cop sees it but decides to report it only to be framed as a dirty cop. Honestly, a boring mess. I would have fallen asleep if it hadn’t been for the writing. Thank God, for the writing.
✗POINTLESS & MEANINGLESS TASKS
Noah and Grace are constantly running around. Accomplishing what, exactly? Nothing. The FBI is involved, there’s a bunch of pointless exchanges between Grace and the lead detective. There’s a shit tonne of pointless of conversations between Noah and literally everyone. Grace gives away what they’re doing to the person they suspect almost instantly. There’s a random scene where the dirty cops try to plant stuff in Noah’s house to discredit his mother. It’s really just pointless and fodder to fill up the book. Almost every time another one of these tasks would occur I was rolling my eyes and wondering when we’d get to the point. Since nothing actually added to the point of what was happening in the novel. Especially since a lot of these scenes were meant to make people out to be suspicious and reveal their true intentions. Surprise, literally everyone is in on it. I’m not impressed.
✗ROMANCE? WHAT ROMANCE?
Now, this is a strange point for me to be making. I usually say there’s too much romance in books. I want more depth. However, Keep Her Safe literally had no depth to the relationship. One moment they’re just friends the next they’re almost fucking in a pantry before they find blood. It’s really just a strange feeling. I just really wasn’t on board with Noah and Grace. There wasn’t the spark for me bare the initial moment when she threatens to kill him – good stuff. Ultimately, it came across as underdeveloped and bland.
✗GAME OF MISSING IDENTITY
I mean this in a really literal sense because neither Noah nor Grace has a single piece of personality. They’re both incredibly bland. Not even that, but their personalities are identical to each others. I would look at who’s POV each chapter was but by a few sentences in I was trying to pick out who’s voice I was really listening to. It was a lot harder than you’re thinking as well. It didn’t make sense for Grace and Noah to read the same either. They both had different lives and they both had different things to be angry about, though you wouldn’t know that from around 20% onwards.
Actually, this particular dislike gets really big after the pair head back to Texas from Arizona. I’m not sure if it’s a Texas thing (very much a joke, please no one from Texas take offence) or just a ‘this book is crap and rushed’ thing. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Overall, I was promised ‘complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling’ and I got quite literally, none of that. Keep Her Safe by K.A Tucker does not live up to what it promises in the blurb. It does not fulfil the romantic suspense or mystery thriller genre either. It is simply bland and full of bland characters. I would highly recommend passing on this particular book, there are much better romantic suspense books out there.
Happy reading everyone!
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