And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling

And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

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.

I was 70% into the book and had already given it 5 stars in my mind even though I didn’t know how the book would end. I enjoyed the author’s writing style. The characters have distinct and believable personalities and I wanted to do nothing but continue on reading their story. Readers will be introduced to Ben Packard, the acting deputy sheriff of Sandy Lake. Ben has a history in Sandy Lake, but we also find out what heartbreaking events brought him back. My favorite character is Ann Crawford. She is cutthroat and funny even though I don’t think that’s how her character is meant to be. Emmett, yes he’s the bad guy but I still had a soft spot for him. How clever of the author to make me feel sympathy for the villain of the story. The author reveals the inner souls of the characters. The backstory helps the reader to see the perspective as it moves the narrative forward.

The storyline is easy to follow. Although some parts are dark and wicked, they are necessary for the intense development of a story that’s keeps the reader on edge. It’s obvious as to who is who so there’s not much suspense there, however my interest was piqued as I rushed to see how the author wrapped it all up. The twists and peaks came in appropriate intervals. I enjoyed Sheriff Packard’s determination to find the two missing teens. I enjoyed following the investigation as clues were enthrallingly revealed. The book isn’t overly violent and instead is on the tamer side, so that readers are made aware of gory actions that did take place but doesn’t necessarily observe them firsthand.

The author did not disappoint with the explosive ending that played out with superb closure. I hope to read future novels that will include such lively characters such as Ben Packard, Gary Bushwright and Cora Shaker.

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