Unexpected Connection to Current Events: ‘Keep Her Safe’ Review

Book Title: Keep Her Safe

Author: Sophie Hannah

Genre: Literary thriller, suspense, mystery

Published Date: September 19, 2017

Rating:  4 stars

Challenges: Popsugar 2018 Advanced Challenge (Book about a Problem Facing Society Today), #4 of 68 for Goodreads Challenge

This novel was just hanging out at the library’s new released book table a couple of weeks ago, and I just happened to pick it up. I remembered adding the title to my Goodreads to-read list, but couldn’t recall the author (there are a couple of novels by this title on my list…harkening to the year when I wanted to read “The Ghost Writer” someone in my book club had recommended…which caused me to read about four novels in a row by this title until I happened upon the correct one…but I digress).

Sophie Hannah was a new author to me, and  as is my usual modus operandi I flipped open to the first page and started reading without any jacket reading or knowing anything at all about the book. I was hooked, line and sinker, and couldn’t read the book fast enough.

Here’s the premise: Cara Burrows is a mom of two who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant with her third child. Following a family meeting to discuss the impending change in the family dynamic (and not being too pleased with the general direction in which the conversation played out), Cara leaves a note for her family and takes off clear across the pond (she’s a Brit) landing in the desert and at a high-end resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Her plan was to return home in two weeks after spending time alone with her thoughts, unwinding and taking advantage of the pampering to be found at the spa in the shadow of Camelback Mountain.

As one might expect with a suspense novel, a glitch in Cara’s plan occurs shortly after her arrival at Swallowtail at the time of her check-in. She is given the passkey for a room that’s already taken by a man and a young girl. As we come to find out, the girl is thought to be the most famous girl allegedly murdered by her parents. Melody Chapa’s parents were convicted to life in prison without a body. What ensues for the reader are more twist and turns that Lombard Street in San Francisco.

The stage is set for a host of characters…all finely drawn and fleshed out…who walk in and out of the plot. With that being said, the way that “Keep Her Safe” read reminded me of one of my favorite mystery authors growing up: Agatha Christie. And don’t you know it, after finishing the novel, I read the book’s jacket to learn that Sophie Hannah wrote “The Monogram Murders” and “Closed Casket,” which are the only Hercule Poirot novels sanctioned by Agatha Christie’s estate. Rest assured, I am going to definitely read some of Sophie Hannah’s back catalogue.

So why did this novel slip into the ‘book about a problem facing society today’ category in the Popsugar challenge? Well I started reading “Keep Her Safe” as the story broke about the family in Southern California where 13 children were tortured and held hostage in their home. Melody’s parents were suspected of abuse…as the evidence of her death unfolded and became public knowledge, including discovered hair strands that tested positive for arsenic.

All toll, I thoroughly enjoyed (and unsuspected) reading this novel by a new-to-me author…and I felt like I received a most satisfying read that allowed me to reminisce about my favorite Agatha Christie novels growing up.

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