by Johana Gustawsson
Translated by Maxim Jakubowski
Publication Date : April 30, 2018 (UK) November 1, 2018 (US)
Pages : 276
Synopsis from Publisher:
Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some 10 years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before. Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman's body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose? Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.
I usually steer clear of crime fiction novels with a historic element. However I could not resist reading a story about a criminal profiler and a true crime author joining forces to solve crimes that have links to the past. After reading the synopsis, I realized there were too many things knew I would enjoy to not give Keeper a try.
In 2005 a series of murders dubbed the Tower Hamlets murders, shocked the citizens of London and bore a terrible resemblance to the murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Fast forward to 2015 - London, where a well known actress, Julianne Bell, goes missing while getting in her car. In Falkenberg Sweden, the body of a woman is found. The body is discovered in a similar condition as the Tower Hamlet murders, but a man has been convicted and jailed for the Tower Hamlet murders. Alexis Castells and Emily Roy join up in a race against the clock to track down a killer and save a life.
The Alexis Castells and Emily Roy series is unlike any other crime solving duo I have read. Alexis and Emily are not really partners, throughout Keeper they are rarely in the same country. They are working towards the same goal but they have different careers. Alexis is a true crime author, Emily is a criminal profiler working for Scotland Yard. Alexis and Emily work as a parallel team rather than a partnership. It’s very interesting to follow them both as they solve crimes using different methods. They are doing the same things, questioning witnesses, following leads, reviewing evidence, but they are using different tactics and sometimes see things differently.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the historical aspect of Keeper. Throughout the story there are flashbacks to a Victorian Whitechapel London in 1888. During this time, Whitechapel London is over crowded and working conditions are poor. This leads to early deaths for bread winners, leaving their families destitute. Many women turned to prostitution to support themselves and their families. All of these conditions make Whitechapel ripe for one of the worlds most notorious murderers, Jack the Ripper, who terrorized the streets of Whitechapel between 1888 and 1891. Gustawsson does a great job capturing the feelings of desperation and despair felt by those living in Whitechapel. Descriptions of rats, lice, bed mites and streets which smelled of human waste allow the reader to fully understand the sad and desperate living conditions of those living in Whitechapel in 1888.
Keeper is the second book in the Alexis Castells and Emily Roy series. Readers will be reacquainted with many of the characters from Block 46, the first book in the series, but they will also meet some new characters. Among the new characters, Alienor Lindbergh was my favorite and I hope she becomes a staple of the series. Alienor is an intern working under Police Commissioner Lennart Bergstrom in Falkenburg Sweden. Alienor is assigned to the case of the mutilated body found in Falkenberg alongside Emily. Alienor is also a college student studying psychology and criminal law. She previously worked in the public prosecutor’s office and has experience with criminal investigations. Alienor also has Asperger Syndrome, her attention to detail, organizational skills, and nearly photographic memory become an invaluable resource for Emily and Alexis. Her matter of fact manner and razor sharp focus were the source of many laugh out loud moments while reading Keeper.
Keeper is a twisty, thrilling, and captivating story which combines historical events with crime fiction that will satisfy fans of both crime fiction and history. Gustawsson has created a cast of lovable and relatable characters who are far from forgettable.
**Thanks to Orenda Books for my free copy of Keeper**
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars
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