Keep You Close

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

This was a fast-paced spy thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
It was an enjoyable read that kept me wanting to read with only minor niggles at a bit of a repetitive thread running through it and some parts being a bit unbelievable.
Was this review helpful?
Stephanie Maddox makes tough decisions every day. She has her hands full heading the FBI's Internal Investigations division, policing wrongdoers within the Bureau. But, as a single mother, the most important thing in her life is her teenage son Zachary, who's anxiously awaiting college acceptance letters. So when she discovers a gun concealed in Zach's room, her world reels. And then an FBI agent on the domestic terrorism squad shows up at her door and utters three devastating words: "It's about Zachary. . . ."

Has she been wrong about her near-perfect son? Is Zach embroiled in something criminal--something deadly? And, if so, what is her greater duty: To protect him? Or to protect her country? 

The plot itself is pretty convoluted. There are twists. The Russians are somehow involved, lending a topical element. 

I was initially intrigued by the idea of a mother questioning if she really knows her son and being put into a difficult position of wondering what he might be capable of, Steph's character arc ultimately puts her in the same position of weakness that she worked so hard to overcome.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an advance copy in return for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
‘What if he’s not who she thinks he is?  How well does she really know him?

Stephanie Maddox is the head of the FBI’s Internal Investigations Division in the Washington, D.C. office.  It’s a busy and demanding position, and Stephanie works long hours.  She’s also the single mother of seventeen-year-old Zachary who has become distant and uncommunicative.  Stephanie thinks this is a consequence of his age and her long hours and resolves to do something about it. Imagine how Stephanie feels when she discovers a gun hidden in Zachary’s room.  Her Zachary, a good student, who is awaiting college acceptance letters?  And then, an FBI agent from the domestic terrorism squad shows up: ‘It’s about Zachary …’.  Stephanie learns that apparently Zachary has been emailing a domestic terrorist group.

Stephanie is conflicted.  Can she protect Zachary?  Surely, he is not involved in terrorism?
I read this book in a day, wanting to know how it would end and what choices Stephanie would make.  Stephanie is convinced that someone from her past (could it be Zachary’s father (an influential Senator), or a disgruntled FBI agent who lost his job because of her, or a mob boss) trying to get at Stephanie through Zachary?

The more Stephanie investigates, the less she seems able to distinguish between right and wrong.  While I appreciate the dilemma Stephanie finds herself in, some of the choices she makes left me gobsmacked. A couple of aspects of the story (although I can’t tell you what they are without spoilers) didn’t work for me.

My conclusion?  This is a fast-moving story which, while it mostly held my attention, had me questioning its believability. Surely a good FBI agent would have paid more attention to detail than Stephanie did?

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Bantam Press for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
Was this review helpful?
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

what wouldnt a mother do to keep her child safe...

as more and more evidence appears that the terrorist group do exist and that the threat is credible, what can steph do in her role in fbi and keep her family safe...after finding that gun and evidence that her son could be in contact with this group....

but could someone else higher up than her be a double agent working for the russian...but who will believe her?

as steph fights to clear her sons name and find out who is threatening her family,will she be able to figure it out before her son is arrested...

a tense thriller that will keep you on your toes...
Was this review helpful?
FBI agent Steph Maddox works hard, has little time for her teenage son who with or without her guidance has become an exceptional student on the brink of being accepted into one of the best colleges in the US. A brief visit into domesticity finds Steph tidying his messy bedroom and to her absolute horror she discovers a gun hidden in his closet. Accusations, denials and a strained relationship tear her apart. As a Mum she wants to believe and protect, as an FBI agent she knows she should report him. As her life, both professional and personal become entwined and increasingly desperate she struggles to know who to trust in her bid to find a way out of this complex problem. Fast paced, with heart thumping terror this book questions just how far someone will go to protect those closest to them or indeed to protect themselves.
Was this review helpful?
Another great thriller from Karen Cleveland. Her debut blew me away, and so I was excited for this one. While it didn't pack the same punch (in my opinion) this is still a clever, tense thriller full of twists and turns. 
I loved the dynamic of the relationships, especially between Steph and her son Zachary. And the ending, I didn't predict.
Was this review helpful?
I'm a little saddened by my reaction to this book- Need To Know was one of my top thrillers last year - but Keep You Close didn't really hit the mark for me at all.

The premise is intriguing. It has a domestic noir hint - how well do you know your children- with a spy thriller twist- main protagonist is not your usual parent...

However my honest reaction was one of ennui. The characterful observations of Need to Know are lacking here, giving it a flat feel and it feels a lot more like a paint by numbers thriller. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily, other readers looking for a fast paced fairly light read will be well rewarded- but I guess I wanted more. 

The twists are ok but not unexpectedly delightful as in the previous book and all in all it felt like an attempt to do the same thing again in a different domestic situation. I read it happily enough, even enjoyed a fair bit of it in a popcorn way and it's not bad by any means - I just didn't feel it this time. I'll look forward to book 3. My gut feeling is Keep You Close is simply another case of difficult second book syndrome and Karen Cleveland clearly is a talented writer so that'll pass.
Was this review helpful?
Another fast-paced espionage thriller full of twists and turns from Kate Cleveland. 
Steph is a single mum who has provided a secure home for her son Zachary by concentrating on her career as a CIA agent. But long hours at work have pushed them apart and when Steph finds a suspicious object hidden in Zachary’s room, she is convinced that he has been set up, but has no idea why or by whom.
Without pausing to take a breath, we hurtle into a world of secrets and double-crossing to discover the truth.
I certainly enjoyed the book as a quick action-packed story. Personally I would have welcomed an occasional change of pace and a little less repeated revisiting of the theme of regret. But overall the twists and unexpected reveals kept me hooked and turning the pages until the truth was revealed.
Many thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I am aware that the author has written other books but this is first one that I have read. This book certainly draws upon the ethical dilemmas when your job and what you believe is right conflicts with your family and those you love. I enjoyed the elements of the past interspersed throughout the book, although despite this I don't think i ever really connected with Stephanie as a main character. The book was really fast paced but perhaps too much in that it was hard to keep up with at times.  Overall, I would say it was good but not great!
Was this review helpful?
Wow this book left me with lots of moral questions. What would any mother do in this situation? Well written and hard hitting, I really enjoyed this.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not a mother but I did find the uneasiness under my skin while reading this book.  I don' know what I'd do if I were to be in that situation.  This one goes out for parents or anyone who's interested in the synopsis, what would you do?
Was this review helpful?
I don't want to ruin this book for everyone who still has to read it, but believe me when I say that you are in for a thrilling read!
The story is really well written and I could not put it away. Can highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to all.  It has a great story line, brilliant main characters and is a real page turner.  I couldn't put this book down.
Was this review helpful?
A good standalone thriller from an emerging new writer. I really w=enjoyed her first book and this one is almost but not quite as good.

A terrible ethical dilemma is faced by the main character - an FBI agent who is informed that her teenage son is part of a terrorist gang.

She cannot believe that this can be the truth so covers up what she knows and attempts to solve the mystery herself.

Lots of twists and turns makes for a satisfying read.

Good holiday beach fodder.
Was this review helpful?
This book was written so well that I physically had goosebumps while reading it. A great story that would truly be ruined by spoilers. Don’t want to give too much away. An amazing thriller xx
Was this review helpful?
Karen Cleveland does it again another nail biting page turner. How hard would you fight for you son? But you find a gun  hidden in his room and are told he has links to a terrorist group. How well do you know him, can this really be true. 
Well our hero works for the FBI and can access files but she knows it illegal and could be very costly but what would you do. Well luckily for us we don't have to it's the choice that Steph our hero does have to make   And the harder she puches the bigger the threat, mind wouldn't be much of a thriller if she didn't. But Steph knows her son it's just the two of them and her Mum but she doesn't live with them and Mum and Daughter well it's a bit strained to be honest. So it's Steph that has to handle this and work out the best path that protects then the best, but not everyone plays by the rules like Steph then you can't expect everyone to can you 
From a youth Steph had big dreams but one life altering event changed the direction of her ambition and the rest you need to read for yourself and I think it is well worth your while.
I do highly recommend this thriller in fact any thriller with Karen Cleveland on the cover (as the author)..  The characters feel real some very vile and some you can love. But I guess anyone trying to protect a loved one specially a offspring will make you clench the pages (, or ereader ) harder and may be other parts. Fire is what you want in your hero and Steph has plenty, shame the enemy has a bit as well but it makes for a tence thriller and that's what this is I loved it I hope you do as well
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed Need To Know so I was expecting a lot from this! Keep You Close isn’t exactly a bad book, the writing leaves a lot to be desired and the characters are flat and boring. It’s a slow read but if you have patience it’s still worth your time. A low 2.5 out of 5
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this book but I kept having to go back to make sense of things. I never did figure out what law school Steph attended.
Zachary was raised by childminders, seemingly till he reached high school. He and Steph have a fairly normal relationship for teenage son and mother.
There is a massive gap where Scott should be.
For an FBI agent Steph is quick at seeing conspiracy plots involving her enemies and her family. Ok she had some reason to be paranoid but her mind went too far at times.
So did she...go too far...at home, in the office, on a plane, back to the office, home, running 14 miles to check out a house that has been empty for years. All this in one day.
My head was spinning by the end. The epilogue infers what might have happened but none too clearly. There were so many loose ends throughout the book I could have knitted a cardigan.
Was this review helpful?