Keep Her Safe – Richard Parker

When Maggie discovers an intruder in her home late one night, she knows she has to do everything she can to protect her daughter, Penny. Maggie knows why the intruder is there because four nights ago Maggie was in the intruder’s position. Someone who calls themselves Babysitter is threatening single mothers and giving them until dawn to comply with their instructions or face never seeing their child again.

Facing the question of what lengths a mother would go to in order to protect their child pretty much opens the playing field, and as a result Keep Her Safe is an action packed book. It’s practically one action scene followed by another, with little respite in between. So why could I put it down?

Part of the reason was that because there was so much action there wasn’t a great deal of time spent on character development. After finishing the book I feel that while I know a few facts about Maggie and the intruder I don’t know them. There was never a point where I expended any emotional energy connecting to either of the women and so I found myself quite detached from the outcome.

Somewhat James Patterson-esque in that the chapters were very short and oftentimes ended on a mini-cliffhanger, I had expected to be faced with working out which of the two main characters I sided with, especially as there were chapters focusing on each point of view. However I would have been equally fine with either or both women dying and found that entirely unexpected. I found it difficult to distinguish between the characters’ voices because they all seemed to sound the same.

It felt to me that this book was made up of three sections and I had different thoughts during each:

  • Home Alone (or am I?) – This first section was brilliant. You don’t know what’s happening and you’re being fed various pieces of information/disinformation. You don’t know who’s telling the truth and it’s a fun adrenaline powered ride.
  • Hit the Road, Jack, A.K.A., Are we there yet? – Our cat and mouse game is on and I quickly found myself getting bored. While lots was happening, at the same time it felt like nothing was happening. It was during this time that I started hoping one or both of the women would get killed.
  • What the hell did I just read? – This one speaks for itself, but this is the part of the book where I wondered if perhaps the author had actually planned on writing two books and at the last minute smooshed the second half of one onto the first half of the other. It really felt like the first half didn’t gel with the second. Had the first half ended differently or the climax had belonged to a book with a different lead up I think either would have worked better. It was during this section that we learn that Babysitter is a fan of the madman monologue.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

How far would you go to protect your child?

Maggie’s daughter Penny is her whole world … and she’d do anything to protect her. So when Maggie wakes one night to find a strange woman in her home, she runs to lock herself in her bedroom with her child. But Maggie knows why she’s come … 

Someone has been targeting mothers and offering them a choice: do as he says or their child disappears. This stranger in her home has until dawn to follow his orders … but Maggie too has the ‘choice’ to make. Can she put the pieces together to stop the cycle before her time is up?

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