And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling, 4 Stars

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.

My Review:

If I’m to believe what I read (and that’s mostly thriller fiction), there are a lot of super trashy weirdo kidnapper guys in small towns with drug problems. And I kinda do believe that seems like it could be accurate. But one of the first things that really struck me when I started reading And There He Kept Her, was that it was slightly reminiscent of The Last House on Needless Street. Or at least how that book started out (fyi, read it if you haven’t yet.)

This is book is it’s own story. For example, it mostly centers around Ben Packard, a good-looking gay man who has taken a job as as sheriff’s deputy after losing his partner working in the city. He’s probably one of the unlikeliest people to move to this small town, but childhood memories and family connections (paired with the desire to escape), have led him to Sandy Lake. And he’s going to do what he needs to do to crack the case.

Now, the idea of some gross old man building a room in his dusty basement is just repellant. But I guess that’s what psychos do. When two teens go missing and a young girl who he really never wanted to hold prisoner becomes captive in that room, it gets interesting. Packard works against the clock to bring the girl (a relative of his), home before she dies due to lack of insulin.

This one is fast-paced and a good story, if you can stomach the psychos. Special thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now.

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