Published by William Morrow on September 19th 2017
Genres: adult, Thrillers, mystery-thriller
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She's the most famous murder victim in America. What if she's not dead?
Pushed to the breaking point, Cara Burrows flees her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied — by a man and a teenage girl.
A simple mistake at the front desk... but soon Cara realizes that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving natural life sentences for her murder.
Cara doesn't know what to trust — everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?
Keep Her Safe has an intriguing synopsis. I’ve been trying to get back into reading thrillers lately, because I used to really like them, but I’m picky about which ones interest me, so I look for a blurb that grabs me. The idea of a famous girl that disappeared turning up at a 5-star resort after being spotted by a typical woman from Britain who was dealing with problems of her own? I was sold.
Now this book wasn’t bad, but I just wasn’t convinced that the story was told as well as it could have been. I definitely got a Casey Anthony crossed with JonBenet Ramsey vibe, and I loved that the author put her own spin on it and made it her own.
Cara Burrows flies from London to Phoenix, leaving her family behind to spend two weeks at a spa resort in the desert because she has to work through a certain problem she has. I don’t understand the logistics of leaving your husband and kids to figure something out when the only way it could have been figured out in the first place was by talking it over with your husband and kids. So you just kind of have to go with it as a reader if you want to get to the mystery part. I get that Cara’s problem was filler to develop her character and make us care for her, but it still has to make sense for it to work, right? Meh.
The other thing is that the book reads a bit repetitive. It’s no longer than your typical thriller, but the fact that it alternates between regular chapters at the resort and Melody’s journal entries makes it a bit tedious when all the journal entries seem the same. Plus, none of the characters were remotely likeable, which I am fine with if they are interesting, but there wasn’t all that much emotion or depth to them.
So that brings me to the actual mystery. That part I sort of liked, but it ended up being not as unique as I thought it was going to be. And the big twist ended up being a little hard to believe. No, I take that back. Not a little hard to believe, a LOT hard to believe. I can’t say because that would be spoilers, but just know that for thrillers to work for most people the mystery has to be something that you could see happening in real life.
The writing is passable and the book is a fast read which earns it three stars instead of two, but it honestly wasn’t anything special. I call it a crack book because I couldn’t put it down even though it was repetitive in places. Most thrillers if they are written well enough are, and this one was no different, but I’m always looking for that something extra special and this one just didn’t have that.