Keep You Close – Karen Cleveland

Keep You Close is the heart-pounding, twisty follow up to Need to Know, one of 2018’s biggest thriller debuts. Need to Know was purchased by Transworld in a whirlwind 24-hour auction, with rights sold in 22 territories and Charlize Theron set to produce and star in the upcoming film. The book received critical acclaim and was a Simon Mayo Book Club pick.

About the book: An FBI official’s sense of right and wrong is blurred when her own son is accused of the unimaginable in this heart-pounding thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know.

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?

About the Author: Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, focusing on counter terrorism and working briefly on rotation to the FBI. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons.

My Review:  I recently read Karen’s debut novel Need to Know after I saw Lee Child say that it was one of his favourite books of 2018 – see my full review here, so when I was asked if I would like to read her new book obviously I jumped at the chance.

Keep You Close is another thrilling, edge of your seat, nail biting, fast paced story which centres around single mum Stephanie Maddox and her teenage son Zachary.  Steph is a committed, driven and ambitious FBI Agent determined at any cost to “get the bad guys” and Zach is a “normal stroppy teenager”.

When a colleague knocks on her door late one evening and tells her Zach has been linked to a terrorist organisation and then discovers a gun hidden in his wardrobe she can’t believe Zach is involved and becomes intent on uncovering the truth at any cost.  After all, she’s his mother – she knows her son, doesn’t she?  Despite their relationship being strained and conversations being mono-syllabic Steph knows her baby boy wouldn’t do anything dangerous.  Or would he?

Once again the story makes the reader question how far you would go to protect your family and what lengths you would go to uncover the truth.  An easy read which keep me guessing and turning the pages.

Recommended for fans of espionage thrillers.

My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to join the blog tour and the publishers and Netgalley for my copy of the book.

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