#Keeper by Johana Gustawsson blog tour @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks

KEEPER COVER AW 2.indd

Source: Review Copy

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Sequel to international bestseller Block 46, and next in the award-winning Roy & Castells series. Murders in London and Sweden lead by to Jack the Ripper s Whitechapel.

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper s reign of terror.

London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose? Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down.

MY THOUGHTS

Last year I read Johana Gustawsson’s debut novel Block 46. Johana’s control of her plot and her characters blew me away. And in her second novel, Keeper, she has crafted another intelligent, complex and multi-layered story. Keeper is a triumph! I would warn, however, that this novel is not for the faint-hearted.

In the present day, a young woman’s body is discovered in a forest in Sweden, naked and mutilated. The murder bears haunting similarities to the Tower Hamlets murders which took place in London ten years earlier. But the police caught the person responsible, didn’t they? And when actress Julianne Bell disappears, profiler Emily Roy fears that the killer may have struck again and that the person they have behind bars may not be responsible for some of the crimes he was convicted for. We also travel back to 1888 when Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of Whitechapel. Are the murders committed by Jack the Ripper connected with what is happening today?

I have long been fascinated by the crimes of Jack the Ripper; a couple of years ago I went on the Jack the Ripper tour in London which Johana’s writing took me back to. There have been many speculations as to who he may have been, but what I have always been intrigued by is how his crimes have still been left unsolved more than a century after he committed them. We are never going to know the definite truth. Johana captured the scenery and the smells of Victorian London really well, I felt as though I was actually there; in the grand houses and amongst the working men and women of Whitechapel. In Keeper, Johanna shines a new light on the history of Jack the Ripper, which is done expertly well.

The crimes that take place in Keeper are grisly and stomach-churning; I really liked how Johana used the crimes of Jack the Ripper to form part of the basis of her plot, and it kept me engaged as I tried to work out how everything was going to come together. As I was in Block 46, I was shocked by the final revelations; it did make me marvel at the genius of Johana’s plotting and at the amount of research that she must’ve undertaken to pull her story together in a convincing way which she certainly did.

This is one of the most engaging novels I have read this year; I devoured a huge chunk of it in just one afternoon. I can’t wait to see what Johana writes next. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of Keeper to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th April 2018

Print length: 300 pages

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Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson Book Review

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Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

MY THOUGHTS

I was blown away by Block 46, I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get round to it. After reading so many great reviews from fellow bloggers, I knew I was in for a treat, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s another riveting read from Orenda Books, and Johana Gustawsson is another author who I am excited to read more from.

When the body of jewellery designer Linnea Blix is discovered in Sweden, investigators believe that there may be a link between her murder and the murder of a young boy in London who was found with similar injuries. The investigators believe that these recent murders could also be linked to killings which have taken place across decades. In 1944, we meet Erich Hebner who has been imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. How is Erich connected to the events which are happening in the present, what really happened at the camp all those years ago?

Block 46, is a powerful and emotive story that explores a devastating time period in our history, the Holocaust. I really had no idea of the direction which Johana was going to take us. The subject of the concentration camps is an area which Johana has researched impeccably well; what Johana has also done in this book is make us, the reader, realise how important it is for us to learn about what happened in these times, to ensure that this atrocity never happens again. The scenes in which Johana takes us inside the concentration camp are graphic and sometimes I had to take a break after reading them, but that is the power of her writing and what makes it so good. She’s an author who makes you care for her characters.

Johana has a great cast of characters in her book, I loved Emily Roy, and I’m hoping that she’ll soon appear in another book. Although Block 46 takes you to some very dark and disturbing places, it makes for an absolutely riveting read that I flew through. I could never be sure who the killer was, and I was certainly surprised by the ending. It is a gripping mystery but also a deeply moving story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 15th May 2017

Print length: 300 pages

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