It's been years since Rowan last saw Marianne, but she still knew her better than most. And so when Marianne falls to her death off a slippery roof everyone knew she frequented, Rowan questions the accident.
Then Rowan learns that Marianne had been concerned about break ins at her home, claiming her sketches had started to go missing. While no evidence was ever discovered, the family does worry about leaving the home empty in the wake of Marianne's death. Which is how Rowan ends up living in her former friend's abode, a perfect opportunity to see if her suspicions about Marianne's death have any merit at all.
Early this month I read and reviewed K.A. Tucker's He Will Be My Ruin, a thriller wherein a woman is called to clean out the apartment of her estranged friend in the wake of said friend's suicide. And of course the main character believes her friend would never have killed herself and becomes determined to find out the truth.
It's probably clear to frequent visitors of the blog that I do often choose books with similar themes. And while it's true that if you give ten authors the same topic or prompt, you'll end up with ten vastly different stories, it's sometimes not such a great thing to read too similar titles too close together.
Ugh. My fault.
Reading Keep You Close so closely on the heels of Tucker's title proved to be more than a little challenging for me at first. Fortunately, Tucker's and Whitehouse's stories and overall writing styles are actually quite different. In fact, Whitehouse is much more of a slow burn, drawing the reader in more gradually and laying out a tale that has twists you probably won't see coming.
Rowan, the narrator, split with Marianne ages ago and doesn't reveal why to the reader for quite some time. This disagreement fractured their friendship, leaving Rowan to find out the happenings of Marianne's life the way her fans did - through newspapers and such. And even though Rowan has kept up, nothing could have prepared her for the things she discovers after Marianne's death, least of all the fact that Marianne had apparently been ready to talk to Rowan after so many years of silence.
One of the reasons Rowan is suspicious about Marianne's death is due to the fact that Marianne, a famous artist whose career was still growing, suffered from terrible vertigo. Yes, she frequented the roof from which she fell, but Rowan knows she'd never have been close enough to the edge to fall.
By the end I was glad that I'd barreled through Keep You Close. It's the kind of ending that makes a book oh so worthwhile. The build to that end is, as mentioned though, a definite slower and more deliberate pace. Readers looking for a quick read will be disappointed but those willing to immerse themselves and take their time will be rewarded.
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
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