I've read quite a few of Tucker's novels by this point, but not really many of her more thriller/crime novels. The other series touched on them, but I have yet to read He Will be My Ruin, arguably her most well-known thriller. Needless to say, while I was confident in Tucker's abilities to write primarily romances, I was excited to see what she brought to the table with a thriller.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

This story follows Noah, the son of the Austin PD's Chief of Police, Jackie. His world is flipped upside down when she reveals a secret about her past, working with her old partner, Abe, the one who was shot and killed in a drug deal gone wrong; the one accused of being dirty; the one whose little girl grew up without a father. Grace is that little girl, all grown up fourteen years later. She never really knew the truth about her father but hated that his behaviour sent his wife, Dina packing and on to the path of heroin addiction. When Noah shows up on Grace's doorstep to make amends and try to figure out what really happened, neither of them really understand the scope of what they are digging into and how many lives it will affect, including their own.

The big question for me going into this novel was the suspense and the pacing of the story. Would it be enough to keep the story going or just a romance with some mystery thrown in? Luckily, it was the former. While it did take me a little bit to get into the story and for the plot to really pick up, I do appreciate Tucker taking the time to set up the background and lay the groundwork for the inevitable romance. You don't really know what the real mystery is, other than finding out what happened to Abe, until later on, but the rest of the story is enough to keep you hooked.

There were a few different POVs and timelines going on throughout the story as well. Naturally, we get Noah and Grace's POV with the main story. Their voices were fairly easy to differentiate, but there were one or two times where I had to double check. We also see Jackie and Abe's POV from the case fourteen years ago. This helps put all the pieces together, really they were just a page or two long to give snippets of what was happening. I don't know if they were super necessary, in fact, there were a couple of Abe's that I felt gave away too much a little too soon. I appreciated the dramatic irony, but I felt like it took away some of the suspense in finding out what happened, and just focused on whether or not the characters would find out.

Like many of her other books, this one definitely delves into some deeper, seedier aspects of the world. There was some discussion about sexual assault and human trafficking, especially that of underage girls. These are major parts of the story, not just added as a plot device, but just be warned if they are triggering for you.

I can't quite decide if the complexity of the case was good or bad. I won't spoil anything, but there were so many layers and so many people involved, I think sometimes it was hard to fully grasp the depth of the situation. There was also a lot of discussion about who should be trusted, but then some people were trusted blindly. These are just minor things, but something that felt off to me while reading.

I'm a bit torn because while there were many parts I really enjoyed about this book, there were some parts I felt dragged on too long and felt a bit unnecessary. I think from a thriller standpoint, it wasn't as good as many others I've read. It's one of those ones where you have no idea what's happening until the end, for better or for worse. But, at the same time, Tucker is able to craft a beautiful and complexly heart-wrenching contemporary story. I'm just not sure, together, these elements of the story meshed as well as they could have.

Overall, a decent mystery but not one of Tucker's best books.