Keeper – Johana Gustawsson

Another Fantastic #OrendaBooks Blog Tour



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 10 years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings. Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s mutilated body is found in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims.

With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes locked up, do the new killings mean he has an accomplice or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose? Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells are again drawn into an intriguing case with personal links.


I was so excited to receive this for two reasons: the first being that I absolutely adored Block 46. Johana Gustawsson is the Queen of French noir with a Scandinavian twist and a Dark heart. Keeper is the follow up to the wonderful Block 46; featuring duo, Emily Roy and Alexis Castells.

The other reason that I was so excited to receive Keeper as that for as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with Jack the Ripper. From lost manuscripts to Royal connections and links to the Florence Maybrick murder, I’ve followed the trail for years. When I heard that Johana’s new book was another Roy and Castells case – with a Ripperesque twist, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and I can tell you that I read it straight through without stopping. Even though I am on holiday right now in beautiful Cettia, Keeper transported me to colder and darker climes and held me there as I was so lost in its twisty depths…




Johana Gustawsson has a unique talent for dragging us in to the murky places within the human psyche. She doesnt shy away from shocking and disturbing the reader and her books are definitely not for the faint- hearted. Where other writers might hint or allude, Johana paints electrifyingly vivid pictures of your innermost fears, and what’s even more impressive – leaves you longing for more..

Once more, in trademark Gustawson style, we have two kinds of dual narrative going on: we have the contrast between the past and the present as well as the switching of locations between Britain and Sweden which makes for an intriguing read that really keeps the pace up and makes sure that the reader is permanently on their toes, turning the pages as we are transported across locations and timelines.

Roy and Castells are hot on the trail of what they presume at first is simply a copycat killer. Richard Hemfield has been convicted of the bloody murders of several women in Tower Hamlets. He is also guilty of murdering Castells’ partner during his arrest which brings a personal and painful angle to this intriguing case for the duo- a killer with his  signature is at large, operating in both locations and with strong links to the original case. The reader is kept wondering whether this is indeed a copycat crime or whether there is something even more sinister at work here and the strong team of Roy and Cassels are just the pair to untangle this tightly woven case, despite the inherent difficulties for them.

I absolutely loved Keeper. I am committed to no spoilers, so this was a really difficult task as I really want you to have the same immersive experience as I did whilst lost in this fabulous and gripping read. Gripping is a word that gets thrown about far too lightly these days, but I guarantee that you’ll agree with my verdict once you’ve read Keeper for yourself! Roy and Castells are fast becoming one of my favourite crime fighting duos as their unique relationship brings something a little different to your average British investigation. The international flavour of Gustawson’s novels is something that I’ve really grown to love and I can’t wait to read about their next twisted case.  This is not a read for the faint of heart: it doesn’t skim over the way that evil can visibly manifest itself and be unleashed where you are least expecting it. Gustawson is skilled at making the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and literally catch your breath as you re-read in horror what you’ve just been exposed to – and I can’t get enough of her writing.

Keeper is a bit like my very favourite chocolate: dark with a very unique flavour, continental, sophisticated and extremely moreish. I’m an addict and I am really looking forward to seeing what dark pathways Roy and Castells lead me down in their next outing. If for some reason, you’ve not read Block 46- here’s the link to my review, if you like dark fiction, fabulous characterisation and a unique take on the way that past evils can spill into the present day then you’ll be an absolute convert.

Block 46 Review


 Writer on the Shelf




Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015

#TeamOrenda have produced a series of amazing blog posts about this novel and if you haven’t read them already then you’re in for a treat. Check out the #BlogTour poster to see who else is creating the #FrenchNoir buzz around Keeper

My partner on the #BlogTour today is the lovely @overduebookblog 

I really enjoyed this Q and A on Johana’s website so I’m sharing the link below for you

Johana Blog Q and A

Author LinksWebsite  Twitter

I chose to read and review  Keeper, sent by the lovely Anne Cater. The above review is, as always,  my own unbiased opinion. I bloody loved it.

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson was published in the UK by Orenda Books

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