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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

First Chapter, First Paragraph - Keep You Close



I am linking up with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter First Paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading or plan to read soon.

I read Karen Cleveland's first book, Need To Know, last year.  Had a few annoyances with it, but finished it and decided that if she wrote another, I'd try it.  Need To Know is the July selection for our mystery book group and I reread it recently.  Many bloggers liked it better than I did and wished for a sequel.  So far, Keep You Close is not a sequel, but it does have some references to characters from Need To Know.  This week I'm highlighting:



by Karen Cleveland

First Paragraph(s):

The woman jolts awake, gasping, heart pounding.  Gunshots echo in her head, ones conjured in sleep.  She reaches for the other side of the bed, finds it empty.  Only an indentation in the sheets, now cold.
     She slips out of bed and shrugs on a robe.  Pads quietly into the darkened hall, bare feet cold on the wood floor.  She peers through the first open door.  A boy sleeps soundly, his features barely visible by the light of the moon.  On to the next door.  A little girl asleep in a rainbow-colored room, a night-light casting a muted glow on her innocent face.  Third door now.  Twin boys, asleep in twin beds.  One has a thumb in his mouth.  The other is snuggled up with a tattered stuffed bear.
     Faint sound from downstairs draws her onward.  Television, the volume low.  She glimpses the screen when she's halfway down the stairs.  News, the twenty-four-hour kind.  Russia.  Election interference.  The sort of story her husband can't stand, always shuts off.


Blurb:

Stephanie Maddox works her dream job policing power and exposing corruption within the FBI. Getting here has taken her nearly two decades of hard work, laser focus, and personal sacrifices—the most important, she fears, being a close relationship with her teenage son, Zachary. A single parent, Steph’s missed a lot of school events, birthdays, and vacations with her boy—but the truth is, she would move heaven and earth for him, including protecting him from an explosive secret in her past. It just never occurred to her that Zachary would keep secrets of his own.

One day while straightening her son’s room, Steph is shaken to discover a gun hidden in his closet. A loaded gun. Then comes a knock at her front door—a colleague on the domestic terrorism squad, who utters three devastating words: “It’s about Zachary.”

So begins a compulsively readable thriller of deception and betrayal, as Stephanie fights to clear her son’s name, only to expose a shadowy conspiracy that threatens to destroy them both—and bring a country to its knees. Packed with shocking twists and intense family drama, Keep You Close is an electrifying exploration of the shattering consequences of the love that binds—and sometimes blinds—a mother and her child.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Karen Cleveland is a former CIA analyst.  Some of the situations in both of her books are pretty scary...and probably entirely possible. 

26 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good one to make the heart race a bit. Enjoy

    Here's my pick:http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2019/06/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_18.html

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    1. Yes, there have been some tense moments.

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  2. I have the first, Need to Know, already on my kindle (from GR?) and never read it because I ran into mixed bag reviews at the time. If I'm in the right mood I might try it and see.

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    1. Don't worry if Need To Know doesn't suit. I didn't love all of it. I have some issues with this one as well, but maybe I'm getting used to the way she writes.

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  3. I liked Need to Know--except maybe for the conclusion and I'm certainly interested in this one.

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    1. If you liked Need To Know, you ought to try this one.

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  4. This sounds like it would be good but maybe too tense (for me). And it looks like it is written in present tense, not a favorite style with me. But who knows?

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  5. Sounds like it came right from too many of our headlines.

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  6. The premise is definitely intriguing. The writing, in those first paragraphs anyway, is kind of irritating with all those staccato sentences. I would read this, though.

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    1. I found the first book had annoying aspects. I'm liking this one a bit better, but there are still some 'TSTL' moments (too stupid to live).

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  7. Need to Know wasn't a favorite of mine, although it is quite a page-turner. I will probably wait and hear your thoughts on this new book. :)

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    1. Eh, if you didn't like the first one much, you would be fine skipping this one and reading another Louise Penny book. Ha!

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  8. Even though it's not a true sequel, I'd probably want to try Need to Know first. Hope you enjoy this one, Kay.

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  9. This sounds really good. Thanks for stopping by Girl Who Reads.

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  10. Sounds like a compelling read--I'd give it a try.

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    1. I finished it late this afternoon and liked it better than the first.

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  11. It always takes me a minute to get used to present tense in books but this looks good. I'm curious to see what you'll think since you weren't the biggest fan of the first book.

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    1. You know, I don't even pay attention to the tense. Isn't it funny how much it bothers some and then there's me - I don't notice it at all. I finished the book late this afternoon and liked it better than the first.

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  12. I know quite a few people don't like the way some books are written in first tense, but I think it gets you right there in the action, and I love it!

    Sounds like a tense read because of it and I would read this!

    Sorry I'm late in commenting! Here is my Tuesday post.

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  13. I haven't read Need To Know or Keep You Close but I think I'd enjoy them. I like the intro!

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    1. They are suspenseful. And both are good on audio.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!