I found KEEP YOU SAFE by Rona Halsall to be an engaging and well-paced book. Told primarily from character Natalie’s point of view, I enjoyed the switch between the present, where she is not only searching for her son, but running from people who have threatened her and her family’s lives, and the past, where we learn about how she ended up in prison serving time for a crime she claims she did not commit.
The author does a fine job of keeping up the tension throughout the book. Both in prison and outside, Natalie struggles in knowing who to trust. She can only rely on her wits; wits that her prison stint has helped her hone typically via unpleasant experiences. In fact, I quite enjoyed reading about time Natalie spent in prison. Her experiences inside shaped her and she certainly was not able to leave behind that life once outside.
One of my ‘buts’ with this story is that I guessed who the unknown narrator was much earlier than I would have preferred and this diluted part of the mystery for me. Also at times, I did feel the need to suspend belief with respect to some storylines. Having said all this, the book more than held my interest and I was happily turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.
I learned after reading this book that it is the author’s debut novel. Well done! I hope she continues writing because I am keen to read what she comes up with next.
Wow! Wow! What can I say? This book was a cracker!
Natalie had a loving husband and beautiful baby and a life she thought was complete, she thought she had under control. That was until she started losing parts of her life while making extravagant purchases that she didn’t remember. When the police come knocking at her door and take her to the station for questioning, before arresting her, everything she thought she knew comes to the surface and reaches a confrontational head!
Set in the now, being the present day after her release, and the then, being the story of how she found herself being sent to prison and serving her term, I found the storyline painted a perfect picture of a mother on a desperate hunt to win back the son she lost when she went to prison.
With characters like Jack, the musician she met on her release from prison, Sasha, her childhood best friend, Tom, her husband, Katya, her prison confidant and her brother Lech and Mary, the bed and breakfast host, the book had us guessing who were friends and who were foes. I suspected everyone, I found myself looking over my shoulder at times and quickly read this gripping read.
I will be jumping on Rona’s next book, The Honeymoon as I can’t wait to see what this amazingly talented author has in store for us in her new book!