Keep Her Safe was a bit of a disappointment. At first glance, it seems like the kind of book I would absolutely love — romance, mystery and thriller all wrapped up in one. But the characters never quite grabbed me, and the story started off really slow, and it was only about halfway through that I finally started to get into the story.
When Noah’s mother, a celebrated police chief, is found dead of an apparent suicide, she leaves behind a message for Noah to track down the family of her former partner and give them a bag full of money to “make things right.” A few cities away, in a trailer park, is the family Noah has to track down: Gracie and her mother, who has an addiction to drugs. Gracie barely remembers her father; she was a very young child when he died in disgrace, a police officer convicted of a serious crime.
After a bit of a rocky start, Noah and Gracie become friends and slowly realize their attraction to each other. They also realize there are suspicious circumstances around the crime that Grace’s father was accused of, and that Noah’s mother may have played a role in a grave injustice. Accompanied by a stray dog they informally adopt, they set off on a road trip to investigate the truth behind Grace’s father’s death.
It’s a compelling premise, and once the pieces begin falling together and Gracie and Noah realize they need to head back to Noah’s hometown, the story picks up and catches my interest. But the build up felt really slow, and even as I became curious about how the story turns out, I never really quite became invested in the characters or their lives. They weren’t unlikeable so much as just okay, and while Tucker does give them both personalities, they just seemed somewhat bland. There is a romance subplot, but the chemistry fizzled and the characters’ frenemies-turned-lovers banter fell flat. The mystery angle was the strongest part of the story, and while it took a while to hit its groove, I thought the story ended on a high note.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.