The old adage about writing what you know has fallen out of fashion as advice for new writers, but it’s served Jessica Moor well in her first novel, Keeper, the story of a murder investigation that centres on a women’s refuge. Moor was inspired to write about her experiences of working with victims of domestic violence, and Keeperexplores how abuse can rob women of their lives in more ways than one... Moor skilfully avoids the danger of making the novel too didactic and allows her female characters to speak for themselves. She presents a spectrum of male violence, from a Twitter trolling campaign of violent rape threats against the refuge, to the male detectives’ dismissive response, through the various instances of physical and emotional control and ultimately murder.
An amazing debut - both unsettling and powerful - it tells the story of an investigation following the death of a counsellor at a women's refuge. It's a difficult read, but not gratuitous or sensationalised in any way. It's a superbly paced novel and I'm certain it will fly off the shelves.
Violence against women is at the heart of Jessica Moor’s disturbing first novel...
Their stories emerge in the course of the investigation, revealing the myriad forms of domestic abuse that force women to flee their families. However, the best thing about the book is its absolutely chilling portrayal of a relationship based on coercive control.