Title: And There He Kept Her by Joshua Moehling
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Mystery
Length: 337 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong.
When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he’s been keeping in his basement for more than two decades, and he’ll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.
Personal tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff’s deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home.
Unrelentingly suspenseful and written with a piercing gaze into the dark depths of the human soul, And There He Kept Her is a thrilling page-turner that introduces readers to a complicated new hero and forces us to consider the true nature of evil.
And There He Kept Her is a compelling debut mystery by Joshua Moehling.
Jesse Crawford has gotten himself into a situation that threatens his loved ones unless he breaks into a house on the outskirts of Sandy Lake, Minnesota. His girlfriend, Jenny Wheeler, is with him and they accidentally awaken the home owner, Emmett Burr. Emmett has good reason to prevent the teenagers from leaving his property, but what is he willing to do to protect his secrets?
Acting Sheriff Ben Packard is initially not overly concerned when his cousin and Jenny’s mom, Susan, reports her daughter has not returned home after sneaking out. But circumstances soon come to light that add urgency to finding the missing teenager. Ben discovers not too shocking information about Jesse that soon takes to the case in an unexpected direction. With time quickly ticking past, can Ben and his fellow investigator Jill Thielen locate Susan and Jesse before it is too late?
Ben has secrets of his own that he would prefer remain hidden. He has ties to the community that most people have not unearthed. He is also questioning everything about a relationship that tragically ended and left Ben mourning behind closed doors. Will he finally stop hiding a very integral part of who he is and live his life to the fullest?
And There He Kept Her is an intriguing mystery that is quite engrossing. Ben is a multi-layered protagonist whose flaws do not diminish his appeal. He is intelligent and his tenacity drives the investigation. Emmett has few redeeming qualities but his reactions after the break in are somewhat surprising. With time running out, Joshua Moehling brings this well-written mystery to tension-filled conclusion.