Keep Her Close by Erik Therme #BookReview #BlogTour

Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you…
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family. 
But her real father has sent her a letter.
And now Ally is missing.

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Keep Her Close by Erik Therme today. Many thanks to the author and Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel, received through NetGalley.

Keep Her Close intrigued me from the very beginning of the book. The prologue sees Dan and Holly finding a seemingly abandoned little girl in a parking lot. At first, Dan suspects she is homeless with her parents are nearby scrounging for food and even questions whether they could be using her as a lure to mug unsuspecting victims. However, they spot a sign reading 'FREE TO A GOOD HOME' then she points them in the direction of a heartbreaking sight and they realise the truth is far more tragic.
The story then fast-forwards fifteen years, the little girl is now called Ally and we learn that Dan and Holly eventually adopted her. She is now about eighteen, is in her first year of college and has left home for the first time. Like many parents of newly fledged teens, Dan is still over-protective of his little girl and doesn't react positively when she tells him she's received a letter purporting to come from her birth father. Ally is understandably excited and I thought the portrayal of a young woman who has grown up in a close and loving family but still feels that not knowing who she really is and where she came from means that something is missing was described with touching insight. It would be easy enough, perhaps to feel frustrated with Ally for what she then does but she is still only young and is desperate to know who she is so I could sympathise with her decision - even if it does turn out to be a horrible mistake...
When Dan and Holly realise Ally is missing, they don't know where to turn. The police are sympathetic but with very little to go on, it's left to her parents to try and contact her friends to see if she told them where she had arranged to meet the man who wrote to her. As the book progresses we learn more about the troubled history between Dan and Holly and much of the tension in the novel comes from wondering how the increasingly frantic Dan will react to discovering that Cal, who claims to be Ally's boyfriend hasn't been entirely honest with them. He really struggles to keep a lid on his temper, which given the circumstances is entirely understandable but there were times where my heart was in my mouth as I feared he may have gone too far.
I loved the twists and turns throughout the novel which meant I had no idea what had really happened to Ally. In the latter part of the book, the storyline goes back a few days and we learn exactly what happened to her after she makes the fateful decision to go and meet the man who may be her birth father. The suspense here becomes almost unbearable as Ally finds herself in the clutches of a truly disturbed and dangerous individual. It's hard to say too much without spoilers but I will say that having the split storyline worked superbly to really escalate the tension here. I couldn't put  Keep Her Close down, it's such an exciting, riveting and immensely satisfying thriller and I tore through the pages in a day. I look forward to reading more from Erik Therme in the future and recommend this to anybody who enjoys twisty psychological thrillers.

Keep Her Close is published by Bookouture and can be purchased from Amazon, iBookstore, Kobo and Googleplay.

Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads