Keep You Close – Lucie Whitehouse

When the artist Marianne Glass falls to her death, everyone insists it was a tragic accident. Yet Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, suspects there is more to the story. Ever since she was young, Marianne had paralyzing vertigo. She would never have gone so close to the roof’s edge.

Marianne — and the whole Glass family — once meant everything to Rowan. For a teenage girl, motherless with a much-absent father, this lively, intellectual household represented a world of glamour and opportunity.

But since their estrangement, Rowan knows only what the papers reported about Marianne’s life: her swift ascent in the London art world, her much-scrutinized romance with her gallerist. If she wants to discover the truth about her death, Rowan needs to know more. Was Marianne in distress? In danger? And so she begins to seek clues — in Marianne’s latest work, her closest relationships, and her new friendship with an iconoclastic fellow artist.

But the deeper Rowan goes, the more sinister everything seems. And a secret in the past only she knows makes her worry about her own fate . . .

 

There are not many authors that I tend to stick with, the reasons for this being that because there is so much new and emerging talent out there I want to explore and more often than not I fall out with a novel or two as the authors styles evolves and changes, sometimes in a direction that no longer holds my interest. Lucie Whitehouse however has managed to hold my attention through her novels which I read in order of the startling The Bed I Made which totally blew me away through to The House at Midnight, Before We Met and finally the recent release of Keep You Close, which is certainly on a par with the excellent The Bed I Made. I thoroughly loved this new novel but The Bed I made has to be my favourite.

I have heard before that some people find the novels by Whitehouse disturbing and dark, I find them atmospheric and gripping.

Keep You Close consumed me, I became so drawn in that I could almost feel the isolation of being alone in the large standalone house and the pain captured within the artist’s self portrait pictures.

The characters were strong and well formed, each with their own character that worked well with other characters or alone as an individual. I particularly felt fond towards Michael Cory, there was something about his sure self certainty that made him a likable character, framed as a solid character in both size and stability in his journey for the truth and ultimate justice that really appealed. I found Adam Glass very endearing, slightly fleeting and not emotionally strong and at times sadly exploited by other characters who are stronger than he.

The story starts off slowly but with a gripping appeal and before long we are racing through the pages with Cory trying to find the truth, even if it is just for Marianne’s sake, who I admit was a very lovable character even though we were only introduced to her secondhand and through the eyes of others. I liked her. With a hour or so to go we learn some real truths, those which I never saw coming and felt completely caught unawares, which is talented writing indeed. I usually have an idea of a suspect or work some of the details out , this time however I never worked out what happened with Marianne and when this was revealed again it came as a such a shocker and finally, that part where you read the beginning again at the later stages of the story (this is something I personally love) 

As the realisation dawns with eyes wide and a mouth to match I am saying out loud oh my god it never was about Marianne after all.

During the reading of Keep You Close I have told anyone who is willing to listen to go buy the book, read it and love it as much as I have. This is a brilliant novel by Lucie Whitehouse, an absorbing read with a fabulous plot and super satisfactory conclusion.

Once again this author has done herself proud.
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