2019 Books · Book Review · Books · Review

Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland – Review

Welcome guys! Today’s review is of Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland. This was an interesting and quick thriller with an intriguing conspiracy plot and meh characters. I originally gave this 4 stars, but I’ve reduced my rating to 3.

Book: Keep You Close

Author: Karen Cleveland

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary: Stephanie Maddox makes tough decisions every day. She has her hands full heading the FBI’s Internal Investigations division, policing wrongdoers within the Bureau. But, as a single mother, the most important thing in her life is her teenage son Zachary, who’s anxiously awaiting college acceptance letters. So when she discovers a gun concealed in Zach’s room, her world reels. And then an FBI agent on the domestic terrorism squad shows up at her door and utters three devastating words: “It’s about Zachary. . . .”

Has she been wrong about her near-perfect son? Is Zach embroiled in something criminal–something deadly? And, if so, what is her greater duty: To protect him? Or to protect her country?


*Plot. I was completely engrossed in the novel and didn’t want to put it down. The conspiracy plot was intriguing and a lot bigger than a simple terrorist plot. I couldn’t figure out who was or wasn’t guilty. There was a lot of action which also made this a fantastic thriller. Steph’s past helped enhance the story and added a lot of suspects.

*Steph. Stephanie Maddox is an FBI agent who is the head of the Internal Investigations unit. She doesn’t have many friends, and she is estranged from her son, though she likes to believe otherwise. Her world swiftly comes crashing down and I sympathized with her a lot and really wished that there was a way for her to get out of this mess. Her broken relationship with her mother also meant that she didn’t have any real support besides her self.


*The Ending. I, personally, felt as though the ending could have been wrapped up more neatly, or at least an epilogue could have been added so that we could find out what eventually happened to the characters.

*Zach & Steph’s Mom. I didn’t like either of them at all. Zach was annoying, and though I understand why he was drifting away from his mom, I felt like he should have told her what he did, especially after all she’d done for him. Steph’s Mom was kind of judgmental in my opinion, so I didn’t like her either.

*Characters. This book was more about the plot than it was about the characters. That isn’t necessarily bad, but I would have liked the story to explore Steph’s character, and maybe Scott’s as well. But the mystery is great nonetheless!


In the end, I liked this, I would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick thriller, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The characters were okay, the plot and mystery intense, and there was a lot of action. It is also relatively short so you can read it quickly. I originally had this as 4 stars, but I’m going to bring it down to 3.

One sentence summary: A quick thriller with okay characters.

Overall, 3 stars

★★★☆☆

Have you read Keep You Close? Did you like it? Have you read any other books by Karen Cleveland? Let’s chat in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland – Review

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