Blog tour – #Keeper by @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks @AnneCater

FINAL Keeper blog poster 2018

My turn today on the blog tour for Keeper by French novelist, Johana Gustawsson. Block 46, published last year, introduced us to profiler Emily Roy and true-crime author Alexis Castells. Keeper is the second book in the series. Thank you to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part.

The Blurb



Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
London, 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.
Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?
Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down. Following the highly acclaimed Block 46 and guaranteed to disturb and enthral, Keeper is a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.


To whet your appetite, I have an extract for you from Keeper.


Friday, 30 October 2015, 11 am
He unbuttoned the jacket of his pale grey suit with careful deliberation,
straightened his narrow tie and sat down to face the judge. Sorry.
Madam Justice.
His eyes zeroed in on the heavy pearls dangling from her distended
ear lobes. As big as his thumb. His lawyer had advised him to wear a
sober, dark suit. For the tie, something more classic. With a looser knot.
Just a ‘suggestion’.
He couldn’t give a damn about the suit, per se. It was having a choice
in the matter that he found exciting. This was one sliver of power he
could exploit to the hilt. Savour it right down to the bone.
The judge started to speak. She shook her head, and her earrings
swayed as if they were slow dancing. Ear lobes lolling like tongues.

Lobes and mash, home-made style…
Beat two egg yolks and dip the lobes in.
Toss them in breadcrumbs.
Fry them up in parsley butter.
Drizzle them in olive oil and serve with mash.
Lobes and mash, home-made style…
He leaned in to bring his mouth closer to the microphone and give
Madam Justice an answer. Spelled out his surname. Paused to brush
away a speck of dust from his left shoulder with the back of his hand.
Carried on with his given name, date of birth and profession, his mind
dwelling on the curious habit he had of unbuttoning his suit jacket when
he sat down. A fashion adopted by pupils at Eton or, more accurately,
those elected to the in-crowd of their exclusive ‘Pop’ club. Though perhaps
this particular idiosyncrasy went all the way back to King Edward VII,
whose fullness of figure demanded the extra space when His Majesty sat
on His Royal Backside.
The judge had just asked him to speak. She straightened the lace collar
of her robe and shifted some files across her desk.
Lobes and mash, home-made style…
He coughed into his hand. Appreciated the absence of handcuffs.
Reflected on how a cage would soon replace them. An image flashed
across his mind, slotting into the space between himself and Madam
Justice with her lolling ear lobes. A vision of himself hanging from the
bars of his cell like a monkey. Still wearing his suit.
He laughed. The sound of it echoed harshly back at him.
Though he was laughing, he shivered as a thin film of sweat spread
across the nape of his neck.
‘It’s not my fault,’ he mumbled, as if to himself. ‘It’s not my fault…’
The judge interrupted him. He couldn’t make out the words, just the
music of her speech. A crescendo building to a climax. A question.
‘It’s not my fault,’ he continued. ‘Hilda was the one who started it …
It all started with Hilda…’


Ooh! Who’s Hilda? Well, there’s only one way to find out. Click here to buy the book.


About the author

Johana Pic

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. Her debut, Block 46, was an award-winning, international bestseller, with Keeper following suit. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.




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