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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Keep Her Close’
by M.J. Ford
Book Beginnings

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts

I downloaded this great sounding book from the lovely folks at NetGalley, during one of my short browsing sessions. Shortly after I received an email from the publisher Avon Books, requesting that I spread the word about Keep Her Close. 

The book is quite near to the top of my reading list, but just to whet the appetite a little, I thought I would share the opening lines with you, as part of the popular ‘Book Beginnings On Friday’ meme!


For all you ‘First Page Browsers’

Cover Image of the book 'Keep Her Close' by author M.J. Ford



“Dr. Forster kept a box of tissues on the table, and for the last five weeks Detective Jo Masters had managed not to reach for a single one. It had become a point of principle during their sessions, a way of telling herself she was above all this. So she’d remained stubbornly dry-eyed through all five, sixty-minute meetings, even though they’d touched on plenty of painful subjects, personal and professional – her relationships with her parents, her brother, her colleagues, her aspirations, and her fears. And Ben, of course. Lots of Ben. The psychologist was surgical at times, probing with questions that slipped almost unfelt, like a scalpel blade into the deepest recesses of her past, exposing places, incidents, and people she hadn’t thought about for years.

People like Frank Tyndle. It was just another anecdote, an incident early in her relationship with Ben – and she’d managed to deflect the conversation the first time he’d come up. She wasn’t sure why Dr Forster was returning to it now, so near the end of their allotted time together. It was almost like she knew there was a weakness there, something to be excised.

‘ I thought we’d covered Tyndle already,’ said Jo, nonchalantly.

‘Not really.’ said Dr Forster. She checked back through the pad of notes on her lap. ‘You mentioned him, in our first session, when we were discussing your miscarriage. You said something about karma, but we ran out of time. Do you believe in karma?’

The counsellor looked up, her expression quizzical. Jo was ninety per cent sure Dr Forster’s brown frizzy hair was a wig, maybe as a result of cancer treatment. What was certain was that she’d drawn her eyebrows on a fraction too high, making her look perpetually curious.

‘It’s just something people say, isn’t it?’

‘I don’t know,’ replied Dr Forster. ‘Is it?’

Jo sneaked a look at the minimalist clock-face on the wall. Twelve-forty. They had twenty minutes left, and so far Dr Forster had shown herself to be assiduous with her time-keeping…..

Image of author M.J. Ford


So you have taken a look, will you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

KEEP HER CLOSE – (Josie Masters Book #2)

Cover Image of the book 'Keep Her Close' by author M.J. FordHis hand went around her middle, and the other came up over her face, holding some sort of material against her nose and mouth. He dragged her backwards, trailing her scrabbling feet …

It’s six months since DS Josie Masters saved her nephew from the clutches of the killer clown, but she’s still haunted by that terrible night. The Thames Valley police force, however, regard Jo as a hero – much to the jealousy of some of her colleagues.

When a young girl goes missing from Jesus College, Jo is assigned to the case, along with new recruit, the handsome DS Pryce. The city of Oxford goes into turmoil when two more girls disappear from Oriel and Somerville, and Josie soon realises that the killer is spelling out her own initials in a deadly game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?

In a race against time, Jo hunts for the killer – but soon realises he could be a lot closer to home than she’d thought …

A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers. There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • To be honest it sounds a little bit too psychological for me, I’m not good with these very intense ‘women being preyed upon’ sort of stories. They creep me out rather. I do hope you enjoy it when you get to it though.

    • Hi Cath,

      I have to agree that this one does sound quite deep and dark, and the more times I read the premise, the more I am really beginning to wonder if Josie might in fact know the identity of the killer.

      Now that’s the part that might creep me out just a little! – But not enough to have me cast the book to one side!

      As much as I sometimes tend to be troubled by watching films which are psychological thrillers, reading a book never has quite that same traumatic effect and even though I am now thinking about it with more focus, I have no idea why that should be.

      It definitely wouldn’t do if we all shared the love of the same books, as I wouldn’t then be able to share in some of your ‘armchair travels’, which I so enjoy 🙂

  • It appealed to me the least of the three when you first featured it, but I’ll admit the excerpt today does draw me in. You’ve had some really interesting books cross your path lately!

    • Hi Kelly,

      Jo Masters definitely has issues and problems that I want to know more about, although it does seem as though Dr. Forster is always one step ahead in trying to draw Jo out about what is still troubling her.

      I am lucky enough to have been working with some great publishers and publicists recently, who have sent through a diverse range of excellent books/authors for promotion/review.

      I am also fortunate enough to have a small, but fantastic group of authors, who will contact me direct whenever they have a new book about to hit the shelves.

      I am now much more receptive to the idea of taking on books from a larger range of diverse genres and I have some brilliant titles waiting in my TBR pile 🙂

    • Hi Anne,

      I definitely don’t think that this author is trying to parody Stephen King’s writing in any way.

      I do however think that there has been some confusion about the way the book has been advertised, not helped by the fact that I should have noticed and clarified the situation, which I aim to do as soon as I have written this.

      This is in fact the second book in the Josie Masters series, so if you check out the premise for the first book ‘Hold My Hand’, things might make a little more sense, although even I have to admit that I am struggling to correlate the time frame around the two stories.


      Thanks for visiting and Happy Reading 🙂

Written by Yvonne