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

“They’ll always be two steps ahead of you…”
‘Keep Her Close’
by M.J. Ford
Teaser Tuesday

An open book led on a table with a lilac flower resting on the open pages - featured image for Teaser Tuesday posts - caption reads 'Take A Look - Read The Book?'

These teaser lines are taken from my current reading position in this fast moving thriller, so I too, have no idea what happens next…

Of course I may have a few more clues than the rest of you, but that means nothing in a case like this ….

This is a meme for all you page surfers out there!

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



Jo should have known the DCI would be listening in. He shook his head several times in a way that reminded Jo of her nephew Will, when he’d been three years old in his high-chair, refusing mashed cauliflower, even though she’d pretended it was a train and his mouth was a tunnel, complete with chugging sound effects.

‘No, no, no. How many times? This is not about Nicholas Cranleigh.’

‘Sir, we can’t ignore it. We need to talk to him again.’

‘Absolutely no chance,’ said Stratton. ‘On the back of what? The word of a desperate drug dealer? He’ll say anything to get out of this fix. And Ripley’s a canny piece of work too. They’re leading you around by the nose. The depressing thing is, you’re letting it happen.’

Jo looked at Pryce, and for once, he didn’t seem to know what to say. He was probably beginning to regret supporting her before.

‘I’m trying to be open-minded, sir,’ said Jo. ‘But that means exploring all possibilities. One of which is that Cranleigh might have done something to his step-daughter. Tried to silence her. She was being followed before she disappeared.’

Stratton looked heavenward. ‘And pray, remind me, where did that piece of information come from? Jo sighed. ‘Oh, that’s right! Ross Catskill.’ He softened his stance. ‘Jo, please. Don’t make this decision for me. I want you to do a good job. For your sake.’ He let the threat hang. ‘Keep Cranleigh out of it. Focus on what we actually know. We’ve got this guy. Let’s use him wisely.’

‘Sir.’ Jo turned and strode away …

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

If you still need to know more, check out those opening lines here

Just to help you get all those lines into some context – here is the book’s premise…

KEEP HER CLOSE – (The Premise)

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 …

The mem host image for Teaser Tuesday, updated December 2016 'The Purple Booker'

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at ‘The Purple Booker‘. Each week she shares her own teaser lines and invites other bloggers to do the same. So if you have a few moments, why not stop by and see what’s on offer this time!


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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  • So I take it you’re enjoying this one, despite it being the second in a series? The line about the killer clown in the blurb always throws me a little. It must have been part of the plot in the first novel.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I do actually have a copy of the first book in this series, but I was getting so seriously behind in my reviews, that I decided to jump straight into the second book and hope for the best!

      Whilst in an ideal world, it would have been better to read the stories in chronological order, enough detail was provided as part of the background storyline here, that made it easy to get up to speed and make ‘Keep Her Close’ a good enough stand alone book.

      There are plenty of twists and turns and I am still not quite sure ‘whodunnit’ yet, because I keep making wrong guesses!

      Thanks for making time to stop by, you’re the best 🙂

    • Hi Felicity,

      Not a total correction anyway!

      Yes, there are some areas of the storyline and narrative which may be a little formulaic in their narrative, however there are also a few unique twists and turns in this one, which are holding my interest and causing several gasps of disbelief.

      Also, whenever I come across a thriller/crime book set in Oxford, my mind immediately turns back to the days of ‘Morse’ and it has taken a real effort to push that thought to the back of my mind, as the style of writing and the intensity of the storyline is so totally different to anything the great man would have investigated in his day.

      I definitely think this series might be worth your while considering, but either way, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂

    • Hi Laura,

      In this short extract, you definitely feel the bad vibes between Jo and her boss, don’t you?

      He snipes at her almost continuously, although the majority of her colleagues do try to defend her, to no avail.

      Whatever the beef between them is, it stems back to events of the previous book in the series, but enough is explained so that you don’t really feel the need to know any more details than those presented!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

    • Hi Nise,

      So far there hasn’t been a dull moment in this story, there is always something happening.

      I am now about 75% done with it and still have a string of possible murderers, so I guess the author is doing his job really well!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and Happy Reading 🙂

  • This one sounds good, I enjoy a nice thriller. The creepy killer clown would scare me. I’ve read so many series books out of order, that I don’t really mind it anymore as long as they work as stand alone reads. Enjoy it and happy weekend.

    • Hi Naida,

      The creepy clown seems to be haunting Jo into this second book in the series, as the case directly touched her and her family. I think the two stories are definitely related in some way, as it is now apparent that the killer is tracking Jo herself.

      However, the suspect for position of the main antagonist seems to be out of the picture, so now the fear of the unknown is giving this story a twist in the tail on which to end!

      A great detective series in the making, I can recommend this one so far if you are ever in the market for a good thriller.

      Happy Reading 🙂

Written by Yvonne