Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads rating: 3.49 with 972 ratings (as of 7/20/2019)

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. . . .” .…Synopsis from Goodreads

200 Word Review

I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

Keep You Close asks is “What would you do to protect your son? Would you betray your son or your country?” It is the second novel by Karen Cleveland. Her first, Need to Know, was a New York Times Bestseller.

Cleveland’s background as a CIA analyst with most of her time spent working in counterterrorism helps bring authenticity to her work. While she writes fiction, she is able to get into the mindset of Stephanie Maddox, the head of the FBI’s Internal Investigations division, so well it has a feel as if she is writing her memoir. Her debut novel’s main character, Vivian Miller, works as a CIA counterintelligence analyst. Hmmm…

Maddox believes her near-perfect son is being framed and searches to discover the truth. Including CIA and FBI agents, makes choices made by Maddox more believable. In an environment whose very nature requires people to doubt and mistrust, she needs to decide whom she can trust and what to believe.

Keep You Close is a stand-alone novel. However, Need to Know’s main character does appear in this novel. I did not realize this until I finished reading this novel.

Cleveland does not have any future works listed on Goodreads.

This review was published on, Smashbomb, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble on 7/20/19. When available, the review will be published on and, using Overdrive, will be rated in 9 libraries.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Print Length: 352 pages
ISBN: 9781524797058
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Purchase at Amazon *** Barnes and Noble

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