Keep You Close

Keep You Close

An FBI official's sense of right and wrong is blurred when her own son is accused of the unimaginable in this heart-pounding thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know.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 m...

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Title:Keep You Close
Author:Karen Cleveland
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Keep You Close Reviews

  • Selena

    I received a free e-copy of Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland from NetGalley for my honest review.

    FBI agent, Stephanie Maddox, is a single mother of Zachary, her teenage son. One day, while cleaning her son's room, she finds a loaded gun. Another agent show up and Zachary is soon being accused of being associated with a terrorist group. A terrorist group that is planning mass attacks.

    Does Stephanie really know her son? Is she being blinded by being his mother? She now has to decide whether she

    I received a free e-copy of Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland from NetGalley for my honest review.

    FBI agent, Stephanie Maddox, is a single mother of Zachary, her teenage son. One day, while cleaning her son's room, she finds a loaded gun. Another agent show up and Zachary is soon being accused of being associated with a terrorist group. A terrorist group that is planning mass attacks.

    Does Stephanie really know her son? Is she being blinded by being his mother? She now has to decide whether she is going to believe her son or the agency she has worked at for twenty years.

    An intense read with lots of twists.

  • Mandy White

    Wow, Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland is a fantastic read. I found you want a fast paced story with plenty of twists then you need to read this book. It has it all.... Russians, hate groups, terrorism, teenage issues... and an ending that you won't see coming .

    Steph Maddox works for the FBI. She loves her job and her son Zach. But hasn't her job taken her attention away from being a good mother? When cleaning her sons room one day she makes a discovery that makes her doubt everything. A gun hi

    Wow, Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland is a fantastic read. I found you want a fast paced story with plenty of twists then you need to read this book. It has it all.... Russians, hate groups, terrorism, teenage issues... and an ending that you won't see coming .

    Steph Maddox works for the FBI. She loves her job and her son Zach. But hasn't her job taken her attention away from being a good mother? When cleaning her sons room one day she makes a discovery that makes her doubt everything. A gun hidden amongst the dirty clothes. How well does she really know her son? And how far will she go to protect him? The more she looks into this the more danger she is in, and anybody in her life. Will she do what's right for her country or her family?

    Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transwold Publishers for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased

  • Lou

    Having adored Karen Cleveland's unique mix of spy and domestic thriller in her gripping debut, Need To Know, I wondered whether her sophomore novel would be able to live up to my expectations. She's done it again — this is a compulsive page-turner with relentless pace and relatable characters. Steph is a single mother to young Zachary but lately, she has been working late and they have grown apart. So when Steph discovers a gun in his bedroom she is startled and immediately jumps to conclusions

    Having adored Karen Cleveland's unique mix of spy and domestic thriller in her gripping debut, Need To Know, I wondered whether her sophomore novel would be able to live up to my expectations. She's done it again — this is a compulsive page-turner with relentless pace and relatable characters. Steph is a single mother to young Zachary but lately, she has been working late and they have grown apart. So when Steph discovers a gun in his bedroom she is startled and immediately jumps to conclusions about where it could've come from. She vows to find out the truth and being a CIA agent her access allows her to view information and get into places she rather wouldn't go. From then on we enter a world of derring-do, corruption, secrets and conspiracies all waiting to be unravelled and exposed.

    The unusual aspect of this thriller is its superior authenticity; Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, focusing on counterterrorism and working briefly on rotation to the FBI, she understands the ins and outs in writing superb espionage fiction. It's action-packed, twisty and powerful and explores family bonds and the morality of standing by a loved one when everyone else has turned their backs. The beautiful bond between mother and son is there for all to see. This is a quick, easy read and recommended to espionage connoisseurs and even readers of the wider thriller genre. Steph questions her decisions in terms of the moral and ethical implications, but ultimately it is a book that brings a whole new meaning to love conquers all. Many thanks to Bantam Press for an ARC.

  • Carrie

    Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland is a thriller that tackles the question of just how far one would go for someone they love.  Stephanie Maddox is an special agent with FBI and has spent years and years working to get where she is in her career but would she throw it all away for the love of her life, her son Zachary?

    Stephanie is a single mother and has done her best keeping her relationship with her son a priority despite her high pressure job. Even though Zachary has hit his sullen and angsty

    Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland is a thriller that tackles the question of just how far one would go for someone they love.  Stephanie Maddox is an special agent with FBI and has spent years and years working to get where she is in her career but would she throw it all away for the love of her life, her son Zachary?

    Stephanie is a single mother and has done her best keeping her relationship with her son a priority despite her high pressure job. Even though Zachary has hit his sullen and angsty teenage years Stephanie still tries to keep communication open between them but one day while cleaning she finds a gun in her son's room.

    Stephanie believes there has to be an explanation for what she's found but  before a blink of an eye she finds her son being accused of so much more. Trying to stay one step ahead of the investigation Stephanie is determined to find out what is going on and prove her son is innocent

    Keep You Close is really written to be a page turning action packed thriller that only gains intensity along the way. However, as much as I love a fast pace and plenty of action in this instance I felt it was all a tad off. Perhaps I just needed to know the characters a little better or perhaps it was due to it feeling a bit over the top but this one ended up a little flat for me.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Liz

    Karen Cleveland likes to tackle ethical dilemmas and how much you really know about the ones you love. Stephanie Maddox is the FBI agent in charge of Internal Investigations, so needless to say she has a strong sense of right and wrong. Which makes it even worse when she discovers a loaded gun in her teenage son’s room. I mean, anyone who’s raised teenagers knows they grow distant and moody, they stop communicating. But a gun? That’s way outside the norm.

    We’re quickly given glimpses of Stephani

    Karen Cleveland likes to tackle ethical dilemmas and how much you really know about the ones you love. Stephanie Maddox is the FBI agent in charge of Internal Investigations, so needless to say she has a strong sense of right and wrong. Which makes it even worse when she discovers a loaded gun in her teenage son’s room. I mean, anyone who’s raised teenagers knows they grow distant and moody, they stop communicating. But a gun? That’s way outside the norm.

    We’re quickly given glimpses of Stephanie’s past interspersed with the current story. This book moves at a fast pace. But I can’t say I ever really connected with Stephanie. For some reason, she and the rest of the characters felt flat. Too many of the story lines have been done before. I didn’t feel like this broke any new ground.

    This is a good story and an easy read, it just isn’t great. And I thought Need to Know had been great.

    My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  • Liz

    Karen Cleveland likes to tackle ethical dilemmas and how much you really know about the ones you love. Stephanie Maddox is the FBI agent in charge of Internal Investigations, so needless to say she has a strong sense of right and wrong. Which makes it even worse when she discovers a loaded gun in her teenage son’s room. I mean, anyone who’s raised teenagers knows they grow distant and moody, they stop communicating. But a gun? That’s way outside the norm.

    We’re quickly given glimpses of Stephani

    Karen Cleveland likes to tackle ethical dilemmas and how much you really know about the ones you love. Stephanie Maddox is the FBI agent in charge of Internal Investigations, so needless to say she has a strong sense of right and wrong. Which makes it even worse when she discovers a loaded gun in her teenage son’s room. I mean, anyone who’s raised teenagers knows they grow distant and moody, they stop communicating. But a gun? That’s way outside the norm.

    We’re quickly given glimpses of Stephanie’s past interspersed with the current story. This book moves at a fast pace. But I can’t say I ever really connected with Stephanie. For some reason, she and the rest of the characters felt flat. Too many of the story lines have been done before. I didn’t feel like this broke any new ground.

    This is a good story and an easy read, it just isn’t great. And I thought Need to Know had been great.

    My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  • Susanne  Strong

    FBI Agent Steph Maddox hears a knock at the door. Another agent appears. He accuses her son Zachary of being a part a domestic terrorist group. Her first reaction is that he is being framed. Of course, everyone always say that, she would know - after all, she works in Internal Affairs.

    Forget the fact that moments earlier, Steph found a loaded gun hidden in Zachary’s closet in a nondescript paper bag. Even though they pass like ships in t

    FBI Agent Steph Maddox hears a knock at the door. Another agent appears. He accuses her son Zachary of being a part a domestic terrorist group. Her first reaction is that he is being framed. Of course, everyone always say that, she would know - after all, she works in Internal Affairs.

    Forget the fact that moments earlier, Steph found a loaded gun hidden in Zachary’s closet in a nondescript paper bag. Even though they pass like ships in the night.. Steph knows her son.

    Lives are at stake. The problem of course, is determining whose.

    “Keep you Close” moves at breakneck speed. It is extremely suspenseful and it started out quite strong. While I enjoyed this mystery, I didn’t quite love it as I felt like the author threw in a few too many curveballs for me to catch.

    This is a follow up to Karen Cleveland’s “Need to Know” and it’s clear based on both books what a fabulously strong writer the author is. I am definitely a fan and can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

    This was a buddy read with Ms. Kaceey! So glad we got read this one together.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Random House - Ballantine and Karen Cleveland for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.30.19.

    Will be published on Amazon on 4.28.19

  • Kaceey

    Stephanie is a special agent with the FBI and the single mother of a seventeen year old son. A son who

    is having trouble recognizing lately. Less communicative, more sullen. Is it just typical teenage behavior? Or is he hiding something.

    Well that question is quickly answered when she finds a gun hidden in the back of his closet! Why would her teenage son have a gun? What is he involved in?

    Stephanie is going to do whatever it takes to protect her son. Even if it costs her her career...or

    Stephanie is a special agent with the FBI and the single mother of a seventeen year old son. A son who

    is having trouble recognizing lately. Less communicative, more sullen. Is it just typical teenage behavior? Or is he hiding something.

    Well that question is quickly answered when she finds a gun hidden in the back of his closet! Why would her teenage son have a gun? What is he involved in?

    Stephanie is going to do whatever it takes to protect her son. Even if it costs her her career...or maybe more.

    This book started off with a bang I was instantly drawn in, loving Stephanie’s character and that of her son Zachary. But about half way it turned into full on espionage and conspiracy theories.

    Just a bit too far fetched for me.

    If you enjoy espionage mixed with a splash of family drama then this might be a good pick for you!

    A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

    Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and Karen Cleveland for an ARC to read and review.

  • Holly  B

    3.5 Stars

    Karen Cleveland's 2018 debut, Need To Know was one of my top reads last year and I was eager to read her second book.

    The fast pace/action and suspense are back, but I felt the story lacked the character development and intrigue and overall "cleverness" that was created in her debut.

    FBI Agent Stephanie Maddox is at the heart of the story as she tries to unravel a domestic anarchist groups involvement in a web of lies that could hurt her son, Zachary. She struggles to search for the trut

    3.5 Stars

    Karen Cleveland's 2018 debut, Need To Know was one of my top reads last year and I was eager to read her second book.

    The fast pace/action and suspense are back, but I felt the story lacked the character development and intrigue and overall "cleverness" that was created in her debut.

    FBI Agent Stephanie Maddox is at the heart of the story as she tries to unravel a domestic anarchist groups involvement in a web of lies that could hurt her son, Zachary. She struggles to search for the truth and keep her Zachary safe. These characters weren't developed enough for me to really become invested in the outcome.

    The "action" is definitely what drives this novel so action fans will enjoy. I just needed to feel more for the characters and the timeline felt too jumpy. The reveal was definitely a surprise.

    Fans of conspiracy theories and a plot of non-stop action may find this one more of a winner than I did.

    Out May 28,2019 Thanks Doubleday / NG for my copy.

  • Jessica Sullivan

    In this propulsive thriller, FBI agent Steph Maddox must untangle a web of deceit when her 17-year-old son is accused of plotting to murder government officials.

    Steph's determination to protect her son at all costs takes her deep into a conspiracy much more nefarious than she ever could have imagined, making her ultimately choose between her duty to her country or her duty to her son.

    It's a fine premise, but it doesn't break any new ground and the writing leaves a lot to be desired. Thrillers ar

    In this propulsive thriller, FBI agent Steph Maddox must untangle a web of deceit when her 17-year-old son is accused of plotting to murder government officials.

    Steph's determination to protect her son at all costs takes her deep into a conspiracy much more nefarious than she ever could have imagined, making her ultimately choose between her duty to her country or her duty to her son.

    It's a fine premise, but it doesn't break any new ground and the writing leaves a lot to be desired. Thrillers are a dime a dozen, so when I sit down to read one, I want it to really stand out above the rest. This one does not.

    The prose is extremely fast-paced and plot-driven, with lots of dialogue. While this makes for a quick and easy read, there's very little character development aside from some cliche flashbacks to Steph's past that establish her as a Strong Woman.

    And the plot itself is pretty convoluted. There are twists, mostly for the sake of there being twists. The Russians are somehow involved, lending a topical element.

    I was initially intrigued by the idea of a mother questioning if she really knows her son and being put into a difficult position of wondering what he might be capable of, but none of this is really explored with any nuance. And frustratingly, Steph's character arc ultimately puts her in the same position of weakness that she worked so hard to overcome.

    If you love thrillers and don't have very high standards for them as long as they hold you're attention, you'll probably enjoy this just fine. Just don't expect much else.

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