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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Librarian

Narrator: Rose Robinson


Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication Date: 04/21/2023

Format: e-book

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (ARC)

The brilliant new psychological thriller from bestseller Valerie Keogh.

Since that fateful night I have always kept myself to myself. Reserved. Private. Alone.

Some people think I am too quiet. That life is passing me by. But I know there is safety in my own company. That no one can hurt me if I don’t let them get too close.

Until the day I meet him. A handsome, charming stranger. A chance for me to take a risk…finally?

Or a man who threatens everything I’ve worked so hard for?

You’ll be sorry…

And that’s when my whole life begins to fall apart….

Don't miss the brand new thriller by Valerie Keogh! Perfect for fans of Sue Watson, Shalini Boland and K.L. Slater.

My Review

Valeria Keogh returns following The Trophy Wife with her latest suspense drama, THE LIBRARIAN, where a woman's mysterious past meets the present.

Set in London during the summer, Ava Warrington is a librarian at Tate Modern with a sister Judy who is married with children.

Ava had graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Bristol and stayed on to do a post-graduate qualification in librarianship. She had planned to travel, but when an assistant in the library of the Tate Modern came up, it was an opportunity impossible to pass up.

She loved her job. Ava is quiet, introverted, and has anxiety. She experienced something from her days at university which made her overly cautious.

She had been with Tate for seven years, five as an assistant and the last two as head librarian. She was twenty-nine, going on ninety.

She is friends with Poppy, and they go out to a bistro. They are very different in that Poppy is impulsive and rarely looks further than surface attraction, whereas Ava is one of consideration. She pushes Ava to get out more.

There is a stranger at the bistro, he gets aggressive, and Ava says NO. He issues a threat of: YOU'LL BE SORRY.

The world came to her loud, clear, and laced with anger. Was she a drama queen? (we hear this constantly in the book).

He was just like Simon had been. What happened in Bristol?

Afterward, strange things begin happening. Ava has been suspended and blamed for damaging a painting with a pointer. Her careful, safe life had fallen apart, and she had no idea why.

She had met two horrible men, the Bistro Man (present) and Simon Loder (past). Was the Bistro man responsible for the bird and her job problems? Is he trying to punish her?

The past ten years earlier for Simon is unraveled. She has regrets. What happened back then and how is it connected to the present?

Then someone winds up dead. Was he targeted? Was this a coincidence?

Everything in her life she thought was stable was falling apart. Then another tragedy, and this time, her friend. Now her sister Judy's marriage has problems.

Everything that had happened recently had to link to what happened ten years before and the life she had destroyed. Memories were full of anguish, regret, doubt, and searing pain. Was she a victim?

Someone is out for REVENGE. Two psychopaths. How many close to her will be collateral damage?

Keogh keeps you hanging as you flip the pages to find the connection. Even though I have enjoyed the author's previous books, this one was not quite what I thought, nor a favorite. With the cover and the title, I expected more literary references and mystery about the library.

Instead, it focused more on Ava and her current/past life with these guys. Things get repetitive, and Ava is paranoid about this Bistro Man, her being a drama queen, her past, etc., which gets rather tiring. Very drawn out and lacks a certain depth.

I would classify this as more of a female mystery drama for those who enjoy light cozy mysteries more than a psychological thriller. I loved the cover but did not think it fits the book. Would have liked more literary/books/library focus.

Thanks to #BoldwoodBooks via #NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: April 21, 2023

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

About the Author

Valerie Keogh lives in Wiltshire with her husband and a huge black cat, Fatty Arbuckle. She grew up reading Agatha Christie and initially wrote crime novels - she now writes psychological thrillers.

The Little Lies was shortlisted for the Crime Fiction Lovers Award 2021

Valerie has a BA in English and an MA in American Literature.

She has recently signed a contract for four new psychological thrillers with Boldwood Books, the first of which, The Lodger, is published on August 1st.

Order of publication:

Exit Five from Charing Cross (2014)

Deadly Sleep (2016)

Twisted Power (2016)

Bitter Business (2017)

Wicked Secret (2018)

Secrets Between Us (2018)

The Housewife 2019

The Dublin Murder Mysteries (2020)

The Three Women (2020)

The Perfect Life (2020)

The Little Lies (2020)

The Deadly Truth (2021)

The Lies He Told (2021)

The Couple in the Photograph (2021)

A Taste of Deceit (2022)

The Lodger (2022)

The Trophy Wife (2023)

The Librarian (2023)

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