Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: "Safe Keeping" by Barbara Taylor Sissel

"My son is a murderer," are words that change the life of a family in an instant; for the Lebay family, they serve to confirm their deepest fears. In SAFE KEEPING (released March 25, 2014; Harlequin MIRA), the sophomore effort to her acclaimed debut Evidence of Life, Barbara Taylor Sissel throws us into the lives of a family coming apart at the seams and trying desperately to discover the truth. The truth, however, could be the biggest threat to their future.

Emily Lebay always thought of her family as ordinary. But when a women's body turns up in the dense woods near their home, Emily's grown son, Tucker, is accused of murder and everything she believed about her life is called into question. While this isn't the first time Tucker has bee targeted by the police, neither Emily or her daughter, Lissa, can believe he committed these brutal crimes. Convinced there's been a tragic mistake, Emily and Lissa set out to learn the truth bout Tucker, once and for all. While his life hangs in the balance, what they discover proves far more shocking than their darkest fears.

In SAFE. KEEPING, Barbara Taylor Sissel bears witness to a family struggling to endure the trial of their lives. Having spent part of her life living on the grounds of a correctional facility, Barbara observed firsthand the intimate detestation crime can have on a family. Her experiences from that time fill each page with a poignancy that is rarely seen and separate SAFE KEEPING from others of its ilk.


What I enjoy about the story is the twists and suspense happening throughout the entire book. After reading the description from the back of the book, I knew it was going to be an interesting one. If you love a good mystery or thriller, I'd recommend "Safe Keeping", Barbara's latest novel.


Barbara Taylor Sissel was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up in a number of different cities and states mostly in the Midwest. She attended college in Texas and worked an eclectic collection of jobs from department store fashion model and flight attendant, to chair side dental assistant, admin assistant/personnel manager and a few others in between. She once lived with her family in Kentucky, in the Appalachian foothills, on the grounds of a first offender prison facility, where she interacted with the inmates and their families and was privileged to hear their stories that were difficult and heartrending and yet very often hopeful. It was several years later, after leaving there, when she was able to pursue a lifelong dream of writing, and not surprisingly, each one of her novels is a reflection of her prison experience. The focus of the stories is not crime per se, but how quickly and irrevocably lives can be altered in one single, shattering moment of misjudgment and how difficult it then is for family members to find their way back onto solid ground.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the mentioned book from the PR firm or publisher in exchange of my review. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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