And There He Kept Her – Joshua Moehling

In sleepy Sandy Lake, Minnesota, two teenaged kids break into a home looking for prescription drugs, only to be taken completely by surprise when the homeowner, an obese elderly man, catches them in the act – he’s clutching a double-barreled shotgun, which he fires…twice…

It is acting Sheriff Ben Packards’ day off, although he’s already had to put down a nuisance bear, when he receives a call from his cousin, Susan. Ben learns that his niece, Jenny, seems to have disappeared. Upon further questioning, he learns that Jenny, a Type 1 Diabetic, was last seen last evening, doing her homework in her room.  When Susan went to wake her for school, she wasn’t there.  As she has been caught sneaking out before to see her boyfriend Jesse, Ben & Susan aren’t terribly worried at first. But as time goes by and there’s no trace of or communication from either teen, that changes rapidly.  

As Ben mulls over where Jenny and Jesse may be, he heads out on a complaint call – part of an ongoing conflict between a flamboyantly gay middle-aged male, Gary and his older, very straight-laced Christian neighbor, Cora. (These two characters and their exploits provide some laugh-out-loud hilarity for readers!).  Upon negotiating a truce, sort of, Ben visits Gary’s rescue kennel, and for the first time since his dog’s recent death, considers adopting another.  A hint of Ben’s backstory becomes evident here and will be explained to the reader throughout the story. 

Emmett Burr is an older resident who lives on the outskirts of town, who pops narcotics like candy for his chronic pain and is glad to have finally caught the kids who have been stealing his drugs.  But nothing has helped much today after he pulled something trying to move the Jesse’s body out of his basement, while stashing a seriously injured Jenny in his ‘pink room’ – a hidden area of his basement he built years ago. As he waits for his meds to finally provide some relief, and his buddy Carl to arrive and help him clean up, he reminisces about the first girl he kidnapped, all those years ago… 

As the days go by, Ben and his team begin digging deeper into the kid’s backgrounds and learn that Jesse was peddling pills around the local high school. As the story slowly comes to light, and the police get an idea of where the kids may have been going, their search expands.  As a result, Emmett is getting desperate to be rid of the evidence, and again calls on Carl for help, with the two hatching out a macabre plan.  But in return, Carl wants Jenny… 

This book was AWESOME!!  I was plain sucked in from the first paragraph and could not put this book down!!  Ben’s character is very well-developed, likeable, and all around interesting. Ancillary characters are equally engaging with very colorful personalities. As the reader learns about Ben and what brought him back to Sandy Lake, it becomes clear that there’s more to his story that’s yet to be told…so I am fervently hoping that we’ll be seeing much more of Ben and these fascinating townsfolk sooner rather than later!!  I can’t say enough about this novel – just a fantastic read!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & Poisoned Pen Press in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit and start reviewing books today!!

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Hi there! I am Mel and I love to read!! My favorite genres are typically mystery/thriller, adventure/suspense and occasionally chick lit/romance stories (when the mystery/thrillers get to be too much, which isn't too often!) I have just started to write reviews for Amazon, Goodreads and this blog, although I am a novice to blogging, so THIS is a work in progress - as you can see the reviews are numerous and the true blogs are few - I'll hopefully be improving on that as time goes on!! I'm looking to network, give some newer authors some exposure and to perhaps explore myself a bit in this whole process!! I am a critical care turned CDI nurse, recently transplanted to coastal Florida, from New England. (Would love to assist with medical/hospital verbiage/scenes for authors!) I love a great cup (or pot) of coffee, day trips, visiting state parks and other nature made places, and exploring/photographing wildlife. And birds...I am a HUGE bird/nature nerd!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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