#Book Review #ARC – And There He Kept Her; J. Moehling

Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for And There He Kept Her, a thriller novel written by J. Moehling.

First thing first, let me thank the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip* 


They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong.

When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he’s been keeping in his basement for more than two decades, and he’ll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.

Personal tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff’s deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home.

Unrelentingly suspenseful and written with a piercing gaze into the dark depths of the human soul, And There He Kept Her is a thrilling page-turner that introduces readers to a complicated new hero and forces us to consider the true nature of evil.

Thriller, crime
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date: 14/06/22
Purchase links



Cover: Well, it drives the point home, I guess.

Wow. And I mean, wow. And There He Kept Her is a straight five, no questions asked; it’s also going to be in my 2022 top ten list—yeah, it’s that good. Also, it’s a debut. I’m sobbing here

The plot is intricate because Moehling went and decided to craft an intricate story from the get-go. No dull moments, no boring characters, just a fast-paced main plot and some exquisite subplots on the side. What more do you want?

Take the MC, Packard. He’s a complex character, one that reads as real as it gets. He’s got personal issues he needs to solve—interesting issues, with the drama factor toned down, and thank you for that, Moehling—but his focus is on the case.  

What about the villain? Emmett is as despicable as you’d expect him to be, but he’s not your regular cartoon antagonist. He’s got layers. Kudos to Moehling for creating a nasty, execrable character with depth and substance. Frank maybe reads weaker than Emmett because he’s even nastier, but I guess Moehling took a calculated risk with him.

Side characters, please allow me to be repetitive and say wow. They’re all realistic it’s easy to tell them apart because Moehling took his time crafting and perfecting them. Susan is the one I’m less thrilled about, and still, her personality punches a hole through the pages.  

You know me: I like to split hair in my spare time. And There He Kept Her is almost perfect, to the point that I couldn’t mention a single misstep, a lone mistake. Moehling, you wrote an incredible story, and I’m looking forward to reading more!

5 stars on GR, well-deserved.


Joshua Moehling works in the medical device industry by day and writes at night. And There He Kept Her is his first novel. He lives in Minneapolis.

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