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Publisher's Summary

A young couple taking a leisurely walk through the woods is shocked when the quiet, peaceful stroll ends as they come across what is without question a human skull. When detectives Jean Whitley and Marty Keal are called to investigate, two more bodies are uncovered nearby in shallow graves, but unlike the first, these murder victims have just met their demise. Now, not only do the detectives have to discover the identities of all three victims, but they also have to see if the victims are somehow connected or if it’s just a coincidence all three were dumped so close together. 

While Jean and Marty search for answers, Marty’s fiancée, psychiatrist Dr. Hope Rubin, is working hard to get her patient Brad Madison released from Armistace Hospital for Children, where he has been living since the brutal murder of his own parents, while trying to take care of her own personal business of planning her wedding. But then the unforeseeable happens. Hope disappears, and Brad claims he knows what happened. 

Can the disturbed boy be trusted to be telling the truth, and is Hope’s kidnapping in any way linked to the three victims found in the nearby woods? 

Marty and Jean’s search for the killer become much more desperate and horrifyingly personal when Hope is kidnapped. Will they find her before it’s too late? Or will she become another victim? Will the detectives be able to keep Hope alive?

©2016 Dawn Kopman Whidden (P)2018 Dawn Kopman Whidden

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Keeping Hope Alive

This was the first book I’ve read by Dawn Kopman Whidden and I’ll definitely be reading more of her novels. Although this book is part of a series, the book is written so that it can also be read as a standalone.

The opening of the story definitely hooks you and reels you in, and as the plot unfolds the author does a good job of keeping you guessing on who the bad-guys are and what will happen next. This is not a cozy reading crime novel where the protagonist comes away un-afflicted, but that just added to the story’s allure for me and made it more real.

I recommend reading this book and fans of mystery/crime novels will enjoy this author.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bad timing causes confusion

The timing of this story is really bad. Events happen out of order or are omitted altogether. It's as if entire sections are scrambled or missing completely. For instance, how did the inmate get a broken jaw?

Then there's the event with the detectives in the parking lot that's totally unrelated to this story. It's just a situation thrown in out of the blue with no introduction or conclusion. There are several other examples of confusing situations, but I don't want to include any spoilers in this review.

The mystery is trite and the "bad guys" are stereotypes. Still, the main characters are interesting and worth following. And Amy Deuchler continues to perform well.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

okay well

I had some problems with the book and I will start with that I will not talk about problems I had with us because it will be spoiler but I did had some measure problem I don't think it touched the book very much and I felt a lot for the main character it was a great Thriller and I think it over all the book was well written and very interesting it was an enjoyable book and overall I did enjoy it very much
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Keeping Hope Alive

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! Another great book that keeps you guessing and the suspense as to if the good guys will make it in time. I love this book and the author and narrator did an amazing job bringing it to life. Bring on the next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging Listen, could not turn it off

Keeping Hope Alive was a very engaging book. I had trouble putting it down. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys this type of book. I was provided this book at no cost but provide this review on my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Decent Thriller

I enjoyed listening to the book .It was full of twist and turns and when you thought who the murderer(s) was you’re proven wrong. I was not excepting the ending. I do like the lead characters of Marty and Jean they are human detectives investigating murders when old skeletons are found then recent ones are found at same site. In this book Marty’s fiancé Hope is kidnapped a psychiatrist who helping Brad Madison get released from the hospital who then helps her. Recommend to anyone who enjoys mysteries. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review. Thank you

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Keeping Hope Alive

I really enjoyed Amy Deuchler's narration. She did a great job. I will be looking for other books she narrates.

This is the first book of the series I read and had no problem reading it as a stand alone. I enjoyed the story and was sucked in from the start.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unmarked graves

This is the 4th book of the Jean Whitley / Marty Keal thriller series, 3 of which I have read. I love that there are so many returning characters, that you are able to see how their lives progress. In this book Hope is planning her and Marty’s wedding and trying to get Brad from “A Child is Torn” discharged from institutional life allowing him to live with his grandparents. In the meantime 3 bodies are found in shallow graves. One 40 or so years old and 2 very recent. Detective Whitley and Officer Whitley get involved in the case. Hope is kidnapped, the 2 are intertwined and the outcome is surprising. I once again enjoyed this last book in the series, and with the cliff-hanger at the end, hopefully another one is in the works. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn't get into it

I had a hard time trying to get through this book. I didn't care for the narration so I didn't even get all the way through it. I believe I would have been able to follow it more if it had been narrated by a male with a strong voice. This was a very serious book and I feel this narrator would be better suited for a cute romance instead. I got lost several times along the way and had to go back and pick up what I missed. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dee
  • LA
  • 08-19-18

Not my favorite in the series

I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books in this series and was excited to dive into this one as well. I loved that we got to see Brad again. That little boy, now growing teen, was the enigmatic subject of book one. Whitley and Keal are still their affable selves and the mystery had some serious twists and turns.

There were some niggling things with this listen though.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Marty and Jean question a suspect who was less than friendly with them. They leave. The suspect is friends with Hope's mother. They all end up having dinner together and there is never a discussion between the two men about having met prior or the aforementioned animosity? In fact, they got along famously talking about sports all evening. What??

There was no reason, none, for Hope to be kidnapped. If the bad guys did what they did to cover up an earlier crime, why kidnap a detectives fiancee?? That's just asking to be discovered.

One of the things that I loved about the first three books in this series is that the lives of all involved are explored--not just the detectives and the mystery. With this listen, we still get that but I don't get why the inmate was part of this story. What purpose did he serve?

There are others...

Of all the books in this series thus far, this is my least favorite.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Norma Looney
  • 09-13-18

Never would have guessed! -

I have just discovered a new favourite author in Dawn Kopman Whidden. I love that she writes intelligent interesting thrillers. She hooks you from the first chapter and reels you in. I loved the main characters Hope, Jean & Marty and enjoyed their background stories. I was rooting for young Brad throughout the book. I would never have guessed who dunnit! I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'm off now to buy the first three books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Sissons
  • 11-08-18

KEEPS YOU GUESSING!

At first I was a bit dubious about listening to this book as I am not usually keen on American narrators! However I soon warmed to the voice and very quickly became engrossed in the story.
I also had no idea that this book was part of a series, but that really didn’t matter as it was complete on its own. I imagine you get to learn more about the characters in the rest of the series...which I shall definitely listen to at some point.
A very clever plot and thoughtfully written ... and to me, all the characters seemed to be more normal and down to earth than in some books, which made it easier to relate to them.
As with all good murder/mysteries it kept you guessing right until the end and for once I did not guess who had done it!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to everyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elisabet
  • 11-07-18

Great suspense book

First I was a little worried about listening to this book since it was a part of a series. I shouldn't have worried, it is completly stand alone. The story draws you in quickly, you get very invested in the characters and the mystery. The narration was excellent. What I liked best with this book is how it was difficult to push pause, you just had to know what came next. As soon as I finished I bought Dawns other books on audio and look forward to listen to them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • DubaiReader
  • 09-06-18

Who-done-it?

Three bodies are discovered in the woods, two recent and one half a century old. The question is; who are they and how did they come to be there? Is there a connection between them?
Plus, of course, the traumatic opening chapter, with a girl trapped, bound and naked in the dark. The book's title hints as to who she might be, but we don't know for sure until later in the narrative.

I was happy to spend a few more hours in the company of Jean Whitley, Marty Keal, and Marty's fiance, Hope. It was also lovely to reconnect with Brad, the young boy who we met in the first book of the series. For the last four years he's been living in a correctional facility and his case has finally come before the court, requesting that he be released into the hands of his grandparents. Brad was a powerful character in the first book, but we'd heard little of him in the interim.

The resolution of the mystery cleverly combines all the characters into a complicated plot that I would never have guessed at. I had to listen to the explanation of the murders' motives a couple of times to really grasp it. I think this was complicated by the fact that people were sometimes referred to by first names and sometimes by surnames, a real challenge for my poor brain.

This is currently the last book in the series, though hopefully there will be more in the future. I found this to be the most violent of the four, probably because the target is a character who we have got to know and love through the preceding volumes. Again the narrator Amy Deuchler, does an excellent job; I forgot she was there at all.

I'm now looking forward to more episodes in the not too distant future. Marty and Hope have yet to get married and Gracie isn't going to stand by and wait too long for that to happen :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Iain Hart
  • 08-29-18

loved it

this is quickly becoming one of my favourite detective series I would recommend this always

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. L. Sturgess
  • 08-24-18

Excellent story marred by the narration.

For me this was a mixed bag. Initially I struggled to get past the voice of the narrator. . She sounds like she is reading from a script rather than telling a story. Her accents of r the different characters are comedic. . All of this detracted from the brilliant story.. After a while I got used to her voice because the story is well written and the characters very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the story just a great pity about the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JS748
  • 08-23-18

Wow this is the 4th in the Whitley & Keale series and boy did it end on a good one. There were moments that left me mouth wide open and speechless. there were times that made me cry. and most of all it kept my interest from start to finish. Brilliant book and really well written. Love Dawn's style of writing. highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay
  • 08-20-18

Twists and turns at every page

I loved this audiobook. The story was so fast paced and full of twists and turns I loved every part of it. The story starts with the discovery of a body then travels on through kidnap, murder, abuse and lies. It’s never ending and I loved it. If you love thrillers this is a great audio.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TerryHeth
  • 08-15-18

Heart wrenching brilliance

I’m a big fan of Dawn Kopman Whiddens work. It’s human and real. It’s heart wrenching and gut pulling. It’s brilliant.
The characters are so good and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for what’s next!
I will be listening to this again, as I did with her other audio books and I will also read them.
Too good not too.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 08-14-18

Simply marvellous

This wasn't my first date with Keeping Hope Alive, having previously read the book. But, I do love audio books and Dawn Kopman Whidden's writing is so good that you can read, and then listen, and still pick up on different nuances every time. Listening to Hope, Marty and Jean was like meeting up with old friends after too long apart. I didn't realise how much I'd missed them until we were together again. As we've come to expect from the masterful pen of Ms Kopman Whidden, it's a cracking story with plenty of twists and turns. I was really trying to think about what makes the Whitley and Keal mystery series stand out so much better than your average mystery/thriller. All the ingredients are there; credible characters, delectable dialogue, polished prose, but there's something more. Maybe it's the juxtaposition of the terrible, inhumane crimes with the love, warmth and caring between Hope and Marty and their families? Or, maybe Ms Kopman Whidden has that extra magic touch when it comes to putting all the finest ingredients together to create a masterpiece? Well, whatever it is, I listened to the entire book in two sessions, and now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for book 5!! Credit must go to Amy Deuchler for her spot on narration, which has definitely enhanced my enjoyment of these excellent books. Another great book I insist you buy immediately to spoil yourself in the kind of creative luxury you so deserve. You can thank me later!!!!