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Review: The Gatekeeper by Michelle Gagnon


The Gatekeeper
by Michelle Gagnon
409 pages
Published November 1, 2009
Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

I don’t read mystery/suspense/thrillers all that often anymore, though I have to admit they’re one of my guilty pleasures. It’s like watching an action movie: it doesn’t get too deep, usually has great action, and the best will keep your heart racing most of the way through. I’m trying to read more of this genre, though, because I think they make a great palate cleanser between literary fiction. With this in mind, I picked up The Gatekeeper by Michelle Gagnon because I had just finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

The Gatekeeper opens with Madison Grant, a 16-year-old girl who’s met a man on the Internet, who she’s flying out to meet. Before she knows it, she’s been kidnapped and is being held prisoner. So her dad, Randall, calls up an old friend, Syd, who’s just opened a new company called The Longhorn Group, which deals with kidnap and ransom. Syd’s partner, Jake, gets started on trying to locate Madison and extricate her before the kidnappers kill her.

Meanwhile, Jake’s fiance, Kelly, who works for the FBI, has been assigned a case that involves the brutal murder of a senator. HER case takes her to all these hate groups, and eventually Jake and Kelly find that their cases might be connected.

This book was exactly what I needed. It had the perfect amount of setup (read: not the whole book) with more scenes that left my heart racing than I could have hoped for. I loved that at least three times I double checked the page count because she was wrapping up things I didn’t expect to be wrapped up until the end of the book.

I’m oftentimes put off by love stories within mysteries. If I wanted a love story, I’d read another kind of book. But Kelly and Jake’s relationship is so real, and just when I was like, Oh, I see where she’s going with this, Gagnon surprised me. Gagnon really has a knack for characters, and I’d like to see future books feature Syd, and delve more into Syd’s motivations and intentions.

My only squabble with this book was that the person who calls himself “the gatekeeper” was never actually called “the gatekeeper”. It’s possible I missed the reference, though.

I know this is silly, but I loved her Author’s Note at the end. Having a great author’s note is like finding one more M&M in a bag of M&Ms that you thought was empty. It’s like, “Oh! I’m not quite done yet!” Yes, I want to know who helped you. I want to know who answered your questions, who your awesome agent is; I want to know all of that. It’s not like I know those people, it’s just…satisfying.

But best of all? I loved where she went in the ending.

Rating: 90 out of 100

No other reviews.

Book source: I received this book from the author. Don’t think I won’t tell you what I really think just because I receive a book from the author.

And one more thing? If you click on one of The Gatekeeper  links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: , , , , , 15 comments »

15 Responses to “Review: The Gatekeeper by Michelle Gagnon”

  1. Jenn's Bookshelves

    This book is sitting on my night stand, begging to be read. It’s one of those books that I HAD to have the day it was released but haven’t had a chance to read yet. I love Gagnon’s writing, her other two books TUNNELS and Boneyard are fantastic!


  2. Kathy

    I love suspense thrillers but have gotten away from reading them. They may not be great literature, but they sure do keep you turning the pages. This sounds like a good one.


  3. S. Krishna

    This sounds really interesting! I’m reading more and more mysteries this year, so I might have to pick this one up.


  4. Kay

    I’ve read the first book in this series, Tunnels, and really liked it. I have Boneyard and this one sitting on my shelf waiting to be picked up. I’m glad this one was fun to read. I do like this author and enjoy these characters. Thanks for the reminder.


  5. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Hi! I have an award for you here!


  6. Robin of My Two Blessings

    I loved her first two books and look forward to reading this one. It’s been calling my name from the TBR pile. LOL! I’ll have to read it this month.


  7. Lynn Spencer

    “Having a great author’s note is like finding one more M&M in a bag of M&Ms that you thought was empty. It’s like, “Oh! I’m not quite done yet!” Yes, I want to know who helped you. I want to know who answered your questions, who your awesome agent is; I want to know all of that. It’s not like I know those people, it’s just…satisfying.”

    Oh, a thousand times yes on this. I read a lot of romance and some historicals used to have wonderful author’s notes in them packed with tidbits of historical fact and good info sources. I always love stumbling across one now, no matter what type of fiction I’m reading.


  8. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I think quite a few thrillers are incredibly deep. maybe not THIS kind though. 🙂 Still, sounds like a great read!


  9. Sandy

    I totally agree with what you said about alternating between serious literary fiction and a light read. I often do this myself as well. It keeps the reading process much more enjoyable. It sounds like this book you just reviewed is perfect as a stepping stone for the next serious book that you would take up on.


  10. Beth F

    I’ll have to look for this later in the spring. Sounds like my kind of book — I like to read a mix of genres.


  11. zibilee

    I don’t read many books of this genre, but your review intrigued me and made me consider reading this book. I like that it didn’t overflow with exposition and that the character’s relationship felt real and not forced. I also think that the plot sounds very entertaining. I am going to do a little more research on this one and think about adding it to my collection. It sounds like a wild ride, and I’m always up for that!


  12. sarah pekkanen

    I love mysteries, and this one sounds really good. Thanks!


  13. diane

    Sounds like a terrific suspense/thriller Trish –perfect for my challenge. Thanks for the great review.


  14. Liz

    Well, I love thrillers, and this is going on my list! I’m collecting all kinds of great suggestions today, which is good, because I’ve really been struggling to find books that hold my attention this month. Don’t know why, either. It probably says more about my state of mind — distracted with too much stuff going on — than the books themselves. However, one book that DID keep my attention was They Never Die Quietly by DM Annechino. Serial killer of the twisted, charming type, task force (led by female detective who wants to look good in colleagues’ eyes, of course) and action aplenty. IT’s graphic and chilling, but there’s even a romance in there. (And by the way, if you can’t deal with graphic and sometimes violent events, this may not be the book for you.)


  15. Liz

    Oh — I meant to add that I know there’s that suspense and thriller challenge going on, and “They Never Die Quietly” fits the bill perfectly.

    Now on to put the “Gatekeeper” on hold. Thanks for the suggestion.


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