Book Review: The Trust by Sean Keefer
Few books have the ability to grab such a universal, non-discriminatory reader base as The Trust by Sean Keefer. I tend to read literary fiction and YA. I’m not a fan of action or of legal thrillers – in fact, I kind of hate the genre both on film and in literature. Starting in on The Trust, I expected a painfully obvious plot with paper thin characters. But this novel refused to be boxed in by my unfair expectations and now holds its own as one of my favorite reads of 2011.
The first thing that got me was the narrative voice. Our protagonist is Noah Parks, a young attorney with whom it is easy to identify. He’s got a troubled past, which sometimes makes his personal life a struggle. He is successful and intelligent, but doesn’t have an annoying God complex to make the reader fall out of like with him. He’s just a guy, and that’s part of the allure.
We have a few pages to get acquainted to Noah, and then – BAM – the mystery begins. A stodgy elderly gentleman journeys into Noah’s office and, although he doesn’t have an appointment, demands to be seen right away. He’s accusatory and vain and clearly believes Noah’s time isn’t worth nearly as much as his own.
“Why are you in my deceased friend’s will?” he demands to know. “I was his attorney for years, and I’ve never even heard of you. Why would he secretly modify his last will and testament and put YOU in charge of the estate?”
Before Noah can explain his ignorance of the issue and wonder at the deceased man’s reasoning for entangling him in these affairs, the gentleman continues.
“He’s added in a clause about a safety deposit box at the Bank of Charleston, says you’re the only one who’s allowed to access it. Says if anyone else tries to get into it that the contents will be destroyed. You can imagine my upset at this whole situation. Now tell me, why YOU?”
Indeed, why Noah. That’s the central question of the novel. It begins as a simple hmm and turns into an oh-my-God-I-need-to-know-now situation as people connected to the estate begin to drop off like flies at the hands of an unknown killer.
The title of this novel has two pertinent meanings. The Trust represents a large sum of money left behind by the deceased, but it’s also something more, a concept central to the novel and its core mystery. Who can Noah trust?
Just when you assume you’ve figured out who’s behind the rash of murders, your prime suspect will end up in a body bag. You’ll have no choice but to continue turning the pages, looking for an answer, praying that your favorite character isn’t next on the hit list. In that way, Keefer is a master of creating suspense. Despite having many other obligations, I finished The Trust in a day and a half. I couldn’t stop until I knew, and I didn’t figure it out until the author wanted me to.
Sean Keefer’s debut novel has many great strengths – the ability to draw the reader in with a sense of urgency, the creation of characters both likable and detestable but always authentic, the way in which the setting permeates the story and makes the world that much more real – this is a novel you won’t want to pass up.
Trust me, and give The Trust a good read-through. You won’t regret it!
Read my interview with the author by visiting this link!
This review is part of a Novel Publicity blog tour.
Book Trailer for The Trust: