The Caretakers – Eliza Maxwell

Review From User :

Thank you so much to Lake Union Press, LSBBT, and the author for providing me with an advanced ecopy in exchange for an honest review.


At its heart, The Caretakers is a novel about choices. Whether it's the seemingly mundane decisions made throughout our daily lives or the selections that lead to major milestones, our choices matter. And as you'll see in Maxwell's twisted tale, each and every choice we make comes with a consequence.


Toggling between dual timelines and narrators, The Caretakers centers on two pairs of sisters and the secrets that haunt their flawed families.

Tessa, a renowned filmmaker, is not only hiding from her past and her estranged sister, Margot, but also from the frenzied media that flock to her after the man her documentary helped free from prison releases a video confession of a new murder.

Kitty, an octogenarian with a sunny disposition, is living out her days in the remains of her childhood home. Her elder sister, Deirdre, shares the burden of maintaining the grounds - and the memories - as caretakers of Fallbrook, a once prominent home lost to the world after the horrific murders that took place within its walls.

But WHY has Oliver, a wrongly accused and recently freed man, implicated himself in the death of Valerie Winters Is he capable of murder Was Tessa wrong about him And if so, does that mean Valerie's blood is on her hands

And WHO was responsible for the murders all those years ago at Fallbrook manor Why would someone take out an entire family save an infant crying alone upstairs And HOW does that surviving infant link Tessa and Kitty

Once their paths are merged, bringing their reluctant siblings along for the ride, we get our answers. Secrets are revealed, lives are lost, and each new twist escalates until that final mind-blowing conclusion.


Like the desolate woods that surrounds the decaying Fallbrook, it's easy to get lost in this dark mystery. Told in short, highly digestible chapters, The Caretakers hooked me from the prologue. Exposed to Maxwell's expressive writing style full of crisp descriptions and lingering details, it didn't take long before I was compulsively turning the pages in my obsession for answers.

With two primary mysteries to solve, a full-cast of supporting characters, and a duo of timelines, The Caretakers was an ambitious project for Maxwell. With so many threads and conflicting character motivations this easily could have become a giant, tangled mess. Instead we're gifted with a story woven into a transportive tapestry that slowly, but surely reveals its intricate and completed image.

That impressive attention to detail is what truly blew me away. Every last detail is clean, polished, and presented with a purpose. Nothing is trivial and nothing is as it seems. And your appreciation for Maxwell's tricks and deception only grows the longer you've been exposed to the truths within the text. In fact, as I was writing this review and going over my notes, I was blown away by the sheer number of passages filled with double meanings; hints that Maxwell sprinkled throughout the story chapters before I sensed a clue. Even the cover art is in on the game! And all you have to do to play along is pick up this addictive read yourself.

Like every great thriller, The Caretakers was a nonstop, action-packed experience. Even as we get our closure, we're served some last-minute reveals that leave us stunned with no more pages left to turn. So start writing your next mind-boggling thriller, Maxwell, because I - like others - am hungry for more.

All quotes were taken from an advanced copy of this collection and may not match final release.

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