Also by this author
The Drive

Your Still Beating Heart

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'Equally compelling and unsettling, this razor-sharp thriller reminds us that, for life to be truly lived, we must know death. In loss we confront our true nature, though we might not recognise the person we discover. In his customary electric prose, Keevil cranks up the tension. You won't be able to look away.'—Katherine Stansfield

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All it takes to change your life is a single moment.

A random stabbing on a London bus leaves a young woman widowed and detached from her previous world.

Stripped of a future that should have been hers, she impulsively books a trip to Prague – the city where she and her husband got engaged. But in the midst of a bleak winter, isolated and numb, she can do little more than wander the cobbled streets – until she receives an intriguing proposition. There’s a job for someone just like her. All she needs to do is pick something up, and drive back. Just once. Only ever once.

Stylish and daring, this high-stakes thriller explores what happens when a curve ball skews life out of all recognition.

Isabel Costello, The Literary Sofa's Books of the Year

18 November 2020

IN BRIEF: My View of Your Still Beating Heart

As my Books of the Year post is currently taking shape, I’m going to kick off with a spoiler and tell you this is one of them. Randomness fascinates me and the inciting incident for this story is an extreme case, when a young woman’s life is torn apart by the senseless murder of her husband, prompting her to return to the city where they got engaged.  There’s a transcendent quality to novels which wrest tenderness and beauty from brutality and ugliness, and this one has it in abundance.  And whilst this is rooted in empathy, it’s reinforced by the writing itself.  There’s a cleanness to Keevil’s style that allows the reader space to hear what’s being said, what isn’t, and who’s doing the talking.

Your Still Beating Heart has the emotional heft of a character-driven literary novel despite being a palpitation-inducing page-turner, a rare combination and, as writing challenges go, an ambitious one.  The story has elements I wasn’t expecting at all.  The journey Eira embarks on when she gets to Prague is not just a high-stakes mission involving some very dangerous people; it’s the road back to meaning and to life from a place of profound grief and shock. If she makes it back. I found it moving, gripping and evocative of place – if you enjoyed Judith Heneghan’s Snegurochka (set in Kiev) or Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You (set in Sofia), there are shades of overlap, but this book’s heart beats to its own tune.

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The Review Show, BBC Radio Wales

9 September 2020
‘This really grabbed me right from the start. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s unashamedly a pacy thriller. It's hard-hitting with a really strong political undercurrent… in places I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. It’s very, very strong.’  Emma Schofield
‘I really enjoyed it… it really drew me in and it drew me in quickly too. It does ‘menace' well. It has some strong parallels with the film Don’t Look Now… What I really liked was the personal questions it poses about  the moral importance of opting for bravery over cowardice and the very pertinent political overtones… It’s a book that stayed with me and a book that made me ask serious questions of myself. ’  Craig Austin, ‘The Review Show’, BBC Radio Wales
 
‘Very immediate snappy prose…it reminded me of writers like Gillian Flynn who get straight to the heart of the matter.’  Gary Raymond, ‘The Review Show’, BBC Radio Wales
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