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Keeper (Atticus Kodiak #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  953 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In a heartbeat, a crowded auditorium or a city street can become a kill zone, where life and death are separated by a split second. For Atticus Kodiak, professional bodyguard, the object is to keep people alive, and there is no margin for error. Now Kodiak is guarding a woman caught in the center of America's most passionate life-and-death drama.

The letters are neatly type
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Bantam Books (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 07, 2014 May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
I am reading the work of Greg Rucka backwards, having started with his Queen and Country series, "Alpha" (the first book in his new Jad Bell series) and now back to his initial series with Atticus Kodiak in "Keeper." As I've mentioned in a previous review, the author is rapidly becoming my favorite thriller genre author, with his fast-paced and interesting plots and low amounts of graphic violence. "Keeper" is the debut of Atticus Kodiak, who is a private bodyguard, and his attempts to keep safe ...more
Sep 01, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
As a fan of Rucka's later work, I was surprised at how good his first Kodiak novel is right out the gate. His trademarks are all there: sharp characterisation (including female characters who live and breathe!), unrelenting pace with escalating tension as the protagonist tries to juggle everything needed to keep everyone as safe as possible & a plot with something to say about the state of the world (in this case, the mid-90s attacks on abortion clinics).

If anything, it felt to me like one o
Sally Bisbee
Sep 02, 2010 Sally Bisbee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rucka's character Atticus Kodiak and his crew of bodyguards are kind of like Andrew Vachhs' Burke and his crew of misfits. Once they get their hooks into you, they never let go. Unfortunately, Rucka is not nearly as prolific an author as Vachhs.

I'm pretty sure I've read all the books with Atticus, but I'll keep looking. I suggest you guys check 'em out. (Hee! Again with the book reference...) ;)
Jul 20, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters you care about, a twisted plot are the hallmark of this first in a series. I can't wait to read the next one. Hints of McDonald and Parker abound, well worth seeking out.
***Dave Hill
Oct 13, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
(Review from 7/2002)

Good, good stuff.

I became a fan of Robert Parker and his Spenser series quite some time ago. "Keeper" and Kodiak remind me of Spenser in the Good Ol’ Days, before Parker became comfortable with his formula (which formula is good enough, mind you, to keep me reading each new installment, not to mention his other two series). In some ways, Rucka outdoes Parker. His Kodiak is less philosophical, and doesn’t spend as much time in the kitchen, but Rucka does his research, and when
I read Patriot Acts before I read this and Atticus Kodiaks life has evolved so much from the way it and he are here.
I wish I'd known this was a series of books before I read Patriot Acts, because I'd have liked to see Kodiaks change from book one to the last book without that taster I've now got of him as 'Badass Atticus'.
I enjoyed this book because Atticus isn't the literary version of Steven Seagal, he gets outsmarted and he makes some costly mistakes which never seems to happen in the movies
Karl Ruben
Oct 21, 2011 Karl Ruben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I first read this five, six, maybe seven years ago. Most of the plot details had leaked away from my memory over the years, so I came to the book fresh enough to be able to enjoy the twists and turns of Rucka's story. Fortunate, because Keeper is pretty barebones as far as character goes. Which is not to say it's superficial and plot-centric, far from it. Rucka's sure, unflinching perspective on the psychological traumas visited upon women and men in violent professions is one of his main streng ...more
After I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure I’d finish it. The pace was slow and not much in the way of tension-producing events was happening. The main character, Atticus Kodiak, was taking his girlfriend to a clinic for an abortion and they had to run a gauntlet of anti-abortion protesters. Then he’s hired by the clinic’s director to protect her from threats.

I kept reading, however, and the story did improve, presenting a very realistic picture of what bodyguard work is all about – lots o
Apr 08, 2013 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
The debut novel of Greg Rucka, also known in the comics industry [I] Keeper [/I] is a "hit you in the mouth" kind of thriller. It's not flowery or artsy. You're not gonna feel overwhelmed by the writing style that's for sure. The story and characters are what matters and Rucka does a great job letting the reader inside the bodyguard protagonist' head. Atticus Kodiak is his name and he has a flair about him that his rootable, combined with a code to his job that is rather simple. Protect those wh ...more
Jan 31, 2008 Du4 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Ever wanted to know about the insides of the bodyguard or personal security business? Here's an awesome place to start. Rucka describes Atticus Kodiak, a New Yorker with sick Army skills who parlayed them into a successful career in personal protection. Kodiak has a stringer team of acquaintances and friends in the business who he calls on when he needs help with a principal, like he does in KEEPER. In this instance, Kodiak is responsible for protecting the owner/operator of an abortion clinic. ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had been in my TBR pile for a long, long time. I'm sorry now that I waited so long to read it. Really interesting exploration of the personal protection business in the context of a highly charged and topical conflict. Rucka doesn't take a position in the abortion fight, at least not overtly, and presents both rational sides of the debate pretty even-handedly. My biggest quibble was the multiple references to characters being pro-abortion. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, is pro-abortion. The ...more
Scott Vout
Not sure how I got on to this book - I think the author was recommended to me by Goodreads and I started with this book.

This author has a lot of books out there, mostly comic book characters like catwoman and batman etc. which is fine, I will get to them eventually. But I chose to start with this one.

This is more modern day crime. The main character runs a body guard service. I found the characters to be very believable and human. They were not super heroes, they bleed like the rest of us.

The s
Oct 11, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I hated this part of the job. This was the Cold Hard Truth part. I said, 'I can't protect you completely. No one can. If somebody wants you dead, it they've got the patience, half a brain and a little money, they'll get the job done. It might take them ten years, but they'll do it. No depth of security will keep it from happening, no number of bodyguards, no amount of money. You could move to the Yukon Territory, and if someone really wanted you dead they would follow and find a way. There is n ...more
Jul 03, 2010 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An abortion doctor, who has been receiving serious death threats, hires a bodyguard, Atticus Kodiak, and his team to protect her when she speaks at a conference on abortion. A group called Sword of the Silent (SOS) is behind the attacks, which come from foul-mouthed killers to manipulated pregnant Christian women. When the doctor’s daughter is killed, the stakes go up, Atticus is plagued by nightmares, and everyone’s on edge.

Rucka’s debut novel is tight and thrilling, with pretty good characteri
Jan 27, 2008 Lloyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, let me say that I find it SO refreshing when a story actually starts on page 1 of a book. This is actually my second reading of the Atticus Kodiak series. That has to say something right there, with so many books out there and so little time to read them. Rucka is one of those rare writers who seem entirely comfortable in either genre he is writing, be it prose novels or comics. I was originally intending to just jump right in to Patriot Acts, but it has been almost seven years since ...more
(#1 in the Kodiak Series)- "The world of the professional bodyguard provides the arena for this no-nonsense first novel. Atticus Kodiak, 28, is hired to protect Felice Romero, director of a Manhattan abortion clinic targeted by militant pro-lifers. The pros and cons of abortion are intelligently presented as Kodiak tries to protect his client and her daughter, who's afflicted with Down's syndrome. Soon the bodyguard, whose girlfriend has just undergone an abortion, finds himself personally commi ...more
Esmira Serova
May 20, 2016 Esmira Serova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it doesn't really deserve full four stars, i think. but it's a good book for a debut and an extremely fascinating (=quick) read despite its obvious flaws, and i like Greg Rucka, so there you go.
i know Rucka through comic books - when i finished the Queen & Country novels, it turned out i missed Rucka's plots, fast-paced narration and dialogue, and how i'm always at the edge of my seat reading his books. so, i guess i'll be taking my Rucka shots regularly, when my life lacks excitement and a
Luwanda Dunfee
May 15, 2012 Luwanda Dunfee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say I have loved Rucka since the time I was introduced to Whiteout. I am not disappointed with his novels. He does not hold back any punches when it comes to the story. He looks at what can happen and takes the leap. I was a little flustered about the doctor being an abortion doctor. I felt that was an easy thing to choose, but that was really the background and the characters really make you feel their situation. It was an well worth my time.
Feb 21, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boooooring...and hard to follow. Maybe I was just too bored to keep my mind on the story. I never got a full grasp on who each character was and how everyone tied together, especially the antagonists. The author liked to introduce new characters by full name, but then proceed to refer to them by last name in the narrative, while using either their first OR last name during character dialogue. I found it confusing to keep the characters straight which probably added to my lack of interest.
The Atticus Kodiak series by Greg Rucka features a bodyguard who is set up to protect some very vulnerable targets. You might try the first book in the series, Keeper.

Because you like crime and want to connect to your “comic book geek” side, the Atticus Kodiak series by Greg Rucka is a great place to start. Rucka has been writing comics and novels for years, and the first in the series, Keeper, has the fast pacing and action comic fans love.
Ryan Mishap
While Rucka handles fairly well the issues surrounding abortion, the right for women to control their own bodies and have access to health care, and the anti-abortion forces seeking to deny women that right, this is obviously a first novel.

I kept thinking, "The editor should have caught that." Or, "That character is so thin he's paper not cardboard." Or even, "Sometimes an affectation for a character looks good when you write it but nobody really talks like that."

This was a very well written book, but I found the level of violence to be emotionally overwhelming. I'm just finishing the rest of the Atticus Kodiak novels and they are all excellent. Still a significant level of violence (he is, after all, a bodyguard), but it didn't hit me like the first book did. I have been recommending the series to all my friends, just skipping this book.
Jeff Bach
Pretty decent job of using an entire book on just three days worth of events in one small area of New York City. Not sure I have read a book like this before. Compressed is the word I come up with, yet it was well paced so I never felt compressed.

Bridgett ends up being my favorite character. I thought the author did more to develop her in the story than he did in developing Atticus Kodiak.
Sep 22, 2009 Danny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rucka
Rucka's first work, Keeper begins the Atticus Kodiak series of novels. In this story, Atticus is protecting an abortion doctor named Felice Romero and her family from a right wing organization named the Sword of the Silent (SOS). A must read if you like Rucka or want to read Kodiak as Keeper lays the ground work for the entire series.
Oct 06, 2009 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I read this after seeing lots of good comments. I was somewhat disappointed. Rucka is a mediocre writer with often clunky sentences and dialogue. The plot itself is okay, but similar to many others so there were no real surprises. The topic of abortion, however, does allow Rucka to manipulate our emotions very effectively, although I wonder how a pro-life advocate would respond to this book.
Thacher Cleveland
Oh crap do I love the Atticus Kodiak books. This is the jump-off, first one, and it just sucks you and and takes off running. It really sets the tone to the procedural body-guard work that Rucka writes so well about, as well as the chaotic action and sudden heartbreak that become hallmarks of the series.
Mar 28, 2013 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually a little better than I thought it was going to be going into it. Greg Rucka manages to spin out a pretty taut, compelling thriller, even if some parts of it feel like they're stretching the possibilities (I lost track of how many times I found myself thinking "how is Kodiak not locked up by now"). I'll definitely go for another go-around with Kodiak et al.
Mar 29, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very fast paced and full of action. This series is riveting. I little strong on language but the story kept me wanting to read further despite that. The characters are strong and relate well with each other building a team which knows their job and will do nothing else until it is done.
Bryon Smith
it was okay. i like rucka and i liked atticus so i read the rest of the series. i'm glad i stuck with it. i liked the series more and more as went goes on. book two was far better and by book three i was really digging it.
This is a depressingly thorough look at the world of personal protection, in this novel as it relates to doctors who perform abortions. The book was not what I expected--surprisingly nuanced about the subject matter with strong characters, it was a decent read.
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Greg Rucka, is an American comic book writer and novelist, known for his work on such comics as Action Comics, Batwoman: Detective Comics, and the miniseries Superman: World of New Krypton for DC Comics, and for novels such as his Queen & Country series.
More about Greg Rucka...

Other Books in the Series

Atticus Kodiak (7 books)
  • Finder (Atticus Kodiak, #2)
  • Smoker (Atticus Kodiak, #3)
  • Shooting at Midnight (Atticus Kodiak #4)
  • Critical Space (Atticus Kodiak, #5)
  • Patriot Acts (Atticus Kodiak, #6)
  • Walking Dead (Atticus Kodiak, #7)

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