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Keeping Watch

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,258 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Acclaimed as one of the most original talents to emerge in the last decade, award-winning author Laurie R. King returns to Folly Island to deliver her most stunning achievement yet--a breathtaking novel of suspense that explores the very essence of good and evil.

Allen Carmichael came back from Vietnam a lifetime ago--but only now was he ready to return home. For years, he’
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,902)
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Mab Morris
This was one of the books I've read in my life that was so well written that I believed it was unnecessary for me to write any of my own. I'd say near perfect.
This is more a companion book than a sequel to Folly, as this work touches only briefly on Folly's main character, Rae. I must say I enjoyed this book immensely, and felt the book was a much more rewarding read than Folly. This could very well be King's magnum opus. The way she weaves the stories and backgrounds of the two main characters, Allen and Jamie, is quite masterful. I thought King proved remarkably adept at telling a story from the male point-of-view.

This book is not for the faint of h
Liz Gelbmann
I read this book almost in one sitting. A fabulous story and so well written. Thanks for the recommendation, Debbie.
Theresa Sjoquist
Keeping Watch

Laurie R King

Psychological thriller isn't usually my genre but Keeping Watch is one of the most brilliantly written books I've read in a long while. Laurie King writes with the acuity of the master, never tripping throughout this exquisitely appalling tale.Jamie is a thirteen year old boy whose father is a con man extraordinaire and who has an unusual and terrifying occupation. Allen, a Vietnam vet, is a man dealing with the psychological fallout of his year fighting the Vietcong. T
By far one of my all time favorite books!! This book was like two wonderfully written stories intertwined into one book, but so skillfully written that that they easily flow into one amazing book. Not only does the book take you into the depths and tragedies of Vietnam, but also gives you a heart warming and heart wrenching story of the abuse and rescue of children by a savior born of Vietnam.
I was well into this book before I realized it was the same characters from the book Folly! I liked that book a lot too! I am going to have to look into reading more by Laurie R. King! I would say that Keeping Watch is more a companion to Folly than a sequel as there is very little story line carry over...some of the same characters, but each book is certainly a complete, stand alone book without the other. But, if you plan to read both, read Folly first! This book was not only about Alan Carmic ...more
May 13, 2009 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes thrillers with depth
Recommended to Jennifer by: Lake Forest Library Booksale
Shelves: read-2009
A gripping psychological thriller that was far better than I expected (I should have know that Laurie R. King would deliver). Allen Carmichael, a fifty-something Vietnam vet, is about to retire from his current vocation, which is helping abused women and children "disapear" to safety. He turned to this line of work more than 20 years before--partly to exorcise his war-created demons but also to take advantage of a skill set he had already started to hone in the jungles of Vietnam.

As is often th
I've read quite a few of Laurie R. King's novels - particularly her series of Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I was at the used bookstore and I ran across this book for $1.00 and figured it was worth a shot. This book is a departure from the mystery genre. Keeping Watch is really the story of Allen Carmichael, a Viet-nam veteran who goes into the business of illicitly helping abused children and mothers get away from their abusers. The first section of the book details his experiences in ...more
The vibrant, sometimes disturbing tale of Allen Carmichael, a fifty-something Vietnam vet cum Underground Railroad conductor who helps abused women and children disappear and start new lives.

The author's vivid account of Allen's tour of duty in Vietnam, his subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder, and struggle to rebuild his life goes beyond the familiar war-is-hell cliche and into a compelling, sometimes horrifying (sur)realism. Allen's last case: Jamie, a smart, scrawny pre-teen attempting t
As a fan of the Mary Russell series who has also enjoyed some of the Kate Martinelli mysteries, I was completely surprised by this book. I expected a well written and intellectual cozy-type crime mystery, but instead got first a lengthy, detailed, and horrifying personal account of Allen Carmichael's Vietnam War experiences including return to the U.S. and attempts to live unassisted with post-traumatic stress (although fiction and a different war, the first half of this book reminded me in many ...more
Wow! A very intense - almost terrifying - story. A bit of a surprise after reading the Mary Russell and Kate Martinelli series, but fantastic writing. I appreciate the intricacy of the plot construction. As another reviewer commented, it's almost like two separate novels - the Vietnam part and the current case. But Allen's Vietnam experience shapes the rest of his life and echoes constantly in every facet of his life, especially this case. Although it might have been interesting to have the acti ...more
King, Laurie – Keeping Watch - G
Allen Carmichael, now in his fifties, is the man that Vietnam made him, and Jamie O'Connell, who loves and hates the father who tortures him. Carmichael rescues abused children and their mothers in a number of patient and inventive ways, using skills and the emotional tools he learned during his searing time in Vietnam in the late '60s. The details of Jamie's father's psychological abuse of him will make readers dizzy and breathless; how Allen and his cadre of ass
Patrick Dwyer
King is .. well, King! At least she continues her reign in this latest of her independent (non-series) books. A very loose sequel to events and characters first visited with Folly, her compelling yarn of a woman once mad, and brought again to the edge of her own madness. Who comes to a small island in the Puget Sound to heal, and to solve a mystery, though she does not suspect at first that that is her mission. Now one of the characters from that tale is nearing the end of a long mission of his ...more
Another great Laurie King book. I don't usually read books about Vietnam vets, but this one kept my interest. Allen starts a business of rescuing abused women and children. He is almost ready to retire but takes on one last case.
I really really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't have thought I'd enjoy reading about Vietnam, and maybe enjoyed isn't the right word...let's just say, I could read it without getting freaked out or scared like I did when I was in high school and people I knew were getting shipped off and coming back crippled or with parts missing, if they were lucky enough to come back at all. The story builds very nicely and you really don't know till the very end, whether the kid is inherently good or evil. I li ...more
Jean reads this author. She writes books about Sherlock Holes and his apprentice. This book was recommended by Schumacher. It is interesting and entertaining. BUT . . . The hero witnessed all this brutality by his fellow US troops while he was in Viet Nam then came home and went through his period of drug addiction, alcoholism, crime, homelessness and unemployment. I hate that sterotype. The abuse of civilians by US troops in VN is so exaggerated. Furthermore, the facts show that Viet Nam vetera ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Renee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marinn
Laurie King is, without a doubt, one of the most gifted and versatile contemporary fiction writers of the current day. I am a mystery fan who started with the Kate Martinelli series, progressed to the Mary Russell series, the Harris Stuyvesant series, and have now branched out to her other novels. In both Folly and Keeping Watch King takes on complex human topics, and she excels, able to convey with ease her characters' thoughts and feelings around great moral and psychological issues.

I am asto
Kirsty Darbyshire

I bought this blindly because I love King's books and then discovered that the UK publishers weren't printing it here because the story has a lot to do with Vietnam and they thought that a UK audience wouldn't be interested. This kind of put me off reading it myself.

I'm very glad I have eventually got around to reading it because it's an excellent story about a man who is totally damaged by his experiences in Vietnam but most of the story is about his later life in which he rescues abused women

Philana Memraj
Started slow and at first the 2 parts of the book read like two completely different novels. The story eventually came together though.
Marion Mockridge
Audiobook by Richard Ferrone: This is a long story, but well worth the read. The story is better than the ending. Excellent narration
Right. I listened to this - well, half of it. Notwithstanding that, I know when I finish it I'll still give it a 5* rating. Well written, well researched, all that was fine. I soldiered through the gory bits in Viet Nam. I liked the characters. BUT - I just found myself getting more and more anxious as I continued to listen. Like hearing the Jaws music in the background and knowing this will not be a pretty picture. And I'm just not good for that, so I stopped. Maybe another time.

That said, if o
Jack Goodstein
Combines Viet Nam atrocities with an emotionally abused child of a hit man--in an almost unbelievable plot.
This is a story primarily about one mans means of atonement and one boys struggle with abuse from a loved one. Allen Carmichael is not the same when he returns from Vietnam after serving under a particularly deviant Lieutenant. Jamie O’Connell is a boy whose father’s abuse is unnerving (to say the least). These two are brought together because Allen now works for an underground service rescuing the abused from their abusers. This authors powerful writing style and amazing storytelling abilities ...more
This book was actually my introduction to LRK. It gives a sympathetic and intriguing portrayal of Vietnam Vets and the underworld of escapees from family abuse. The character of the young boy being rescued was also well developed.
I liked the book enough to go onto Folly and the other modern books and finally had to break down and try Beekeeper's Apprentice even though I was skeptical about providing Sherlock Holmes with an apprentice and female at that. Needless to say, I got hooked and have eve
Story of Allen Carmichael is a disturbing tale of a Vietnam Vet helping abused women and children disappear and start new lives.

So well written, that even such a 'delicate' subject is palatable and dare I say enjoyable to read.

Laurie King is one of my favorite authors - this book enforces why I like her work so much.

Highly Recommended
Maybe the style of writing? Tried Folly also, which I found worse... (TW)
Angela Hostetler
Not really a continuation of Folly. Well written but found it disturbing.
This book is a companion to Folly which I read about 8 years ago. This book is very different from any of King's other books. It is sort of a mystery, sort of suspense and sort of a meditation on the effect of war on young men. In this case, Allen Carmichael who served in Viet Nam. The scenes set in Viet Nam are incredibly vivid as are the scenes when Allen returns to the US with a serious case of PTSD. Once he is able to get his act together, Allen becomes a rescuer of abused children. I loved ...more
Steven May
Excellent description of characters great story.
Absorbing mystery--and wonderfully realistic ending. It's worth following the first quarter of the book through the horrors, the horrors of the green jungles of Vietnam to get to the scarred and battered remains of Allen Carmichael, the child-rescuer who emerges to fight his demons on a whole new front.

King is such a skilled writer that you never get the sense she wasn't right there, many times--the shades of green, the jungle heat, the endless terror and endless boredom, breaking into houses an
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel The Bones of Paris sees Touchstone's Harris Stuyvesant and Bennett Grey find the darkness beneath the light of 1929 Paris. In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, a brilliant teen bec
More about Laurie R. King...
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