Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Keep Calm” as Want to Read:
Keep Calm
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Keep Calm

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  436 ratings  ·  62 reviews
"Starts with a bang and never slows down--a very superior high-stakes thriller." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

When a bombing at 10 Downing Street wounds the Prime Minister and tests Great Britain's resolve, American ex-cop Adam Tatum must confront a conspiracy in the highest halls of power

Former Michigan detective Adam Tatum receives an unexpected offer,
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published August 4th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Keep Calm, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Keep Calm

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  436 ratings  ·  62 reviews

Sort order
Mitch Albom
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Already a wonderful storyteller in film, Mike Binder explodes on the pages of "Keep Calm" as a hugely gifted word-shaper of action, character, and riveting events. A wildly impressive debut
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
I thought this book sounded really good. Thus the reason I wanted to read it. It has been a really long time since I have read a political/international thriller. At first I thought it was the timing of when I started this book. Sometimes when you start a book it might not be the right time and for me this can mean that I can become easily distracted when reading a book. So after about seven chapter in I took a mini break from this book. I picked it back up because I was still intrigued by the c ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shenanigans are happening across the pond in Mike Binder’s novel, Keep Calm.

Disgraced Michigan cop, Adam Tatum is set up to be the fall guy for a bombing at 10 Downing Street that has seriously injured the Prime Minister and spun London into turmoil. His only course of action is to take his family and flee into the streets of an unfamiliar country, the police and the actual bombers hot on their trail.

Binder, a Hollywood screenwriter, plots his novel like a movie (in fact it is currently in pr
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
I called it quits on this book at page 95. By that point, the book had irritated me sufficiently that I had no desire to go on with it. However, I did read the ending and noticed that the poor writing/editing continued to the end (unless you think the use of the word disaster or disastrous at least once in each of the ending chapters is a good thing). At least the author was consistent. The plot was preposterous from beginning to end.

My reading got off to a bad start. I was 25 pages into the boo
Kate Baxter
This first book by award winning director and screenwriter, Mike Binder, is a heart-pounding, suspense-filled story of British political corruption at its finest (even if not terribly realistic). This yarn is well spun; the primary character is continuously staying two-steps ahead of the pack to evade annihilation. Can he turn the tables and bring the perpetrators to justice while still protecting his family? This is fast-paced all the way to the very end.

Please note: this story is not for ever
Andy Grabia
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Was an enjoyable book until the last 100 pages. Then it went completely off the rails. A terrible ending. Completely unbelievable, improbable, and unsatisfying.
Nancy McFarlane
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Adam Tatum is a disgraced American ex-cop when his British father in law gets him a job with a powerful investment banker. Adam and his young family travel to London and he ends up in a high power conference at 10 Downing St. Soon after his meeting a bomb goes off and he becomes a suspect. Keep Calm is a powerfully written political conspiracy where one innocent man is caught in the expanding web of lies and deceit, and must protect his family from the crossfire while he attempts to stay alive a ...more
I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program and from Henry Holt and Company in return for a review.

While the writing was good, a fast-paced story with multiple points-of-view I just couldn't didn't connect with any of the characters. I was actually hoping something bad would happen to all of them and a new group would come in that I could connect with.

I do have to say that others who don't want to be invested in the characters and just read for the story may enjoy this book
Reading Fool
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2016
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.

Adam Tatum, a former detective from Michigan, has been set up to plant a bomb in the office of the Prime Minister of England. Once he realizes that he has been set up, he flees with his family, not sure of whom he can trust. This is a fast-paced thriller, with several subplots that will keep the reader guessing. An entertaining debut novel from filmmaker Mike Binder.
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, suspense


Mike Binder’s novel Keep Calm is a faced-paced multi-faceted story that will keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. I enjoyed the complexity of the storyline, some areas stretched the imagination, however overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who are looking for an action packed thriller.
Matthew Dixon
Finished it but

The author was skillful enough to create a propulsive plot that drove me to finish the book quickly. But the book is riddled with plot holes and passages that just make you go "huh.". The actions of the characters often make no sense. So if you're looking for a thriller and you want to turn your brzain pretty much off, this is the book for you.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disgraced cop, former union thug, gets a job in finance, and gets to go on a business trip to London due to his wife's pull.

It's all a scam to frame him for bombing 10 Downing Street. He's got to clear his name.

I found the characters shallow and unlikable, and the action very low octane.
Michael Martz
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I've been duped again. Remind me to stop paying attention to blurbs written by writers I respect (in this case, Lee Child) praising new authors.

Keep Calm is Mike Binder's first book. Although his prose is competent enough, the plot (a failed assassination attempt of Britain's PM is blamed on an American doofus) is laughable and unrealistic, the dialogue is stilted, the romantic entanglement of a couple characters really doesn't contribute to the story line, it's too long, and the conclusion is
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: couldntfinish
I'm a big Mike Binder fan and heard him talking about this on WTF and was psyched about his foray into thriller novels. This is about Adam Tatum, an American ex-cop who went bonkers a couple of years ago and got sucked into some plot to kill/scare/whatever a governor and then his life went nuts cuz of it. And now he is in the UK with his wife/fam and he is being framed for a bombing at 10 Downing St.

I was def into finding out where this goes, however there is a weird and gratuitous lesbian plot
Cheryl Simmons
Jun 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book. It was recommended in a magazine as a good thriller by a known director, screen writer, and producer. This is Mike Binder's first novel, however. I think this book is good evidence that writing a novel is VERY different than a screen play. The characters were so superficial, they were almost laughable. There were extraneous plot lines that made no sense to the story, and the main story seemed to lurch from one scene to the next. Not recommended even as a fast beac ...more
Nick Loritsch
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having heard writer/filmmaker, Mike Binder, plug his first novel on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, I was instantly intrigued - as I dig Binder’s film work (especially “The Upside Of Anger). The novel shares Binder’s great ear for dialogue, as well as allowing him to explore a new genre in this “fish-out-of-water,” political thriller. You can sense his enjoyment of not writing within budget constraints and allowing his imagination to run wild. Strong characters, fun set-pieces and zippy dialogue make ...more
Andy Plonka
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: src
I didn't like the format of this book. There was a weird sequence in which the events were narrated, before... after in part 1 and the before and after parts were revisited in Parts 2 and 3. At first I was confused and as I reached Parts 2 and 3 I already had too much information about the events that were revealed therein. An unsatisfying read.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This author's first novel was a hit with me.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Interesting start but it was just to unappealing for me.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I had been wanting to read this book for a long time because the plot sounded super interesting. I read the blurb and I was intrigued because it had a lot of stuff that I like in my books. It had a bombing, it had political conspiracies, it had a mystery element and it sounded like it had a fast pace. Despite that, when I read the book itself I had a hard time connecting with the story.

Keep Calm is the debut thriller novel of Mike Binder and it follows the story of American ex-police officer and
Sam Sattler
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Keep Calm is Mike Binder’s debut novel, but it is important to keep in mind that this is not the first thing that Binder has written. In addition to being a film director and producer, Binder is also a scriptwriter, and that experience has greatly influenced the plotting and structure of Keep Calm. This is, in fact, a political thriller that would very easily transfer to the big screen.

Adam Tate used to be a cop, a good one. Then, in a moment of naïve stupidity, he made a decision that would ult
Feb 20, 2017 marked it as gave-up
I got about 10% of the way through the book, and was struggling to keep going. Then my 6-year-old accidentally pulled out the bookmark... and I took it as a sign that I didn't need to keep going. The plot just didn't draw me in, and quite frankly the only memorable thing was the "will they, won't they" relationship developing between two characters, which was memorable only for its obviousness. Oh well. Thank goodness the bookmark incident happened early enough that I didn't waste more time on t ...more
Apr 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
In Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" there's a wonderful speech about cricket bats and the difference between good writing and bad. This book is a prime example of Tom Stoppard's cudgel. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever of plot or characterization, and very poor editing (including spelling and grammatical errors).
Here's the quote from Stoppard:
"HENRY: Shut up and listen. This thing here, which looks like a wooden club, is actually several pieces of particular wood cunningly put together in
Gerald Hickman
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Keep Calm reminded me of a Shakespeare tragedy, murder runs rampant and there are bodies everywhere. This is a first novel for Mike and it is full of awe to me. The pace of the narrative is fast and so intense that you constantly look for a break and hope for the best.

Part one is chaotic to say the least. I had difficulty following the action and plot development, I struggled with the main characters throughout all of Part one. By the time you reach Part two it starts to make sense. On the first
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The first book by a noted screenwriter and producer, and it's a long way around to the plot. Many many situations where the hero gets away stretch belief, but hey, the guy writes for movies and TV. Nice setting in London, where I happened to be when I read the book. So definitely pick it up if you like British politics and scenery.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This was a good mystery with lots of twists and turns, but not a page-turner for me until the end. An American (Adam) gets duped into committing a terrible crime in London. As he and his family is on the run, he learns that the plot involves very highly placed politicians. Meanwhile a young detective who is looking for the American also begins to suspect this was a huge high-level plot. At times the story is annoying as Adam's friends and family keep revealing their situation and hide ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The beginning of the book annoyed me because you could tell Tatum was being set up for black-mail or control. He had a problem with the law and his father-in-law pulled strings to get him in a new job and a trip to England. Tatum's wife, too excited to be back in England to see her father and an old flame, pushes him to go to what he knows is trouble (even though he doesn't know what or how). But once the bomb went off and Tatum know he's the fall guy, the book gets pretty interesting, especiall ...more
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read this because it is set in London and I am always curious to see if they get the transportation, streets and other idiosyncrasies of the city correct. He was close. The story was OK, a bit cliche but moved along nicely. He has a severe habit of repeating phrases and not even British phrases. With the internet, it isn't hard to look up a few. If he had to take one more "beat," I believe I would have pitched the book clear across the room. Come on, there are so many other words that can be u ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
There was a lot to like in this book, however, as with first time authors even though they are brilliant movie and screenplay writers, a book is different. In my opinion, it was overloaded and really could have used more editing. Action sequences were awesome, and some of the structured themes in story were clever, way to many characters to not care about, really had nothing to do with anything and that's where it fell flat for me, it seemed like they and their storylines were thrown in and wast ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Made me want to find out more about how the British government works. The author is an actor whose work I have seen and thought it interesting that he wrote a book. A bit overdrawn with the plot and some of it could have been left out. The "relationship" between the women, not necessary, but I guess that would be good fodder for film. The story got away from the male character and seemed to run with the young , bold, and brassy female? This was a selection for book discussion and everyone agree ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Shaker
  • Into a Raging Blaze
  • Heirs and Assigns (Herbert Reardon, #1))
  • The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, Playback (Everyman's Library)
  • Savage Liberty (Duncan McCallum #5)
  • The Swede (Ernst Grip #1)
  • The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries
  • Bolero
  • The Undoing
  • Vanishing Games (Jack White, #2)
  • The Tide Watchers (The Tide Watchers #1)
  • Hit and Run
  • Dark Spies (Spycatcher, #4)
  • The Insect Farm
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • The Exterminators
  • Poco Bueno
  • Travels with Charlie
Mike Binder is an award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer. His latest film is Black or White, starring Kevin Costner. Keep Calm is his first novel.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »