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The Heart Keeper

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Critically acclaimed author Alex Dahl explores how love can turn darkly sinister when a desperate mother looks to reconnect with her lost daughter in this riveting Norwegian set psychological suspense novel.

Two mothers. Two daughters. One heart.

When Alison's beloved daughter Amalie drowns, her world turns impenetrably dark. Alison tries to hold it together throughout the
Paperback, 371 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by Berkley Books (first published July 4th 2019)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  578 ratings  ·  133 reviews

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Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019-releases

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Two mothers. Two daughters. One heart.

Alison is barely hanging on since her daughter passed away. Alison and her husband, Sindre vowed they would stay together and learn to live this new life, but it’s been extremely difficult. Now they are like polite strangers interacting only when they absolutely have to.

After Amalie drowned they donated her organs in the hopes that they could save someone else from this terrible
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4 stars! Intensely emotional. Unforgettably heart-wrenching. Deeply thought-provoking.

Alison is lost in her grief after her five-year-old daughter, Amalie, drowns in the lake. She is consumed by guilt, as she was the one watching her that day. Alison and her husband decide to donate Amalie’s organs, feeling comfort that Amalie can help to save other children. Iselin’s seven-year-old daughter, Kaia, is the recipient of Amalie’s heart. Being born with a heart condition, Iselin has watched Kaia str
Moving, heart-wrenching & raw!

THE HEART KEEPER by ALEX DAHL is an interesting, enjoyable and entertaining read that had quite the emotional, profound and unique premise. I haven’t read too many books in regards to organ donation and I found that quite intriguing. I wouldn’t necessarily say though that I was totally immersed in this story but I did definitely feel at times an intense emotional pull.

The story itself is a scary, horrific and heartbreaking one that definitely plants you right into
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Two Mothers, one grieving, two daughters, one gone and the other given a second chance

The Heart Keeper is an emotional, heart breaking story that explores a mother’s grief and guilt that turns into an obsession.

Alex Dahl does a great job capturing the grief of a family after the death of their daughter and sister. Each dealing in their own way that really pulled me into their lives. I was turning those pages as fast as I could to see how this story comes together in the end. We see how grief and
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
An emotional thriller! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Set in Norway, Alison’s daughter, Amalie, drowns, and she feels her life is over. In the darkness of winter, Alison is at an all-time low.

By contrast, for another family, Amalie’s death means new life. Kaia, riddled with health problems, receives Amalie’s heart. Iselin is Kaia’s mom and things are finally looking up for them. They even have a wealthy new friend and benefactor.

Alison should not have crossed the line, and she knows it, but she can’t help hersel
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nordic-noir
What if there were still a part of someone you lost still beating? What would you do to hold on to that person just a bit longer?

A dark, heart-wrenching novel that was rich with raw emotions and vivid descriptions. Nordic noir is truly a unique genre. Books within it may range from mysteries to thrillers to dramas, but there is a stylistic and atmospheric feeling to them that is uniquely that genre. I’d classify Alex Dahl’s The Heart Keeper as a suspenseful domestic drama but with that signature
Dale Harcombe
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Alison and Sindre’s young daughter Amalie dies in an accident, Alison struggles to cope. Grief counselling is having little effect. Instead Alex finds some solace in vodka and pills. Amalie’s death seems to have created a chasm between her and her husband. Meanwhile across town Iselin’s life has been given a boost when her young daughter Kaia is given a life-saving heart transplant. For the first time this mother and daughter can start planning a future. The two mothers and their situations ...more
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY for this on on Insta. ENTER HERE!

You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.

I’ll first start by saying that I loved Alex Dahl’s debut, The Boy at the Door. Therefore, it was an absolute no-brainer when I was asked to join the blog tour for her sophomore novel, The Heart Keeper. It would have been an immediate yes regardless of what she’d written. When I found out that this book was centered around a greiving mother who had chosen to donate her daughter’s
ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing

WOW!!!! WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!! The adjectives--pulse-pounding, thrilling, breath-taking don't begin to cover the feels this novel creates!

Allison's only child drowns and she and her husband agree to donate her heart. Allison's step-son, Oliver, discovers an article on cell-memory and how recipients of organs sometimes have characteristics of their donors. That was enough for Allison to start looking for the child who received her daughter's heart.

I will war
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Heart Keeper is the first book by Alex Dahl that I have read. Set in Norway this is a highly emotional read, dealing with the grief of a mother who has lost her daughter. I really enjoyed the story, told from the points of view of both mothers whose lives are going in completely opposite directions. It is certainly not a fast read but it is worth sticking with. The characters are real and the storyline is intriguing.

Alison is a mother in mourning. 3 months ago her daughter Amalie died in a
Alex Dahl is a new writer and came out with a blockbuster hit last summer called The Boy at the Door. You would never expect a new author to come up with something completely different for their second novel, but The Heart Keeper feels like it was written by a completely different person, and I appreciate that. This book is more of a drama than a suspense/thriller novel, so go into The Heart Keeper knowing that, and you'll enjoy it much more.

Allison is in bereavement, coping after the de
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
“Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages.”

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl is an intensely emotional story of grief, loss and hope.

Devastated by the accidental drowning death of her beloved six year old daughter, Alison reels brokenly between crippling emotional agony and a drug and alcohol induced stupor, unable to accept her loss. When her stepson raises the theory of cellular memory, which suggests that a transplanted organ retains some of the memories or personality traits of t
Barbara Nutting
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
VOILA! Can this gal write. How does a story about a heart transplant turn into a psychological thriller? You’ve got to read it to find out. There is a lot of scary truth in the telling. Could it happen in real life? I think so.

Can hardly wait to get my hands on her newest book “Playdate”. I think I’m going to have to buy it (since the library doesn’t have it) - she’s that good 👍

At the end she recommended a few books that I added to my TBR list. If she liked them, I think I will too.
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
After reading this fabulous read I’m gonna go back and read the authors previous book The Boy at the Door as I’ve heard great things about that one too.

I’ve not read many books about organ donation so after reading the blurb I was looking forward to reading it. I wasn’t disappointed as I loved this story.

This is a raw and an emotional story that will pull on your heartstrings. The characters are strong, real and relatable which I loved. From start to finish the author takes you on a heart brea
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
This is the second -crime- novel written by a new and talented Norwegian female author, Alex Dahl. The first one, titled ''The Boy At The Door'' was a big success and I was eagerly expecting the publication of ''The Heart Keeper''. Finally, I got lucky and won a free ARC by the publisher in Netgalley, and I began reading it immediately. Overall, I can say that it was a rather satisfying experience, even though it doesn't strictly fall under the Scandi-Noir genre.

For my review, visithttps://tapt
Donna Hines
Desperate times brings desperate consequences in this hair raising thriller by Alex Dahl.
I had no idea how mind blowing this would be until I cracked open this Goodreads ARC Giveaway and was lured in without an escape plan.
Two mothers, two daughters, one heart is the most accurate portrayal of this book as they both are seeking what the other possesses literally and figuratively.
A mother's love is like no other but when the husband suffers from PTSD and seeks out love elsewhere it's a whole othe
Crime by the Book
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 / 5 stars for this compelling blend of Nordic atmosphere and emotionally-charged suspense. I'm constantly impressed by Alex Dahl's knack for blending Scandinavian influences with psychological suspense that feels very modern and instantly-accessible. In The Heart Keeper, a mother grieving the unthinkable loss of her young daughter becomes obsessed with the girl who received her daughter's heart through organ donation. You'll need to suspend reality just a bit to get the most enjoyment ou ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow burning thriller set in OSLO


Alison and Sindre have lost their 5 year old daughter, Amalie, in an accident. She drowned at a local lake whilst in Alison’s care.

This is a portrayal of a marriage and family in crisis after such a devastating event and how, without conventional anchors – reasoning and thinking – obsessive thoughts can embed in the consciousness and drive everything and everyone to the edge.

Alison is just about keeping it together as she struggles to come to terms with her l
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...


Thank you to the publisher for the eARC of this book to read and share my review.


After reading The Boy at the Door and loving it I knew I had to read this novel. So I was thrilled when Aria invited me to be a part of the blog tour.

Addictive, heart breaking and thrilling . This book was amazing. I had so many feels reading this book and I loved that! A fabulous story of one family dealing with the loss of their daugh
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, thrillers
I don't think I've ever read a thriller like "The Heart Keeper" in recent memory that was so good at looking into the lives of all of its characters that didn't read like something exasperating its time.

Instead, writer Alex Dahl takes everything into account to not only create atmosphere, but emotional connection. An author's note at the end of the book account's Dahl's own experiences that brought this book to its emotional height.

After losing her young daughter in a tragic accident, Alison str
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alison Miller-Juul’s life totally fell apart after the death of her six year old daughter, who drowned. Alison, her husband and her stepson are trying to move forward with their lives but it’s not easy to do.

Basically, Alison wants her daughter back. Her daughter had been an organ donor. When Alison learns about the young girl who received her heart, she does everything in her power to get close to the girl. Alison’s mind is all over the place but she knows what she wants - her daughter.

This is
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real page turner — I could hardly put it down! The author took a very difficult subject and situation and made it relatable on both sides, I felt.
This is a very realistic situation that no one should ever be forced to face but unfortunately people are. She did a great job of communicating the emotions of both mothers.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I won this book from a goodreads giveaway.

This is a tragic story but characters are developed well. I did not like that the book description gives away the story before you even start it. No surprises as to how it ends. This book was very depressing.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book. It does show the struggles that not only a mother but a family goes through when they experience the death of their child. Alison is was not only one that was hurting. Her husband was too.

Iselin was learning her to be a mother again (not a caretaker). Kaia was so sick before receiving her new heart. I liked Kaia. She is a sweetheart. Where Alison is concerned I understood where she was coming from regarding getting close to Kaia. Yet, at the same time I felt bad for Kaia. She
Kelly  Seifert
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Really enjoyed this book
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up
Imagine, if you will, you have just lost your child. She drowned on your watch. You marriage is now crumbling. There's no amount of help you can get that could possible make you feel better. Alison doesn't have to imagine this, she is living it. Her daughter Amalie drowned aged six and even her husband and step-son are powerless to ease her pain; the two of them grieving too.
But there is light in her tunnel. Some small solace to ease her pain even if just a little bit. Amali
Barbara Jaques
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant concept perfectly executed.
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-books
*Giveaway* I don’t often give 5 star reviews but I think The Heart Keeper deserves it. This book was fascinating and haunting at the same time.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, the mother's hope was palpable, but what really set this book cemently in my mind was the authors note at the end. ...more
Ray Palen
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'We're going to go away together, you and I, I think to myself, and I have to stop myself from saying the words out loud --- Kaia can't know just yet. But in these moments, what had been a vague idea in my mind begins to take on the solid contours of a plan.'

To read this passage which represents the thought pattern of one of the novels leads makes you believe you are in the presence of a dangerous obsessive type. That is the conundrum of Alex Dahl's terrific novel, THE HEART KEEPER. In short, it
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English Translati...: Alex Dahl - The Heart Keeper 1 7 May 21, 2019 07:34AM  

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Half-American, half-Norwegian, Alex Dahl was born in Oslo. She graduated with a B.A. in Russian and German linguistics with International Studies and went on to complete an M.A. in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, followed by an M.S. in Business Management at Bath University. Alex has published short stories in the U.K. and the U.S. She is a serious Francophile and currently lives in both ...more

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