Book Review: Catcher’s Keeper by J.D. Spero

CATCHER'S KEEPER - 2500Title: Catcher’s Keeper
Author: Johannah Davies Spero
Genre: Commercial Fiction / Alternate History Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

What if Holden Caulfield was around when John Lennon was shot?

In 1980 John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman, who believed he was Holden Caulfield, narrator of the classic The Catcher in the Rye. After the shooting, Chapman remained on the scene calmly reading the book, which he later offered to police as “his statement.” Catcher’s Keeper asks the question, “What if Holden had met Chapman, learned of his plan, and tried to prevent the assassination?”

Catcher’s Keeper blends history and fiction, as it poses the question: what if Holden Caulfield, narrator of well-known classic The Catcher in the Rye, met Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon? For those of you who don’t know (and that included me, until I did some research), Mark Chapman was found reading The Catcher in the Rye on the scene after the shooting. He identified himself with the main character of the book as well. In this spin-off story of sorts, Holden Caulfield, renamed Alden here, tries to prevent the assassination.

The book is told from the alternating POVs of Alden and his siblings, Jerry and Fiona. Together, they tell an intriguing story. The Catcher in the Rye was originally written as Alden’s high school journal, and his older brother publishes it under a pen name. MD reads the journal, and it inspires him to plan the assassination of celebrities, starting with John Lennon. Alden and MD meet, and the first tries to stop the latter from executing his plans.

While the book had fluent writing, and the story was definitely intriguing, the plot dragged in the middle of the book. The pacing picked up again toward the end though. I liked it most when Alden was doing the talking, and I wouldn’t have minded if the entire book had been from his POV. Alden is a difficult character to understand, but that’s part of the mystery surrounding him, and which makes him so interesting.

If you read and enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye, then you can’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading Catcher’s Keeper.


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  1. Interesting concept. can’t wait to read it.

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