The Devil You Know is a thriller in a fictitious town in Lincolnshire, England. The book opens with the murder of a young woman by an unknown man. The story-line revolves round the possible perpetrator of a mounting series of murders. I like this author’s style of writing so I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of this book as she takes her writing and her readers on a bold move with this genre.
After the opening scene, events turn back to a year earlier, 2015. We are introduced to key characters who all discover that those close to them have valid suspicious actions which make them all capable of being the one the police are after. Juliet’s husband is a bully and regularly goes out late at night claiming it’s for business meetings. Steve’s friend Dan, is the spitting image of the e-fit photo of the man the police suspect. Tamsin’s liked colleague Jake Fallon for ages and when they finally get together she wants more than a one night stand. But why is Jake giving her the brush off and avoiding her? Maisie’s Mum has a new boyfriend, but just how loyal is he? Dorothy’s routine loving son Orlando, starts staying out late and not attending club meetings he’s always been to.
The plot is character driven, building the layers in delicious anticipation with plenty of red herrings which had me mentally accusing the most obscure characters of the deadly deed, then just when I had convinced myself I’d solved the case a new piece of evidence was dropped into the story-line and off my thoughts went on another tangent. My mind doesn’t work methodically like a police detective, and when the body count began to grow I needed to eagerly read on as I pointed my accusing finger at yet another character.
By the end I wanted to have a cuppa and a chat to Dorothy, who seemed a little lonely and I found Juliet very intriguing, which just shows that even with a dark genre, readers can still empathise with really well written characters. The last fifth of the book had some marvellous twists and complimented the different approach to thriller writing that made this a superb read.
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