Book Reviews

Review: I Know You Know

From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

  • Author: Gilly Macmillan
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: September 18th, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
  • Star Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Goodreads

“My name is Cody Swift. I’m a filmmaker and your host of It’s Time to Tell, a Dishlicker Podcast Production.”

Cody Swift is an aspiring auteur, an investigator, and a survivor. Twenty years ago his best friends, Scott and Charlie, were brutally beaten and left to die near a dog racing track. Due to a series of seemingly miniscule impediments, Cody was not with them during this act of violence and escaped unscathed – physically. He has been haunted by their deaths ever since.

While alive, Scott, Charlie, and Cody were a trio of terrors. They bullied an older, mental handicapped man, named Sidney Noyce. Sidney badly wanted to be friends with the boys but they ridiculed him and created the perfect criminal. Noyce was convicted of the murders and eventually killed himself behind bars.

Now another body has been discovered near where the two boys were found and Cody has been nursing doubts about Noyce’s guilt for many years. Thus, the podcast. A chance to dive back into an investigation with more than a few holes in the story.

I Know You Know is a fictional story told with non-fiction, true crime framing devices. We are privy to each episode of Cody’s podcast, fed clues in time with the fictional audience, Macmillan engages the reader in a slow-burning, integrated storyline filled with fully realized and richly developed characters alongside a crime revealing the darkest parts of human nature.

”This isn’t just a story about a brutal crime; it’s a story about people who will have to live the greater part of their lifetime with grief and regret.”

What makes I Know You Know so compelling isn’t the crime itself, but the characters. Jessica Paige, the mother of Charlie, is a former sex worker, party girl, and all around troubled individual. She has one of, if not the most, engaging arcs in the novel. I wanted to know where her journey was headed. Macmillan is explorative of a mother’s grief, she dissects Jesy’s mindset both before and after her son’s death and is not afraid to portray her as “unlikable” at times in order to create a more realistic depiction of what it means to mourn someone. I won’t spoil the end of her story but it is explosive and well-earned. I cheered for her from beginning to end, even if I did not always agree with her choices, or even like her as a person all the time.

If you devoured every new episode of the Serial podcast or love true crime television shows like Making a Murderer and The Keepers, I think you should try this book! Suspend disbelief for a little while and let yourself get hooked into the story, follow up on the tiny details. Macmillan’s craft shines in grounded, realistic storytelling, making I Know You Know an engrossing read.

I was provided with an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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