Don’t look this title on their list, this book does not belong to the #OrendaMonth project! I had taken previous engagements before launching this idea so this is me sticking to the schedule with a review of The Devil You Know by the lovely Terry Tyler!
Title: The Devil You Know
Author: Terry Tyler
Date of publication: October 2016
Number of pages: 360
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐and a half
Every serial killer is someone’s friend, spouse, lover or child….
Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.
One of them is right.
Juliet sees an expert’s profile of the average serial killer and realises that her abusive husband, Paul, ticks all the boxes.
Maisie thinks her mum’s new boyfriend seems too good to be true. Is she the only person who can see through Gary’s friendly, sensitive façade?
Tamsin is besotted with her office crush, Jake. Then love turns to suspicion…
Steve is used to his childhood friend, Dan, being a loud mouthed Lothario with little respect for the truth. But is a new influence in his life leading him down a more sinister path?
Dorothy’s beloved son, Orlando, is keeping a secret from her—a chilling discovery forces her to confront her worst fears.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a character-driven psychological drama that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Do you consider yourself paranoid? Do you trust people easily? Do you look for signs everywhere?
As a real fan of psychological thrillers, I admit I sometimes find my mind focusing on the slightest detail, an innocent comment from a friend or a family member can make me create all kind of scenarios, and I have a tendency to be… let’s say extremely careful. There’s nothing wrong with that, is it?
Now imagine you are a regular person. Your favorite past time is not to look for murderers and look under beds to find life’s darkest monsters. You are a wife, a daughter, a mother, a friend, a colleague. You see the same people every day, you share your life with them, you know what they look like, what they love to eat, where they hang out. Life is flowing – nicely or not – but if there is one thing you are not worried about, it’s the people around you.
But what if you were wrong?
Wanting to live in blissful ignorance wasn’t a sin, was it?
The Devil You Know plays with the idea of appearances and how our brain can go from one extreme to the other. Taken separately, details can have no meaning, but our mind is set to create links, to try and find a logic in everything. Sometimes it means linking the dots to a serial killer.
Women have been found dead, the police are looking for answers, details are being revealed to the public for the sake of the investigation. And here it starts. Details.
Now you’re talking to a woman who once made a big scene when she noticed a lipstick stain on a bath towel, so I cannot say I am absolutely sane. My brain had jumped on a theory another woman had been in my apartment, my bathroom, and used MY things, meaning my better half had not been very honest with me (the culprit was my own lipstick, imagine that!). And I think that is why I loved reading every point of view used in this book so much. I took an intense pleasure in investigating and suspecting everyone and everything. This book gave me so much meat to work with!
My favorite must have been the wife, because I love guilty husbands (I am scaring myself saying this!) There is a special bond between two married people. You are supposed to know everything about each other, according to life’s book (even if it is only true on wedding brochures) and it is frightening to believe the person you’re sleeping next to every single night could have blood on his hands.
The mother’s distress was painful, the stepdaughter’s questions hit me hard because I am pretty sure I would have been the same had my mother decided to bring home men. The colleague was the one I had the most trouble with, and you might too, should you read the book. I can’t discuss anything more but colleagues are now on my list of people to keep a wary eye on, along with neighbors and husbands. Every POV was distinguishable and I never felt any sense of repetition, despite the high number of suspects throughout the story. Some narrations felt more developed or compelling than others but the balance between them all kept me hooked all the way.
Each point of view was valid, at least to some extent. I did feel some twists coming as some characters’ behavior was off enough for me to understand there was more going on that met the eye. Not every protagonist is reliable, not every gut feeling is to be trusted, but how do you make the difference? The clever writing keeps you guessing for the first part of the book, creating a thick web of suspicion.
If we could understand our own motives, God wouldn’t have invented therapists.
I was not expecting the book to be cut in three parts. I do feel this was a good decision because you can only keep the questions hovering over heads for so long before the bubble explodes and you are faced with the culprit. So, the second part deals with the big revelation. My guess had been wrong! I was a bit shocked because I like to showoff saying I can usually discover the bad guys, but it was a nice surprise as you don’t want your stories to be too predictable. After all, how many times have I complained I had seen it coming?
The final part, a smart move from the author, lets you know what happens next. Once the thrill of the chase, the questions, the fears are gone, what are you supposed to do? Can you resume your life as before? I liked reading about the impact of both the suspicions and the revelation on every character’s life. But don’t think it is too late for surprises. A book is never finished before you read the word END.
Overall, The Devil You Know had me spending nice hours playing detective and weighing on how solid evidence were to keep names on a suspect list while diving deep into our human fears. The story rolled along nicely, helped by a strong writing letting the emotions, and the devil, creep in. I’d recommend it to fans of the genre who want to have creepy and gripping playtime!
I would like to thank the author, Terry Tyler, for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
You can get The Devil You Know on Amazon