Title: I KNOW YOU
Author: Claire McGowan
Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK
Read: October 2021
Expected publication: out now
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
When Rachel stumbles upon a body in
the woods, she knows what she has to do: run. Get away. Do not be found at the
scene. Last time, she didn’t know, and she ended up accused of murder. But when
this victim is identified as her boyfriend’s estranged wife, Rachel realises
she’s already the prime suspect.
With mounting evidence against her, Rachel’s only hope is to keep the truth about herself well hidden. Because twenty years ago she was someone else—Casey, a young nanny trying to make it as an actress in Los Angeles. When the family she worked for were brutally murdered, all the evidence pointed to her and she went to prison. Back then, she narrowly escaped the death penalty and managed to free herself on appeal. Now she’s fighting to save the life she’s spent years piecing back together.
But with her behaviour raising suspicion and the police closing in, Rachel can’t help wondering: Was her discovery in the woods really just an awful coincidence, or is someone framing her for murder? Someone who knows who she is, and wants revenge…
Have you noticed that it is always some poor unsuspecting dog lover who finds a dead body in the woods? However, for Rachel, the dog walker whose canine sniffs out a corpse in the woods in the picturesque Lake District, this may not be the first time she has been in that situation .... Are you intrigued yet?
I admit that I KNOW YOU was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I loved the premise of a woman whose past secrets have come back to bite her, and Rachel’s backstory sounds truly harrowing. The inclusion of true crime podcasts, online forums and newspaper articles provided a nice touch to marry past and present mysteries together and gave it a very contemporary feel. But even though I could relate to Casey, having been a nanny myself at the same age, there was something that just didn’t totally gel with me. Both Rachel and Casey never got under my skin as much as I had hoped. To be totally honest, none of the characters felt genuine to me. Perhaps I have just been reading too many mysteries lately, but nothing about these characters really stood out for me, and a few days after finishing the book it has already become blurry in my memory.
That said, the mystery surrounding Casey’s conviction for murder at a young age kept me turning the pages to get all the answers and tied up the loose ends in a satisfying finale. I just didn’t feel the same way about Rachel’s timeline, and found her story a bit dull. Even though we get a thorough look into Rachel’s / Casey’s past, her character felt poorly developed to me, which was a real loss. Without any true emotional connection, I was hard pressed to understand each character’s motivation and decision making process. Whilst I understood the author’s choice to make Rachel live under the radar under a different name, the story would probably have worked better for me if Rachel had forged out a richer, “normal” life for herself by the time her past caught up to her. As it was, her decisions seemed half-formed and immature, especially in the light of her past experiences.
I KNOW YOUwill appeal to readers who enjoy a story of past secrets catching up with the present and those who enjoy seeing different elements included in the book, such as true crime podcasts and other online content. Whilst I did not love the book as much as I had hoped, the premise was intriguing and the final reveal added a slight twist that I had not seen coming.
Thank you to Netgalley and Amazon UK for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.