Sunday, 26 August 2018

Book Review: I KNOW YOU KNOW by Gilly Macmillan

Author: Gilly Macmillan
Publisher: William Morrow
Read: July 2018
Expected publication: 18 September 2018
My Rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ all the stars!

Book Description:

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… 

My musings:

I first came across the “book within a book” concept in Emily Carpenter’s The Weight of Lies, and I totally fell in love with it. Since then there have been a few books that have featured social media or podcasts in their stories, such as Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber and Our House by Louise Candlish, and I have hoovered them up hungrily. I love Gilly Macmillan’s writing, and her new book was one of my most anticipated new releases this year, but when I discovered that it, too, features a true crime podcast I was ecstatic (and threw my whole reading schedule up in the air by snatching it up before my other books from my TBR pile patiently waiting for attention)! You may have gathered my adoration for this book from my star-crossed rating – this was one very clever mystery!

Reviewing mysteries that rely on shock and surprise and unexpected developments is always tricky, because one little spoiler can ruin the book for someone. I advise to go into this one blind – you will thank me later. But for those of you who absolutely have to know a little bit about it, I will try to tread very carefully:

During the excavations for a new shopping centre, human remains are unearthed near the scene of the double murder of two teenage boys from a nearby housing estate twenty years ago. For the detectives who found the two victims all those years ago, this latest discovery brings back terrible memories – murders of children always hit the hardest. At the time, a mentally handicapped young man was found guilty of the murders and jailed, and has recently died in prison whilst serving his sentence for the crime. But with a John Doe on their hands so close to the crime scene, the detectives are left wondering: could the two cases be connected? At the same time, Cody Swift, a young filmmaker who used to be best friends with the two murdered teenagers, has returned to his hometown to look for answers to some questions that have always bugged him in the years since his friends died. Together with his girlfriend Maya, he sets out to interview all people involved in the case, and publish his findings in a true crime podcast. But as Cody gets closer to the truth, there are some people who will do anything to keep the past hidden ...

I loved the podcast element in this story, with its breadcrumb like trail of clues surrounding the murder of the two teenagers. As the red herrings come rolling in, I was ready to pat myself on the shoulder for being such a good detective and figuring it all out – only to be proven massively wrong yet again. It’s safe to say that no one in this story is as they seem. Isn’t that the best kind of mystery? I thought so. Totally engrossed, I kept turning the pages way past the time of night where I could expect to be a functioning human being the next day.


In summary, I loved everything about this extremely clever mystery, from its flawed, believable characters to the chilling crime at the centre of the story – and of course the “book in a book” (or “podcast in a book”) theme, that added that special something to the story. Told from multiple POVs, this one kept me guessing until the “big bang” at the very end that upended all my carefully constructed theories. Brilliantly written, as is Macmillan’s usual style, it gets all the stars from me – very highly recommended!

Thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow Paperbacks for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

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