I’m a huge fan of character driven novels and you wouldn’t be wrong if you said I have a slight obsession with serial killers – combining those two points makes The Devil You Know my kind of book!
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.
I was instantly intrigued by this synopsis; my only worry was I’d get slightly confused with the characters. So, I want to start off this review saying, with a full cast of characters, Tyler put a lot of thought into each character, and their individuality shone through. Of course, it helped that at the beginning of each chapter, the person narrating the chapter was identified, but had these disappeared mid-way through the book, providing I’d already been introduced to that character, I’d still have known who was talking – that’s the strength of Tyler’s character development. And this in-depth level of character developed is exactly what you want in a character driven novel.
It was near on impossible to figure out who the serial killer was! It could have been anyone and that’s what made this book unique – how close to reality it was. When you look back in history, some real life serial killers came across as so likeable, others were heinous from the get go, some had good jobs and on the outside appeared to be living normal lives – you just don’t know what’s really going on in someone’s head and what they may or may not be capable of. Have you ever doubted someone close to you, where they said they were going, who they said they were with? Or have you even read about events or been told a story and thought “hmm, something’s not right” or “that’s a little too convenient”? Tyler takes this notion and intensifies it tenfold – when you take a close look at someone’s life, and begin to break down their daily activities along with what they are telling you, it’s scary what your brain comes up with.
My only negative regarding this book was its length. I think it would have worked better had it been shorter because it’s a psychological drama, the mystery element is there but it’s not strong because it’s not the focus. There isn’t heaps of action, again because of the nature of this book, so towards the end of this book I was just ready for the killer to be revealed because it began to feel a bit monotonous. I like that Tyler used a variety of characters to ensure everyone’s home life and experiences were different, but again, this didn’t keep ‘the thrill’ alive for the entire book and my engagement diminished towards the end.
I do believe you have to be a fan of both character driven novels and psychological dramas to enjoy this one. It’s uniquely done and for that reason I’m glad I read it, it’s not a theme that’s been overdone and I applaud Tyler for capitalising on this idea, these fleeting thoughts everyone and anyone may have and turning it into a novel. I’m glad I read it and I certainly will remember it, it’s just a shame, my engagement dipped towards the end. Nonetheless, it’s still a book I’d recommend and I’d read more of Tyler’s books.
This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK