What You Don’t Know by JoAnn Chaney

What You Don’t Know

Author: JoAnn Chaney
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Pages: 320

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads SynopsisHe didn’t take their lives…but he ruined them. A series of murders brings Denver to its knees in this wonderfully voice driven, dark, wry, and wholly original page-turning debut.

The last victims of an infamous serial killer on death row may be the ones he didn’t kill. Seven years ago, Detective Paul Hoskins and his larger-than-life partner solved one of the biggest serial murder cases of the decade. They dug up 33 bodies in a crawl space belonging to the beloved Jacky Seever, a pillar of the community and a successful businessman. Sammie Peterson was the lead reporter on the case. Her byline was on the front page of the newspaper every day. Seever’s wife, Gloria, claimed to be as surprised as everyone else.

Today, Hoskins has been banished to cold cases, Sammie is selling make-up at the mall, and Gloria is trying to navigate a world where she can’t escape condemnation. And Seever? He’s watching the show.

But when a series of new murders occur, and the victims are all somehow connected to Seever, Gloria is once again thrust into the spotlight, while Hoskins and Sammie realize this may be their chance to get their lives back, even if it means forfeiting their humanity in the process.

Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

REVIEW: The first page of this read was filled with tons of profanity and what seemed like devaluing of the main characters. I thought I might not enjoy this books at all… and then I was caught up in this novel without stop. As I read through, the characters were as described, but also so much more. And wow did Loren really get to me throughout most of this novel. Sometimes he actually was a decent person, but his disposition was constantly shifting. Then there is Hoskins whom constantly has to deal with Loren’s overbearing personality, and then all of a sudden gets a helping hand from him when he needs it the most.

There is also Sammie who is a reporter and wants to be considered one of the bests at what she does. Her choice in getting faster to that position is to start up a relationship with Hoskins, who allows her access to the Seever case. This gets her to be the lead reporter in the case, with all the front page dibs she could ever hope for, but of course nothing lasts forever. I am torn with her character. On one end she is a fighter, willing to get all she needs for her byline in the newspaper, but is also a person desperately willing to risk ruining her marriage just to make a name for herself.

With all these characters, it makes for that much of an interesting book. The reader is taken seven years forward in the novel, after Seever has been caught red handed and living out the rest of his time in prison. Everything has started up again, with the first kill being that of Carrie Simms who was the only one to escape Seever’s crawl space all that time ago. Adding Hoskins back on the case along with Loren. And Sammie finding her way back into the limelight after that small time she had on the front page.

I found that the more I read, the more I couldn’t put this novel down. I didn’t much care for all the foul language, but even with all that I kept finding myself more taken it by What You Don’t Know. It made me often wonder who was at the center of of it all, who had enough reason or want to do this and pursue everyone who was involved in that case many years ago. It’s never a dull moment in any of these pages and it didn’t leave me disappointed in much of it.

Though I was taken in continually by this novel, I couldn’t quite come around to really liking any of the main characters. I appreciate the honesty of most of them, a side that didn’t sugar coat who is really around us, but I just couldn’t come around to liking or connecting with any of them. But maybe that’s part of the charm, three very flawed people just trying to find a way to make their careers, to find truth even in the darkest of places. None of them are anywhere near perfect and that just says quite a lot as well. I can’t say that I cared for most of the vulgarity that was in here either, it was just too over-the-top, but as I said, much of that was put to the side because it was a read that kept me interested and wanting to find out who is Secondhand.

******I received this copy from Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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