Published: 28th June 2018
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Trigger warnings: Sexual references, child death
You trust her. You shouldn’t.
That picture you just posted on Instagram? I’ve seen it.
The location you tagged? I’ve been there.
You haven’t been careful enough, have you?
Because I know all about you.
But when I meet you, I won’t tell you that.
I’ll pretend. Just like you do.
You’ll like me though. You’ll trust me enough to let me into your life. And then I’ll destroy it.
This was a book that delivered good and bad things in equal measure. From an intriguing beginning to an ending that was full of revelations, it is a decent thriller without ever being truly captivating, as a plot that contained plenty of promise was counterbalanced by characters I tried and failed to fully connect with.
After a mysterious prologue laden with underlying menace, it is immediately made clear that the story is being told in the past tense. That means that most of the book is simply building up to the event that takes place later on and its consequences, with plenty of red herrings thrown in along the way.
Taylor has recently moved to the UK after meeting her husband, Jake. For some time, almost her entire life is spent on social media, until she decides to join a walking group. There, she meets Anna, who soon becomes her best friend. They are both pregnant and have several other things in common, but Anna fears that somebody is watching her.
As the friendship between Taylor and Anna develops and more characters are quickly introduced with the sole purpose of creating suspicion, the book suddenly begins to feel like a family or domestic drama. I did not find these parts engaging and there were moments where I was starting to lose interest.
Most of the book is told in the first-person from Taylor’s perspective. She communicates to the reader in a thoughtful, reflective way, but as a protagonist I found her unremarkable. This is the kind of thriller where you really needed to connect with the main character, but sadly I mostly struggled with Taylor.
Along with the main narrative, some chapters are told from the point of view of the stalker. The author does a good job of keeping both them and the identity of their victim a mystery, and this is what creates the most intrigue throughout the book. These chapters certainly bring a greater sense of menace to the plot, as well as a darker tone.
All of this helps to enforce the book’s key theme of having to be careful how much of your life you share on social media. The message is conveyed quite effectively, even though the characters here seem to take it to extremes in ways that raised a few eyebrows with me!
Once the main twist takes place, the writing noticeably gathers pace and from there what remains of the story becomes more interesting and tense. I felt the ending itself was a little rushed, but after all the many pages of build-up, it was far from a letdown.
Overall, there were several things I liked about this book, particularly the way in which it accelerates towards the end and becomes gripping. However, the plot was nothing really out of the ordinary, and I just did not feel the characters, so I shall say this was a decent read, but nothing more.
Annabel Kantaria is an author and journalist who now lives in Dubai with her husband and children, though regularly returns to the UK. An editor and contributor to a number of publications, I Know You is her fourth novel.
A mysterious and occasionally dark read that builds up purposefully before an eventful conclusion. Not mesmerising, but certainly not a disaster either.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐