Book Review: The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler

The Devil You Know - Terry Tyler

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!

Book Description:

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.

My Thoughts:

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

*My thanks to the author for providing me with a digital copy of this book*
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Author: Keeper of Pages

Blogging about books and other bookish ramblings

24 thoughts on “Book Review: The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler”

  1. I read a glowing review about this one a long time ago and I was very interested but that cover… I can’t help it but I’d never pick this one up with such a cover. I really like the fact that it’s so character driven and you don’t know who it is for so long. Too bad it was all a bit long… It does sound quite orginal though and a bit different from the usual crime novels. Still thinking about whether I should add it or not…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I have no idea, it just looks like something I’d have made back in school – I’m super picky and I hate it because I probably miss out on great books but I can’t shake the judgement

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      1. I can’t really say why I don’t like the cover but I’m just not very attracted to it. Picking-up another book is one way to deal with it.. knowing me though I’d never go back to the first one or leave it so long that I don’t know who’s who anymore 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s interesting, Inge, that even though you read a review saying how good it was, you would still be put off by a cover you don’t like. All this sort of stuff is fascinating to writers!! Thanks for reading and your interest, anyway. The book is 95K words long, which is not excessive, but perhaps a bit longer than your average current ‘grip lit’ thriller.

      I review books for a team (Rosie Amber) – we pick books from many submitted to a list. I actually scarcely look at the cover, and go only by the genre, how much the blurb interests me, and how well-written it is. But we’re all so different when it comes to our choices, aren’t we?!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m sorry that I feel this way but I am really a cover buyer (when I see the same book in UK and US version, obviously with the same blurb, can have a different effect on me). The cover is the first thing I look at and check out. Before my review request stop I’d always check out the cover of an author’s novel on Amazon, even when they gave a blurb in the e-mail. It’s like a first glimpse into the story already and I want it to get off a good start right away, with an enticing cover.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to chime in and agree that the cover puts me off😬I’m not sure if it’s the face in the water but something isn’t right lol. Your review is excellent though and despite the dragging of the ending…that’s the worst possible time to slow the pace…it sounds like you enjoyed it. No serial killer books for me at this time or the near future, I’ll hold out until the Ragdoll sequel which has been the only serial killer book I’ve like in a long time:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m so surprised you’re all saying that, I don’t think the covers that bad and I didn’t even notice the face in the water at first 🙈

      And I hear what you’re saying about serial killer thrillers – I think a few people are struggling with psychological thrillers in general at the moment 🙈 I’ve certainly been let down by the ending of the last 4 I’ve read. I’m reading some historical crime fiction, set in 17th century England, at the moment and I like the change of tempo.

      I really enjoyed Ragdoll, has the pub date been set for the sequel?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks so much, Janel – really interested in all the comments, I can’t work out why everyone dislikes the cover so much but never mind! The difficulty with this book was that it ISN’T a crime drama – it’s not in the crime genre on Amazon, it’s not a police procedural. It’s about the five main characters and their fears. Another avid crime reader said that the ‘reveal’ came too soon, and I know that for crime readers it’s all about the reveal. It’s also not a grip lit thriller – it’s a creepy drama about the five people who fear their loved one might be a killer.

    Many other reviews said they loved that it carried on with the afterwards after the killer was revealed, because they always wonder about that. A couple said it was an anti climax. You can never please everyone so you have to just write the book YOU need to write.

    The comments on this do make me understand the need to decide what genre you’re writing and stick absolutely to its specifics (cover too!) if you want a book to be received well … though I probably still won’t…!!

    Janel, thanks so much for this x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terry, thanks for commenting. I’m not too sure why everyone dislikes the cover either lol, I have no issue with it. It read as a psychological drama to me. I think it’s mainly because my blog focuses on crime Fiction, I tend to mention the tropes of the genre in the majority of my reviews, I wasn’t being negative when I spoke about the mystery element, I hope it came across in my review, as the point I was hoping to make is that this isn’t a mystery book but character driven.

      I agree, you need to write the book you want!

      All the best. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review! I’m not sure why people don’t like the cover. I’m in your camp…I didn’t even notice the face at first! Oops! Anyways, it sounds like an interesting plot and I might need to check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jess and Janel for not disliking the cover!!!!!!!!!! Jess, if you’d like a review copy let me know, I’m @TerryTyler4 on Twitter. No pressure if you end up not liking it, I am not one of those prima donna writers who hassle book reviewers, and totally get that we all have different tastes.

      Janel, you DID make clear about the stuff you liked about it, no worries!

      Liked by 2 people

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