Friday, January 9, 2015

The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Touchstone: 1/13/2015
eBook, 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9781476779089
The Devil You Know is a thrilling debut about a rookie reporter, whose memories of the murder of her childhood best friend bring danger—and a stalker—right to her doorstep.
The year is 1993. Rookie crime beat reporter Evie Jones is haunted by the unsolved murder of her best friend Lianne Gagnon who was killed in 1982, back when both girls were eleven. The suspected killer, a repeat offender named Robert Cameron, was never arrested, leaving Lianne’s case cold.
Now twenty-one and living alone for the first time, Evie is obsessively drawn to finding out what really happened to Lianne. She leans on another childhood friend, David Patton, for help—but every clue they uncover seems to lead to an unimaginable conclusion. As she gets closer and closer to the truth, Evie becomes convinced that the killer is still at large—and that he’s coming back for her.
From critically acclaimed author Elisabeth de Mariaffi comes a spine-tingling debut about secrets long buried and obsession that cannot be controlled.

My Thoughts:

The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi is a highly recommended, compulsively additive novel on the nature of paranoia - and a serial killer.

It's 1993 and  Evie Jones is a rookie reporter who at the Toronto Free Press. She's working on researching a series on women's safety that she irreverently nicknames the "dead-girls weekend section" While Evie spends hours researching dead girls, or girls who were kidnapped, raped, and murdered, she also recalls the kidnapping, rape, and murder of her best friend Lianne, when the girls were 11 in 1982. The suspected killer, Robert Cameron, was never caught. Evie investigation into old cases sends her off doing some private investigating of her own.

Set during the time that real-life Canadian serial killer Paul Bernando was arrested for his crimes in Toronto, Evie research can make for a strong case that women and girls are never safe. But as Evie's reseach continues, she also is constantly paranoid that someone is following her, or watching her. While most women have been taught to have a healthy sense of paranoia and awareness of their surroundings, Evie's actions may have you questioning if she has gone too far. Are her action's out of control or reasonable? And is someone really looking into her apartment windows at night or is it Evie's imagination going into overdrive?

Evie is a strong, tough protagonist with a sense of humor, curiosity, intelligence and courage. You will find yourself cheering her on, hoping for the best;  most female readers will also likely have an intimate understanding of Evie's paranoia and caution. In this novel that is part psychological terror and part crime reporter's research, the suspense is gradually built until the nail-biting climax.

De Mariaffi did an excellent job establishing Evie's character as tough and street-smart but also very paranoid, especially after the events of her childhood. Most women know and have to teach their daughters that the world is not a safe place for them. They need to be vigilant and cautious and, yes, even a bit paranoid.

I found the writing to be excellent and enjoyed this novel immensely. It is a nice blend of literary fiction with a crime novel. She has managed to make it all flow together beautifully and build to a tension-filled climax. It should be noted that de Mariaffi  does not use quotation marks, which might bother some readers.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Touchstone for review purposes.

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