Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
Penguin Random House: 4/9/19
eBook review copy; 400 pages
Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline is a recommended psychological domestic thriller.
Four fifteen-year-old teenagers find a gun buried in the woods and
proceed to obsess over it and each other. Two of the teens are going
through some serious hidden real-life trauma (Allie Garvey and David Hybrinski) and two are creating their own upper-class privileged teenage angst (Sasha Barrow and Julian Browne). When a fifth teen (Kyle
Gallagher) who is already experiencing a life-changing trauma is
added to the group, the dynamics change. A night of drinking ends with
deadly results and the teens keep that night a secret, going their
The turning point, the unbearable secret the teens share doesn't
occur until the half-way point of the novel. The lead up to the event is
spent in character development of the five teens, focusing on their
lives and their secrets. Then the novel jumps ahead to the future when
Allie is attending the funeral of one of the group. She realizes that
the decision the four made has left her with guilt that has eaten away
at her ever since that one fateful night.
This is really a novel of highly dysfunctional families and a very
stupid teenage mistake. The ending is over-the-top and the final twist
was... head-shakenly unbelievable. Part of the problem is that you are
waiting until the novel is half over for the huge game-changer and you
are spending the time leading up to that focused on these teens, their
problems, their emotions, and their families. Then the whole tone of the
novel changes into a different novel.
Since this is a Scottoline novel, she partially gets away with this
because she's such a good writer. I paused only twice, wondering what
was going on with the pacing while waiting for the game changing event,
and then the end, which seemed like a very different novel in comparison
to the first half. When I finished it, I had to wait before even trying
to write a review because my initial impression was so poor. In
summary, The quality of the writing is excellent, the characters are
well developed, the pacing is very uneven, and the ending requires you
to set disbelief aside.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.