Monday, July 10, 2023

I Know What You Did

I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne
7/18/23; 272 pages
Crooked Lane Books

I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne is a highly recommended mystery novel that follows secrets from one woman's past.

Petal (Petta) Woznewski lives a quiet, introverted life in New York City where she self medicates too much and sees Gus Johnson, her friend with intermittent benefits, when she chooses to do so. She is shaken to the core when her name is used in an anonymously written thriller and the dedication page says: "I know what you did, Petal Woznewski. And now everyone else will, too." The novel seems to be based on events from thirty years ago when she was fourteen and living in Madison, Wisconsin.

At that time her parents had recently died and she was living with her aunt. She made two friends, Megan and Jenny. Megan died and Jenny and Petal kept the real story of that tragic night a secret, that is until the novel is published. The thing is, some details in the novel are correct but others aren't at all. The book is becoming a best seller, movie rights are sold, and Petta needs to return to Madison in order to find out who wrote it and why she is being named and targeted in the supposedly fictional novel.

Petta is an interesting character. She's not entirely likeable, but it is clearly her choice to keep her distance from everything and everyone. She can be cynical, funny, pessimistic, and introverted. Her character does experience growth and she is quite likeable despite her best efforts by the end of the novel.

I Know What You Did is a well-written, even paced debut novel. The narrative follows Petta's current actions and thoughts with excerpts from the questionable novel providing details about the past. The excerpts of a novel within a novel works well in this novel without feeling distracting. Clues are there as to who is the anonymous writer of the incriminating novel, so some readers are going to figure it out before Petta, but the journey is worth the ending.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley.

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