Sent to me by Picador in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 27/07/17
Format: Hardback, 352pp
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Summed up in a word: Dedication
Talented and determined, Devon is the centre of her ambitious parents’ world, and the lynchpin of their marriage. There is nothing Katie and Eric wouldn’t do for her.
When a violent hit-and-run accident sends shockwaves through their close-knit community, Katie is immediately concerned for her daughter, a rising star of the gymnastics world. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That’s what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don’t realize how much you’ve sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you . . .
Plotted with all the brilliance of Dare Me, and written with the compassion of The Fever, the astonishing You Will Know Me – dark and tender by turns – is an unforgettable novel by Megan Abbott.
2017 is definitely the year of the psychological thriller and there are so many great additions to the genre already so far. The important question to consider now is what does You Will Know Me have to offer in the sea of thrillers hitting the shelves this year. In my opinion, plenty. I had not heard of Megan Abbott before I picked up YWKM and that is a huge shame. I will definitely be picking up more of her work soon. YWKM is a story of great talent, admirable dedication and unhinged desire for success.
The plot is centred around Katie and her young daughter Devon. Devon is a talented gymnast who is progressing through the competitive ranks at a lightning fast pace. Her parents always believed she was destined for greatness. Pouring money, time and effort into her success. Tensions are high for everyone and the death of 25 year old Ryan, the resident handyman and all-round nice guy, snaps the tether that has been keeping everyone’s focus in place. The devastation ripples through the community and soon there are fights, accusations and chaos. Devon and her father can’t wait for everyone to recover from Ryan’s death, the clock is clicking on Devon’s chance for Olympic success. Devon represents the success of everyone involved in her career so they aren’t going to let her fail now.
Katie is a dedicated mother but as the story unfolds her love for her daughter and her husband Eric is put to the test. People are hiding the truth from her and she is going to find out what happened, no matter what the consequences are. I was impressed with the intensity that MA injects into this story. Her writing captures the blood, sweat and tears that the family has invested in Devon. Katie’s frantic investigation into her daughter is brilliantly conflicting and it was hard to figure out what truly happened to Ryan. Was there more to Ryan that people didn’t know about? Who would want him dead?
I found the rapid pace of the narrative made it much easier to enjoy. The progression and development of You Will Know Me was spot on. Told through the eyes of Katie, the story unfolds as she finds out more and more about Ryan’s death. The whole family is conflicted in so many ways, but for as long as they can remember, Devon comes first. Even the younger brother Drew has accepted that she is a star. Katie has the ferocity and love for Devon that can’t be faulted. Katie is proud, righteous and passionate, she and Eric have put everything they have into Devon chance to be a legend. Though she knows her family was involved in what happened with Ryan, but can she put that aside to ensure Devon’s success?
You Will Know Me is an intense and dizzying whirlwind of desire, jealous rage, envy, frustration and dedication. It is not a ground-breaking psychological thriller, but it had me on my toes, questioning everything. I recommend it to all thriller loves who like to get caught up in a plot that turns all the characters against each other and challenges the reader to work out the what, how and why. Check out You Will Know Me and let me know what you thought.
About Megan Abbott
Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me and The Fever. Her most recent book is You Will Know Me, You Will Know Me chosen one of Best Books of 2016 by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Time Out NY, the Washington Post, Google, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Believer. Her stories hav appeared in multiple collections, including the Best American Mystery Stories of 2014 and 2016.
Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and five Edgar awards, Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s new David Simon show, The Deuce, and is adapting two of her novels for television and feature film. Bio + Picture taken from Megan’s personal website: www.meganabbott.com/megan.html
Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.
She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.