Today is Friday and usually (although I’m not sure anything is usual anymore) I bring you new books on Friday. Today, I bring you a thriller by a writer I know better as a reviewer (very sharp and I follow her recommendations to the letter), Terry Tyler. Although I’m very intrigued by her work, so far I haven’t managed to read any of her books, but when I read about her new novel, I was sure you’d be interested. Here it is:
The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler
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.
Here I had to share some of the reviews:
By Barb Taub on 13 Oct. 2016
When you read a new Terry Tyler novel, the only thing you can count on is that you can’t count on anything. I can think of very few other authors who change and mix genres so regularly that it’s become their definition. Her latest novel, The Devil You Know, is no exception.
The book opens with a prologue as a young woman named Dora flashes back to the heartbreaking steps leading to her realization that she’s about to be murdered. Chapter One then goes back in time to a year earlier, as the news breaks of a body—the third one in six months—found in the local river Lynden in South Lincolnshire, England. Slowly, local residents realize that one of them, perhaps someone they know, is a murderer, one who will most probably strike again.
At this point in the usual detective series, the search for a serial killer would belong to a damaged detective (probably Swedish, with a drinking problem and a history of failed personal relationships). Or perhaps it would be a beautiful young woman, torn between two love interests as she’s stalked by the killer. Or the detective could even be an old lady (bonus points if she knits), or a quirky heroine with a quirky best friend (probably gay)—but either way, cupcakes and cats would certainly be involved.
Oh, wait—this is a Terry Tyler book. That means that there are only two things you can be sure of: it will be character driven, and those characters will steadfastly refuse to be trapped in genre tropes. She starts with the premise: what if there are several reasonable people who have looked at the evidence—the generic composite drawing, the opportunity, the motive—and realize that it all points to someone in their own life? How long will they resist that knowledge, knowing that delay might mean more deaths?
One thing many detective stories have in common—a staple, in fact, of the police procedural—is the bit where they talk about all the nut cases who call in “tips” after hearing about the crime. But in fact, the reality is that many crimes are solved by those closest to the criminal. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was a brilliant murderer who successfully eluded police until named by his brother David, who later wrote: “It was a feeling of being trapped – trapped in this brother relationship, trapped in this dilemma in which people’s lives were at stake either way. One way, if we did nothing, another bomb might go off and more people might die. The other way, I turned Ted in and he would be executed.”—David Kaczynski for The Guardian
Thus the book’s chapters will each be owned by a specific character. Juliet is a middle-aged housewife whose bullying husband beats and demeans her, even as she tries to hide her shame from her sons and the world. Steve is a shy young man who has always depended on his best friend, Dan, despite his growing concern about Dan’s new friends and their criminal ties. Tamsin is a young professional in love with a colleague who she realizes has taken advantage of her. Dorothy is an older woman, a single mother who has raised her beloved son with humor and grace, but who discovers he’s keeping a big part of his life secret from her. Maisie is the teenager who is so close to real life girls I’ve known (and been) that it’s almost eerie. She’s a mix of self-centered, generous, loving, selfish, wildly imaginative, and naive—convinced that she knows so much about the world, but mystified about the way it really works.
And in between, we get glimpses of the other two main groups of actors: the victims, and the baffled police. But the story doesn’t belong to them; it actually lives inside the heads of each of the amateur detectives. And that’s where Terry Tyler shines. As we share each of their chapters, we see the logic building to each one of their conclusions that the killer is the person so central to their lives. And, in a unique touch, we see the aftermath of that decision for each character.
One of the most difficult things a writer can do is convincingly switch point of view, changing voice and pace and world view for each character. To then show each and every one of these characters—as they change and develop, as they fight the realization of what speaking up might mean, and as they grow toward their own personal moment of truth—is the sign of a master writer. To do it with flawless command and ownership—inviting the reader to try to guess which door hides a killer and which is just a mirror of the character’s own fears—is a unique and incredible feat. And even more, to make all that seem so natural that the reader doesn’t really question each character’s chain of logic or stop to second guess the plot? That is Terry Tyler’s particular brand of genius.
By Mandyflyme on 9 Oct. 2016
Oh my! I just don’t know where to start. I suppose at the beginning. I love Terry’s books and I am one of her Twitter stalkers too – in a good way! I am just so glad that I have found her. An absolutely lovely lady and an absolute gem of a writer. The Devil You Know had me at page 1. The story delves into the various lives of different people and it keeps you guessing from the beginning. I love and feel the poor and downtrodden Julia. For goodness sake, woman, do something about your life! I just want to inject her with a backbone. Does she find one? Steve seems quite a lonely and laid back character. Will he have a happy ending? Is there more to him than there seems? The book just comes to life with all of the side stories whilst not losing the essence of the plot. I totally love Terry’s music references that pop up in her books – Nik Kershaw lol! Wonderful. If you want an amazingly good read about murder, prostitution and intrigue and to love/hate lots of well written characters, please buy this book today. No, I’m not on commission but yes, don’t miss out. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
By CathyR on 9 Oct. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Dora had been promised a job in England but her brother knew better. He pleaded with Dora not to trust the man who made the promises but she laughed off his concerns, believing she was in control of the situation and not in any danger. Dora found out to her cost her brother had been right. She paid the ultimate price for her naiveté.
Twelve months earlier and a third body has been discovered in Lyndford raising the possibility of a serial killer at large. The story is driven by the characters, told from several perspectives and very cleverly woven together.
Juliet is an abused wife who believes her husband, Paul, lies to her about his evenings out, and after listening to an expert on the news report describe common personality traits of serial killers, she realises most of them could apply to Paul.
Steve has doubts about Dan, his childhood friend, who seems to have changed, and not for the better, since he’s become thick as thieves with AJ. Steve is suspicious of AJ and believes he brings out Dan’s worst characteristics.
Tamsin, who works for the Lynford Echo, has become fixated with Jake after a one night stand. Unreciprocated feelings lead to retaliation in the form of questionable implications.
Teenager Maisie dislikes and distrusts her mother’s new boyfriend. He’s too ingratiating by far and she doesn’t believes the excuses he comes up with to cover his absences.
Dorothy is a single mother. She and her adult son, Orlando, are very close but Dorothy suspects Orlando is keeping something from her. Her conflicting emotions prompt her to do something that, under normal circumstances, she would never even have dreamt of. But these are not normal circumstances.
Meanwhile more murders are being committed.
I love Terry Tyler’s books, she always manages to add a different slant on a theme, and make me feel for her characters. This story is definitely no exception. A psychological, serial killer drama with the distinctive, complex characterisation and skilful, engaging writing this author excels at. The narrative is dark and the plot very well executed, building up to a dramatic conclusion – which I didn’t guess because by the end I’d laid the blame on every one of the suspects. And then, just when you think it’s all over….
The story incorporates elements of power, jealousy and love, among other things, and shows Terry Tyler’s spot on grasp and understanding of people and situations. The composition of the story works really well, with each segment building the suspense and anticipation. A refreshing and compelling interpretation of a serial killer story.
My review is based on an advance copy from the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or the review content.
And here, the links:
If you want to visit the author’s page on Amazon, you can click here.
And don’t miss her blog, here.
Thanks to Terry Tyler for her new novel and to the reviewers for their comments, thanks to you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!