There was a Tuesday in February where a whole slew of great books were released. On the same day, A Separation, The Refugee, All our Wrong Todays, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, The Woman Next Door, Lincoln in the Bardo, and this little book What You Don't Know were all released. Of all the books released on that day, I am sure What You Don't Know would be one of the more overlooked ones. It has a plain cover, Chaney is a first time author, and it is a mystery which does not scream out- buy me! This is a book not to be overlooked though as it is a mystery where the murder takes a back seat to relationships.
The book opens with the capture of a serial killer, Seever, who would torture, rape, and then kill his victims only to dump them into his basement. He has a wife, Gloria, and several successful restaurants. He is known in the community as a guy who would also dress up like a clown and have grand parties at his house.
He is caught by Hoskins and his partner Loren while a reporter Sammie is making a name for herself writing about the killer. Sammie is also sleeping with Hoskins for information about the case and has a past with Seever. It seems as if the world is opening up in their lives.
A few years later, Hoskins in working in the basement after attacking another person, Loren starts dressing up like Seever, and Sammie is working as a make up sales person. Their lives have been changed from this story. Seever is on death row and is about to be executed when all of a sudden murders similar to Seever's murders begin again. The three- Hoskins, Loren, and Sammie are thrown back together and face their past demons.
As I stated earlier, while this is a murder mystery, it does not read like one. The murders become a backdrop to the relationships within the book. Sammie and Hoskins must work out what has happened to them. Loren starts becoming more and more obsessed with Seever to the point of dressing like him and acting like him. Gloria is left without a cent to her name and must navigate life as Seever's wife. Meanwhile, Seever is experiencing a bit of fame with paintings he paints while awaiting his death. The wake left after a serial killer becomes the real story.
As for the mystery itself, there are some pretty violent scenes and may set off some triggers. The nice thing is there are several candidates for who could be committing these new murders, so guessing who did it, will flip often. Seever becomes a Hannibal Lecter like character in that he becomes a mentor of sorts as to who did it.
I found myself engrossed in the story and the relationships within the story. This isn't a typical murder mystery, so I will once again warn, for those looking for a typical one, you might want to pick another one up. I wound up enjoying this one a lot.
I gave this one 4 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- What You Don't Know by JoAnn Chaney