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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of thriller What You Don't Know by JoAnn Chaney

(34 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Mar-17 17:41:22

Looking for your next nail-biting thriller? What You Don't Know, JoAnn Chaney's dark debut novel is for you.

What You Don't Know tells the story of three victims a murderer didn't kill, but whose lives he shattered all the same. Detective Hoskins was the man who solved the case, one of the biggest of the decade. Lead reporter Sammie Peterson wrote about it on the front page every day. And the convicted murderer's wife, Gloria, claimed to be as horrified as everyone else.

Seven years later, all three are trying to move on with their lives, but then a series of copycat killings makes that impossible. And when you get that close to a killer, can you really forget?

We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on this discussion thread. Everyone who gives detailed feedback on What You Don't Know will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher:

Buy the book from Amazon

This giveaway is sponsored by Thin Blue Spine crime writing blog

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iamEarthymama Mon 20-Mar-17 21:07:45

Entered, hoping to be lucky.

whatwoulddexterdo Tue 21-Mar-17 20:35:49

Looks good, fingers crossed

user1490255410 Thu 23-Mar-17 08:22:28

Looks a great read

MycatsaPirate Thu 23-Mar-17 08:32:53

Sounds like a good read. Fingers crossed.

amysmum18 Thu 13-Apr-17 10:47:24

Thanks so much for my copy of this book. I can't wait to get started and add my thoughts on the book 😀

horseyrider Thu 13-Apr-17 20:20:39

Received my copy today, what a lovely surprise!!

jammy388 Tue 18-Apr-17 16:32:24

This thriller was well-written and moved at a good pace, but I found the foul language, gory details and the unsympathetic characters hard to take. The mystery was well done and I wasn’t sure about the identity of the copy- cat killer until quite close to the reveal. The story was also tackled from an interesting angle looking at the effect of the original serial killings on the lives of people involved in different ways with the murderer and his crimes.

debwh142 Fri 21-Apr-17 19:59:34

I don't normally read thrillers but like to read something different every now and then
The story was well written and in places a but gory and it wasn't until near the end the killer was revealed and I didn't suspect who it was. Athough the story was about a killer it was also about the other characters and their lives and how they intertwined all relevant to the story

horseyrider Fri 21-Apr-17 20:26:30

I have just finished my copy. The story had an interesting start, different from most thrillers I've read. Characters were difficult to warm to though. Twist towards the end which was well done.

ahigney Sun 07-May-17 08:02:46

Very good, atmospheric crime novel set in Denver,Colorado that deals with an aftermath of catching a serial killer and an emerging copy-cat killer.Told from three different points of view, very well written and compelling.Each of the characters is a varied, complete personality and this is a great, new angle in crime.Enjoyed it a lot.Interested to read more from this author, whose debut is accomplished and intelligent.

duggerlugs Thu 11-May-17 06:01:14

I received my copy and read when my little girl falls asleep.
I read the first few pages and wasn't sure with some of the language whether I would enjoy as the style was a little different. That passed and the characters developed nicely. The story is a good who did it with a back-plot explaining the original serial killer. I enjoyed the book but if easily offended or sensitive to graphic descriptions of killing it may not be appropriate. I felt the ending was a little rushed when the killer was revealed..although didn't guess who it was.
Enjoyed the book because the writing style was different. I Tess Gerritsen.
Thanks for the chance to review

Maraki Fri 12-May-17 21:22:28

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The book started really strongly, it gripped me from the first age. It is well written, the author describes the scenes and the characters amazingly well. The characters and the plot are believable and the plot develops at a fast snd constant pace. At no stage was I bored. This would be 'up there' with my top favourite thriller books of all times if it weren't for the sickening gory details and foul language. I can tolerate both to a certain extent but this book has too much and they spoiled it for me..

dannydog1 Mon 15-May-17 08:55:37

I liked the structure of this book, with each chapter relating to a particular character. The plot was great and it was an interesting slant from the aftermath of the murders. However the read was spoilt for me by the constant foul language. I would look at the next book from this author but not if the same extremes of bad language are used

Celama Mon 15-May-17 11:36:54

I haven't finished this book yet as it took ages to get a copy from the library but am really enjoying it. The style of writing is refreshing and different and it grips you. As others have said it can be a bit hard hitting but it is an enjoyable change and reminiscing of the type of books I read when younger. A really good choice of book, thanks.

doggyg Tue 16-May-17 13:45:56

Thanks for my copy of this book. I really enjoyed it.

Amydbarker Sat 10-Jun-17 09:30:50

This isn't the type of novel I would normally choose but I enjoyed the story and was eager to find out what was going to happen next. I liked the way the chapters were organised to focus on the different characters and the fact it was a 'who dunnit' but also went back to give us an insight into the original case and murderer. I did find the ending quite predictable and the detail sometimes a bit too graphic but would read another novel by this author.

barricade Mon 12-Jun-17 04:44:20

Many thanks, Mumsnet, for a copy of this book. As a fan of crime thrillers, I was really looking forward to this, and I'm glad to say, I wasn't disappointed. This riveting debut by author JoAnn Chaney is a nail-biting crime thriller that keeps you guessing until the end.

Seven years prior, detectives Ralph Loren and Paul Hoskins had solved the highest-profile serial killer case in Denver. 31 bodies were dug up from a crawl-space of a residential house, and the perpetrator, Jacky Seever, was brought to justice. Sammie Petersen’s exclusive first-on-the-scene reporting had made her a name to be reckoned with in the media world. And Gloria, Seever’s wife, who claimed to have no knowledge of her husband’s crime, found herself facing the prospect of moving on from it all, but with no idea how.

Seven years on. Seever’s still in prison. Hoskins has been demoted to a desk job. His ex-partner, the temperamental Loren, is constantly alienating one new partner after another. Sammie is working in a retail make-up department. And Gloria is living the life of anonymity, shut off from the outside world.

But then the killings begin again, with the crimes bearing all the hallmarks of Seever’s notorious deeds. But Seever is locked away in prison? Right?

For Hoskins, Loren and Sammie, it presents the opportunity to ‘rise from the ashes’ in their respective careers, to have a crack at solving the crime that only they have the unique insight into. But for Gloria, it’s about facing a set of truths she so desperately wants to avoid.

The chapters in the book are recounted as individually seen through the eyes of the main characters, predominantly Hoskins, Sammie and Gloria. The pages are immediately awash with foul language and gory descriptions. The bad language initially comes across as ‘lazy’ story telling, going for shock value to hide narrative composition inadequacies. However, this helps enhance the flaws in the characters’ personalities, and makes each one appear they have something to hide. In fact, the selfishness and unsympathetic nature of the characters make even the ‘heroes’ of the story difficult to root for. The author then manipulates her characters like pieces on a chess board, bouncing doubt and suspicion from one to the other. Until finally, all the objects are in position for the climatic conclusion.

A well-crafted, tightly-wound thriller, with a Hollywood, twist-in-the-tale ending. A humdinger of a first novel!


Belo Mon 25-Sep-17 11:32:59

I'm sorry to say that I gave up on this book. I found none of the characters likable. Perhaps it's not a beachside read.... I passed it onto my husband who enjoyed it, but he said that the felt the end was rushed and everything was tied up very conveniently.

ahigney Mon 25-Sep-17 11:33:12

Very good, atmospheric crime novel set in Denver,Colorado that deals with an aftermath of catching a serial killer and an emerging copy-cat killer.Told from three different points of view, very well written and compelling.Each of the characters is a varied, complete personality and this is a great, new angle in crime.Enjoyed it a lot.Interested to read more from this author, whose debut is accomplished and intelligent.

BRILLBY Mon 25-Sep-17 11:40:02

As an avid reader of crime novels, I enjoyed this book as it's different to the books I've read. Look forward to a second novel from Joann Chaney.

Dianec67 Mon 25-Sep-17 11:54:55

I enjoyed this book but would agree with comments that it's not a book to read if you can't overlook the bad language. Nice build up throughout with an unexpected twist.

mummyhappiness Mon 25-Sep-17 12:15:36

Not my usual type of read but it's good to try something different.
I did enjoy it and would read another of Joann Chaneys novels. Particularly liked the twist at the end.

avery64 Mon 25-Sep-17 12:44:04

I usually enjoy crime thrillers but this one did not appeal to me. Although a well thought out plot and good characterisation I found some of the detail and bad language rather disturbing.

amysmum18 Mon 25-Sep-17 13:14:21

I'm a big fan of crime thrillers and this one did not disappoint. I enjoyed the style of writing and a good plot and interesting characters. I'd definitely read another of Joann's books.

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