I Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan | Review

Posted October 11, 2018 by Asheley in review / 1 Comment

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
I Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan | ReviewI Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan
Published by William Morrow on September 18, 2018
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
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From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Over the past few years, I’ve learned that a new Gilly Macmillan book is going to be a good time. It is so easy for me to get lost in her stories because of the multiple points of view that eventually converge. I also love the way she incorporates different forms of media (print, etc) into the story. I Know You Know is another example of how this author pulled me in and kept me turning pages with a NEED to figure out who really did it and how everything would eventually come together.

Many years ago, two young boys were murdered and a mentally challenged adult male was charged and convicted for the crime, but many people believe him to be innocent for various reasons. So now, in present day, the boys’ best friend has decided to re-investigate the crime and release a true crime podcast with his findings as he investigates. His investigation brings forth new information for consideration, but it also reopens old wounds for many of the people involved. Several people are unhappy with what he is doing and want him to stop. The new interest in this case also causes problems for Detective John Fletcher, the investigator that worked on the murder case years ago. Detective Fletcher like he prosecuted the correct man for the murder and is, frankly, annoyed at this new investigation. But there are some out there that think that maybe Fletcher didn’t give the case (and the accused) the full investigation that it deserved.

In addition to the old murder case, Detective Fletcher also has his hands full with a new body that has turned up near the site where the boys were found all of those years ago. It isn’t a new body so much as a body that has been there for many years, but only just discovered now. He has to figure out if this body is connected to the boys’ murder, and solve the case too.

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan

One of the things I love most about this book is that we are given several perspectives and alternating past/present narratives. We hear from Detective Fletcher, Jess Paige (one of the young boys’ mother), and Cody Swift (the podcaster conducting his own investigation). I love the way this moves the story along; the pacing felt good to me and the story felt more robust. It made me want to find out what really happened as quickly as possible. I wanted justice for everyone involved.

I also love the way the podcasts are singled out. They have their own chapters. They’re sort of in transcript form, although they read more like narrative than “real” transcript, which I think is great because it doesn’t break up the flow of the story. (I admit to never having listened to true crime podcasts, but I found the addition of these examples fascinating and it makes me curious to seek one out and take a listen.)

I mentioned that there are two cases being worked on simultaneously, and I have to say that by far the older case involving the children was the most interesting to me. I couldn’t get enough of those chapters and scenes. Every time I got to the chapters involving the other case, I really just wanted to get on to the next part about the re-opened investigation.

Of all of the characters, I think the most compelling is Jess, the mother of Charlie Paige who was murdered at age 11. In the parts of the story from the past, she is one type of character, but in the parts of the story set in the present, she has undergone a huge change and is living an entirely different life. This could have been clunky and unbelievable with a different author, but Gilly Macmillan’s characterization is masterful, and I thought she did a great job with Jess. I thought her story was very emotional and it was easy to get into her head. That isn’t to say that I am anything like her, but I was fascinated with reading all of her scenes.

I always get so doggone excited with a new Gilly Macmillan book, then I devour it, then I dread the super-long wait until I get the next one. I love the complexity of the cases in her thrillers, the nuance of her characterization, the way all of her characters have secrets, and I love the twists that she throws in (even at the end!). She is truly a favorite of mine in this genre. Whatever she writes, I will read.


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About Gilly MacMillan

Gilly Macmillan Author Photo

Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar Nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she’s worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


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