Book Title and Author: Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
Publication Date and Publisher: April 9, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 400 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: March 16, 2019 (e-arc)
From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a pulse-pounding domestic thriller about a group of friends who have been bound for twenty years by a single secret—and will now be undone by it. Someone Knows is an emotional exploration of friendship and family, as well as a psychological exploration of guilt and memory.
Twenty years ago, in an upscale suburb of Philadelphia, four teenagers spent a summer as closest friends: drinking, sharing secrets, testing boundaries. When a new boy looked to join them, they decided to pull a prank on him, convincing him to play Russian roulette as an initiation into their group. They secretly planned to leave the gun unloaded—but what happened next would change each of them forever.
Now three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer. The guilt—and the lingering question about who loaded the gun—drove them apart. But after one of the group apparently commits suicide with a gun, their old secrets come roaring back. One of them is going to figure out if the new suicide is what it seems, and if it connects to the events of that long-ago summer. Someone knows exactly what happened—but who? And how far will they go to keep their secrets buried?
I’m a diehard Lisa Scottoline fan so when she has a new book coming out, I’m eager to get my hands on it! While her “Rosato and DiNunzio” series is my favorite, I love her standalone books and Someone Knows is no exception. Scottoline is a vivid, compelling wordsmith and she certainly uses her expert storytelling talents to great effect in her page-turning newest novel. Be forewarned going in though that there are some dark, serious topics in Someone Knows that might not be for every reader-teenage suicide, depression, and mentions of pedophilia and incest.
Twenty years ago a group of four high schoolers, Allie Garvey, Sasha Barrow, David Hybrinski and Julian Browne, find a gun hidden in the woods that forces them into a secret clique. Their secret is revealed to Kyle Gallagher, a new kid in town, as he’s drawn into their little circle because of his attraction to the alluring and manic Sasha. While drunk, the teenagers make a horrific dare that ends with one of them dead in what looks like a suicide, and the other four swear to keep another dark and twisted secret.
The story is told in two different timelines with most of the story taking place in the past and the rest during the present day. When the novel starts, a suicide has taken place on the 20th anniversary of the horrific dare, and this death reunites the three surviving members of the group who still carry that awful secret.
Of these three, Allie has never been able to set aside her guilt and trauma from that night, feelings she now realizes must also have been felt by the person who just died. Because of this and her own mental shock that’s terrorized her adulthood, she’s determined to find answers about what happened so long ago and will confront her former friends about why the dare went so tragically wrong—at any cost.
Scottoline’s writing is fluid and effortless, and I really enjoyed how she handled the many characters in the book and their multiple POVs. There are plenty of scandalous, sinister, and horrifying secrets that are revealed among all the characters! I wasn’t expecting so many jaw-dropping moments, but there they were. The twists in the book were explosive, and the ending was definitely one that I didn’t see coming.
I’ve read everything that Scottoline has ever written, and Someone Knows is a bit of a departure from her previous books, which I think will go either way with her readers. I really enjoyed it because I think it showed her excellent writing range and her ability to stay fresh and current in a genre that unfortunately all too often manages to produce the same old thing time after time. Also, even though the suspense in the book is very dark and explores some very powerful and even offputting topics, I appreciated her uncanny ability to explore the emotions, shock, guilt, and psychological issues that are at play in these situations because past events definitely do shape a person’s future.
Another win by Lisa Scottoline! If you like emotional, heavy hitting suspense that is well-written and gripping, then make sure you pick up Someone Knows!
**Thank you Edelweiss and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**