‘WHEN RACHEL FINDS A DEAD BODY IN THE WOODS, SHE KNOWS WHAT TO DO.
– I Know You
[ About the Book ]
When Rachel stumbles upon a body in the woods, she knows what she has to do: run. Get away. Do not be found at the scene. Last time, she didn’t know, and she ended up accused of murder. But when this victim is identified as her boyfriend’s estranged wife, Rachel realises she’s already the prime suspect.
With mounting evidence against her, Rachel’s only hope is to keep the truth about herself well hidden. Because twenty years ago she was someone else—Casey, a young nanny trying to make it as an actress in Los Angeles. When the family she worked for were brutally murdered, all the evidence pointed to her and she went to prison. Back then, she narrowly escaped the death penalty and managed to free herself on appeal. Now she’s fighting to save the life she’s spent years piecing back together.
But with her behaviour raising suspicion and the police closing in, Rachel can’t help wondering: Was her discovery in the woods really just an awful coincidence, or is someone framing her for murder? Someone who knows who she is, and wants revenge…
[ My Review ]
I Know You by Claire McGowan was just published October 19th with Thomas & Mercer and is described as ‘a tense, complex and breathless thriller’. A dual-time tale, it revolves around the life of Rachel, now in her early forties, living in Devon and volunteering with a local dog-shelter. Rachel has only lived in the area for a short time. It’s a peaceful place and she is able to live a quiet and uneventful life. But everything changes for Rachel on an early morning walk with her dog, when she discovers a body. Most of us would immediately call the police on seeing a body, but Rachel runs from the scene, terrified of being seen there. But everyone leaves a trace and it’s not long before the police come knocking on Rachel’s door with raised suspicions. Rachel was known to have been in a recent public spat with the victim as she was the wife, now separated, of Rachel’s boyfriend. If this were not enough, Rachel is covering up her previous conviction. Once upon a time Rachel was known as Casey.
Twenty years previously, Casey had left her dead-end life in the UK and had arrived into the US a naïve young woman with hopes and dreams of becoming an actor. She had joined an agency and been recruited as a nanny for a Hollywood couple for their two small children. Exhausted and jet-lagged, Casey soon realised that her role incorporated more than just looking after her charges. Her employers spent very little time at home and numerous chores fell under Casey’s remit. With very early 5am starts, long days and endless jobs to be done, Casey was shattered. The Hollywood dream had become a living nightmare. She had a fractured relationship with the mother and the father’s behaviour was odd but the neighbourhood and the State was soon in shock when Casey called in a 999 call reporting a murder scene. The mother, father and daughter were dead. The only survivors of this massacre were Casey and the baby. With no support and bad legal advice, Casey soon found herself incarcerated and accused of a triple murder that she always denied. Death row awaited Casey but on appeal, she eventually was released, returned to England and changed her name to Rachel.
Now here she is again, a witness at a scene and with evidence mounting, Rachel’s case does not look good. Unprepared to be a victim of the wrong side of the law again, Rachel sets about finding out what is really going on? Is she being framed? Is she unwittingly connected to the investigation? Is she really innocent? Or is she guilty?
I admittedly wasn’t a fan of Rachel’s character and did find some of her behaviour a little frustrating, but I could sense the real feeling of despair from her as she tried to establish her innocence. With events very much conspiring against her, the odds were, yet again, not in her favour. I Know You really is a novel about the choices we make in life and how everything can change forever in a heartbeat.
Claire McGowan has created a novel packed with suspicion and intrigue. Every character’s motives are questioned with Rachel’s innocence always hanging in the background. It really is a ‘did she/didn’t she’ kind of read. There are some situations that do stretch the imagination but, after I was prepared to roll with it, I was curious to see what direction the plot twists would take. I Know You is an enjoyable mystery with some distasteful characters and plenty of curveballs to keep most folk in suspense.
[ Bio ]
Claire McGowan was born in 1981 in a small Irish village where the most exciting thing that ever happened was some cows getting loose on the road. She is the author of The Fall, What You Did, The Other Wife, The Push and the acclaimed Paula Maguire crime series. She also writes women’s fiction under the name Eva Woods.
Twitter – @inkstainsclaire