I Know Everything by Matthew Farrell
Thomas & Mercer (August 2019)
334 pages; $11.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia
Suspense/thrillers with “twist” endings usually telegraph said endings, especially if you’ve read enough of them. The victim is really the killer, the killer is really the victim, or the last person you’d expect (because at this point, that trope is as well worn as any horror trope, making us immediately suspect the last person you’d suspect), or actually, it’s the person we thought was the villain all along. It’s why I tend to stick to supernatural horror in my reading these days, because I usually find the mystery in those stories more engaging.
I Know Everything, by Matthew Farrell, proved itself to be the exception. Farrell does a masterful job of cloaking his intentions and holding onto bits of backstory until the very last moment. In this case, people actually aren’t who we thought they were, but the discovery produces genuine surprise. Farrell deftly manipulates point of view, perspective, dialogue, and character motivation like an illusionist, hiding the truth from the reader until the very end. When that truth is revealed, your reaction won’t be, “Well, that was out of left field,” it will be: “How did I not see this coming?”
To say much about the plot would be a disservice. Randall Brock, a psychiatrist with a violent and dark past, loses his wealthy wife to a terrible car accident. At first, it appears to be nothing but a tragic accident. However, clues surface which puts Brock directly in the police’s cross-hairs, especially considering his past work with violent patients. Maybe all those years working with dangerous psychopaths has harmed him in some way.
What initially looked like an accident morphs quickly into a homicide investigation, with Brock as the main suspect. Making matters worse, a shadowy figure begins to stalk Brock, claiming to know the truth about his wife, and the truth about her death. He’ll only reveal this truth, however, if Brock shares the dark secrets he keeps locked inside, so all the world can see him for what he truly is.
I Know Everything is fast-paced, obsessively readable, and masterfully plotted. Highly recommended reading.