The Devil You Know by Terry Tyler 4.5*s #bookreview @TerryTyler4

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Every serial killer is someone’s friend, spouse, lover or child….

Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.

One of them is right.

Juliet sees an expert’s profile of the average serial killer and realises that her abusive husband, Paul, ticks all the boxes.

Maisie thinks her mum’s new boyfriend seems too good to be true. Is she the only person who can see through Gary’s friendly, sensitive façade?

Tamsin is besotted with her office crush, Jake. Then love turns to suspicion…

Steve is used to his childhood friend, Dan, being a loud mouthed Lothario with little respect for the truth. But is a new influence in his life leading him down a more sinister path?

Dorothy’s beloved son, Orlando, is keeping a secret from her—a chilling discovery forces her to confront her worst fears.


My Review

This is a book about a serial killer that had me hooked from the beginning and kept me gripped until the unexpected end. It has to be said that the thriller genre is fairly saturated with serial killer books and it seems to me, that to stand out, the books are getting more vicious, more voyeuristic and for me, more unpalatable. This book however takes a refreshingly different approach and concentrates primarily on the people who start to doubt that special someone close to them as they ask that fatal question – what if?

As the books unfolds we meet Juliet, the abused wife who starts to doubt her husband Paul; Steve, who starts to question what his friend Dan is telling him; Tamsin, who becomes suspicious of her colleague after a one night stand; Dorothy who realises her son Orlando is lying to her and finally Maisie who has reservations about her mother’s boyfriend Gary. I don’t want to say any more about the plot, the thrill and the tension lies in encountering the killer, uncovering the back stories, questioning assumptions and deciding who you think is guilty.

The story is told in alternating chapters between the killings and the unfolding doubts of the parties concerned. While there is a police investigation, it is an almost incidental thread as it is we the reader who is party to garnering the clues and fitting the pieces together.

This book is very cleverly written, it is not easy to keep a handle on so many different threads and story lines while still producing a cohesive and engaging read which doesn’t feel jumpy and disjointed. All of the threads fleshed out the characters and gave us differing viewpoints from which to form an opinion – or not, it was rarely clear-cut and ambiguity was the name of the game. It was easy to empathise with the would be accusers and it does make you think about how well you really know your friends, colleagues and family. Every real life serial killer manages to evade initial discovery precisely because those close to them don’t suspect a thing.

If you want a character driven thriller/drama that not only offers an original approach but also delivers on pace and tension with a more than satisfying resolution – this is your book.

I received a an ecopy from the author for the purposes of writing this review.



  1. Great review Jill! You’re right, there is an abundance of serial killer books which I tend to steer clear of because of the usually graphic violence and one the top gore so this does sound like a refreshing take on the topic. I’m going to check this one out:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great, let me know what you think. I’m not totally anti serial killer thrillers, I just don’t like the trend in making the act of torture/killing the main feature. My interest is in the who and why, not the gratuitous how (must remember that sentence for future reviews)! This fitted the bill nicely.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right, that’s a good sentence, ha ha!

        I thought of the concept for this book before the ‘grip lit’ flood of books really got into its stride; it was reading a title ‘The Serial Killer’s Wife’ that gave me the idea, over a year ago. At first I was going to make it four wives, but then the idea developed.

        Liked by 1 person

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