‘I heard the swish of falling paper. I grazed my knuckles retrieving a beige folder, its grubby white ribbon loose. Looping doctor’s handwriting. Addresses. Dates. Names. Photographs! I had found the patients whose notes would bring the past back to life.’
A lifetime ago, a patient escaped Nazareth mental asylum. They covered their tracks carefully. Or so they thought.
Thirty years ago, Marianne Smy committed a crime then fled from her home to leave the past behind. Or so she thought.
Now, Marianne has been forced to return. Nazareth asylum has been converted to luxury flats, but its terrible hold on her is still strong. A successful academic, a loving mother and a loyal wife, she fears her secret being revealed and her world shattering.
She is right to be scared.
It’s a good year in psychological thriller-land! Believe it or not but this is my first read by Erin Kelly. I do have a Kindle ecopy of He Said She Said but I (still) haven’t read that one yet, probably because of all the hype surrounding it at the time. After reading We Know You Know however I am pretty confident that I will enjoy it very much indeed.
I had no idea that this novel was published before under the title Stone Mothers (it actually refers to this early on in the novel, explaining that the Victorians had such faith in their architecture that they actually thought the design of the building could nurse sick patients back to health) so be aware of that. I don’t really have a preference either way, but I do wonder why they decided to change such a unique book title for something more generic. Maybe it sounded too cold and negative?
Anyway, We Know You Know was a very enjoyable read and a well-written novel that kept the mystery very much in the air. It all starts with Marianne who is not at all pleased when she sees the country getaway her husband bought as a surprise so she could be closer to her sister and her mother who’s suffering dementia. There was a reason for her visceral reaction which is slowly revealed in the part of the story told from the perspective of Helen Greenlaw.
Up until the start of her narrative all I knew was that Marianne and Jesse and MP Helen Greenlaw have a history, that Helen’s the enemy and that they share a secret among the three of them. Unfortunately their bond is compromised and their secret is threatening to come out. I was so ready to hate Helen but the funny thing is, I never did. I was completely on board and felt for her. It’s impossible not to with everything she had to fight for and against. There’s a whole part of the novel about Helen’s history and it sucked me even deeper into the story, showing a different angle in the end of the unfolding events that has bound the three of them for decades. I had an idea what bound them together but even if I had this inkling I really enjoyed how the story gave so much background and was set up leading to it. The last part was told by Marianne’s daughter Honor, which was a surprise on its own since she’s more of a side character, but it gave the story an ending I hadn’t seen coming.
We Know You Know is a solid page turner that I enjoyed reading and had a few interesting and strong female characters.
I bought a paperback copy of this novel online (when it was only 2£ on ‘the ‘zon’). This is my honest opinion.