Before I get started on the review, I just want to let everyone know that this is going to be my last review. For details on why I've stopped blogging, see here.
Title: The Devil You Know
Author: Adrian W. Lilly
Rating: 3.5 stars
Julie is unhappy that her parents are making her move from her life in Chicago to her father’s home town in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula. She doesn’t want to leave her best friend Marie-Do, and she knows that the lack of swim team at her new school will kill her chances for swimming in college. But when her mother explains that her father is dying, Julie has no choice but to give into her family’s desires. But she only has to spend a few days in the UP before she realizes that something is seriously wrong with this town. The other children in school are Children-of-the-Corn creepy, and she has no way to make contact with the outside world. As time wears on, Julie realizes that her parents may have brought her here for a far more nefarious purpose than she ever could have imagined.
The Devil You Know was more horror-y than what I usually read, and it did that effectively. At every turn, I didn’t know what was going to happen to our characters, whether they were going to escape or fall victim to the clutches of the evil. The set-up was quite scary. Julie’s parents were in total control of her life and were able to block off every method of communication with the outside world, including any physical way to leave the town.
I had a hard time finding The Devil You Know as plausible all the time. The story definitely has an atypical setup: parents plotting to kill their children. I wanted there to be a more complicated dynamic going on, like where one of the evil people has a more complex emotion, like regret over killing own children. But it was pretty much straight up horror without the emotional complexity. Which is fine for the genre, I guess.
I also found the book to move rather more slowly than I would have liked, especially at the beginning. We go through every day in Julie’s life from September 29th until the sacrifice on October 31st, and important stuff doesn’t happen on all of those days. And then when we get toward the end, she often does very little on these urgent days. And I keep wanting to know why she isn’t spending more time trying to GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. But, then, I guess it’s not horror if the heroine doesn’t spend some time running up the staircase when she should be heading out the front door.
Julie meets Paul, the only other normal person in town, and they fell in love in a time frame that can only be described as way too quickly. I do think it was actually more than three days before they were declaring their love for each other, but that doesn’t mean I actually bought it. I did spend much of the book wondering if Paul was going to secretly turn out to be evil, which added a level of interest to the story. And I’m not telling you whether he is or is not. You will just have to read it. Bwahaha.
Will I read more?
The Devil You Know is, I am pretty sure, a stand-alone novel. But I honestly don’t see myself picking up anything more by this author, at least partly because I’m not a huge fan of horror.
See Details for Book on Amazon