Books

by JoAnn Chaney
Flatiron Books, February 2017, $25.99

Jacky Seever is a serial killer who leaves dozens of bodies in his wake. Almost worse off than those he kills, however, are the living whose lives remain troubled by his crimes—the police who investigate the murders, the reporter who tells the story, the victim who got away, and his wife, who may or may not have turned a blind eye to his actions.

Seever has been locked up for years, but when a new wave of murders tied to him hit Denver, the people he damaged come together, albeit grudgingly, to deal with the horror again. All of the characters in this story have heavy baggage, not just from Seever’s actions, but from the choices they have made in their own lives that have kept them from moving forward.

This is a dark, disturbing mystery, but it’s also addicting—the characters are so well drawn that you almost feel sorry for them even while condemning their behavior. The ugliness of Seever’s actions seems to permeate the book, his reach overshadowing even the newest murders as he sits calmly in his cell, continuing to destroy lives without lifting a finger.

JoAnn Chaney has divided the story into separate, interweaving sections that focus on three of the main characters—Hoskins, a detective; Sammie, a reporter; and Seever’s wife, Gloria. The style elevates what could have been just another serial killer tale into a rich, character-driven story and enables the reader to get a more in-depth look at their lives both inside and outside of the murder case. Thankfully, though, Ralph Loren, Hoskins’ partner and one of the creepiest cops ever to grace a page, does not have his own section. I did not want to know what was going on in that man’s mind.

The finale is dramatic and disturbing, and leaves the reader affected long after the last page is turned.

Vanessa Orr

chaney whatyoudontknowDramatic and disturbing, it will leave readers affected long after the last page is turned.

Teri Duerr
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Chaney
February 2017
what-you-don-t-know
25.99
Flatiron Books