I had been eager to read author Trish Doller’sThe Devil You Know ever since I had read the novel’s synopsis. A murder mystery taking place out on the open road? Definitely sounded like a story with the potential to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I saw a lot of mixed reviews but decided to find out just whatThe Devil You Know was all about.
Ever since her brother was born, Arcadia—Cadie—has been acting as his sole caregiver. Missing time off school regularly and doing just about everything in her power to give him everything he needs, nobody can blame her for wanting some time to herself. So when Cadie meets cousins Noah and Matt who offer to take her and a friend travelling all through Florida, she happily accepts. Both cousins fight for her attention and affection but something’s not right. When Cadie’s friend claims to have left to return back home nothing adds up. Cadie receives phone calls from people telling her things that all beg the question: who exactly are these boys she’s travelling with? And is it possible that they might just pose a bigger threat to her than she knows?
I was a big fan of Cadie’s character throughout reading The Devil You Know.While I did find that she was very naïve throughout the novel, her character held certain personality traits that I admired. They’re traits that I think plenty of readers will be able to relate to and find themselves able to place themselves in her shoes with ease. Cadie is an older sister in every sense of the word. Having raised her brother since he was a baby, Doller does an outstanding job of getting it across to the reader the lengths that Cadie would go to for her brother. Even after leaving him to go off with Noah and Matt, there is still that lingering thought in the back of her head that is oriented towards her brother. It was definitely what kept me inside of Cadie’s head and what kept me interested in her character.
While Doller’s protagonist was exciting, I found it difficult to stay invested in the storyline as the novel progressed. It was definitely a story that would hook you and then leave you waiting for that next hook. That being said there were plenty of instances reading where the novel would grow exciting and fast-paced and well written and then (after reaching a climatic/expository moment) stop. Having to constantly wait for those moments did leave me bored from time to time and often wondering if something good would happen next.
I had very high hopes for The Devil You Know and hoped that I would be faced with a plot twist that would leave me with my jaw dropping. The entire road trip that the novel is centered on is eluding towards a big reveal that I personally saw coming from a mile away. It was a bit disappointing but perhaps for readers who aren’t well-versed in reading between the lines, they’ll be hit with a surprising twist as to who the novel’s big bad really is.
I do think that The Devil You Know is a novel that readers who are just getting into YA will be interested in. It’s a story that has its grittier moments and is definitely good to test the thriller waters with. Readers who are fans of murder mysteries and thrillers will have a fun time reading The Devil You Know. Readers who are looking for a novel that holds romance elements should also give it a go.