Monday, March 30, 2015

review: the devil you know by elisabeth de mariaffi

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When Evie was a child, her best friend disappeared and then was found murdered. Evie believes this incident is at least partly why she now works as a newspaper reporter in her hometown of Toronto. Lianne’s death is something Evie thinks of often, but really comes to the forefront of her life when Evie is assigned a story that looks back at all the girls who have disappeared and/or been murdered in Toronto. Set in the 90s, Evie doesn’t have immediate access to all the background we would have today, which means she slowly uncovers nuggets about Lianne’s death that cause her to put the pieces together in ways that don’t quite add up but cause a great deal of strife for Evie with her mother and best male friend.

Evie is self-aware which makes her fun even though she’s in the middle of a very not-fun situation. She has a thought pattern that I think is common in news. We have to rationalize things to not become severely depressed. Evie thinks things like, “I haven’t run a stats analysis on this, but I can tell you just by eyeballing it, having a boyfriend who hits you makes you way more likely to get killed.” Things like that help her get sleep.

The Devil You Know builds slowly with much of the opening chapters establishing background, but then Elisabeth de Mariaffi brings in the significance of the title. From there, the pacing picks up as Evie begins to take action instead of just doing LexisNexis searches. The ending was a bit unexpected and not quite as satisfying as the ending I imagined de Mariaffi was setting up.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone.

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