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February 28, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

Review Of Meagan Jennett’s You Know Her. I Wish I Didn’t… Know Her.

You Know Her By Meagan Jennett Summary

Killing Eve meets Sharp Objects in Meagan Jennett’s You Know Her. This lush, savage Southern Gothic is about two women: a fledgling murderer and the cop hell-bent on catching her.

Two hours before he vanished, Mark Dixon stole a glass of wine. That’s what bartender Sophie Braam told the cops when they questioned her about the customer whose mutilated body was just found. What she didn’t tell them is that she’s the one who killed him.

Officer Nora Martin is new to the Bellair Police Department and trying very hard to learn the ropes from Detective Murphy while ignoring all the men in the department snapping about a diversity hire. However, when she meets Sophie, they build an uneasy camaraderie over shared frustrations.

As winter slides into spring and bodies start piling up, Nora begins to suspect that something’s not quite right with the unnerving, enigmatic bartender. But will she be able to convince Murph, or will he keep laughing off the idea that the serial killer haunting their little town is a woman?

A crackling cat-and-mouse thriller set against the verdant backdrop of small-town Virginia, Meagan Jennett’s You Know Her probes the boundaries of female friendship and the deadly consequences when frustration ferments into rage.

You Know Her By Meagan Jennett Summary Debunked

  1. I’m not saying Sharp Objects and Killing Eve are my favorite shows. However, I know enough to say that this book is not that.
  2. It is also not gothic. Just because something is set in the South doesn’t make it gothic.
  3. There is no cat-and-mouse game here, but I will do that later.

You Know Her By Meagan Jennett Review

Ok. I admit it. This is going to be a short review. , this is because I don’t have much to say. It doesn’t take much to explain how horrifying this book is. In fact, in a book that is supposed to be a thriller? It is only the book itself that is horrifying.

First, let’s discuss the basic premise, which promises a cat-and-mouse thriller. But, unfortunately, there is no cat and no mouse in this book. Let me be fair. In the last 10% of the book, a bit of cat-and-mouse is at play (#rimshot), but even that is weak.

What you do have is dualling female points of view and a bunch of side stories that never impact the main plot line. This slowed down the pacing of the book. You Know Her either needed to be much shorter or have much more… story. Additionally, Meagan Jennett over-describes without accomplishing the goal: setting and atmosphere. Both fall entirely flat. Another failure is that other than the POV of a female bartender, and serial killer, the characters flatten under the weight of Jennett’s need to break down situations and metaphors repetitively.

Meagan Jennett

You Know Her By Meagan Jennett Characters

I want almost to say that Jennett does a great job with the POV of Sophie, the bartender serial killer. And maybe she almost does, or perhaps it is the novelty of the female serial killer. However, Camilla Bruce’s In The Garden Of Spite is a better example of writing a female serial killer.

As I mentioned above, all the characters fall flat under the weight of the writing. Specifically, Nora is entirely underdeveloped, while Sophie repeatedly repeats (see what I did there) the same inner narrative. And the men either didn’t matter or never had enough meat for me to care about their demise.

Lastly, and more critical to the plot, how can there be a cat-and-mouse thriller when the two characters barely spend time together? Yes, there is a “friendship” developed. But it just isn’t enough. Furthermore, their limited interaction removes any chance of a friendship that bubbles with creepiness. So, when the pieces click in the final 10%, there isn’t enough connection between the characters or the characters to each other to provide a whiplash moment.

You Know Her By Meagan Jennett Final Thoughts

Honestly? I would be forcing it. I don’t have any. I’ve said everything that can be said about why You Know Her epically fails. I can end this one good thought. Men will never understand how their overt and what they think are harmless looks do to women, how it makes us all feel like a piece of meat. That is well conveyed until it kills the proverbial dead horse.

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