The Killer You Know

The Killer You Know

by S. R. Masters


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What if your childhood friend turned out to be a serial killer? After fifteen years apart, a group of friends discover that one of them might be resurrecting a game from their past. This time with deadly consequences.

When will joked about becoming a serial killer, his friends laughed it off.

But Adeline couldn't help feeling there was something darker lurking beneath his words.

Eighteen years later, Adeline returns to her hometown for a reunion of the old gang - except Will doesn't show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up details of his supposed murder spree. The mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match his story.

As the group attempts to track down Will, they realize that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they played as kids. Only this time, there are lives at stake . . . .

A gripping debut psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end - perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Alex Marwood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316489430
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 188,255
Product dimensions: 5.65(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

S. R. Masters grew up around Birmingham, and spent his teen years reading, playing in bands and wandering through fields with friends. After studying Philosophy at Cambridge, he worked in public health for the NHS, specializing in health behavior. He currently lives in Oxford with his wife and son.

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The Killer You Know 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Meredith_Rankin 5 months ago
Many thanks to Redhook Books, Netgalley, and S. R. Masters for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it! Overall, The Killer You Know is a strong book, but there was a big distracting issue: The dual timeline isn’t consist. Adeline narrates the present story line in 1st person point of view and in past tense. The past story line is narrated by all five in turn, in 3rd person point of view and in present tense. It was jarring to me to skip from Adeline’s narrative to another narrator (who may or may not be Adeline again), from 1st person POV to 3rd and back, and from past tense to present tense. It was also strange to read Adeline’s point of view from both 1st and 3rd person. I know these must have been deliberate choices that Masters made. I can possibly guess why on the verb tense changes. Here’s the guess: using present tense verbs for the past story line emphasizes the extent that the past is always present for us. It shapes who we are. It definitely shapes who these characters have become and fits with the nostalgia theme. I can also guess on the shifting POVs: this gives us insight into how all the characters think, which is a good thing. But some of the characters, such as Rupesh and Jen, received only two sections, so I never got to know them quite as well as Adeline, Steve, and Will. The inconsistency is distracting to me. Now for the strong points of The Killer You Know. 1. The premise is intriguing. Masters gives it a nice twist with Will’s declared career of serial killer. The others wonder if he was serious, if these seemingly random suicides are connected to him, and grapple with their responsibility. But with evidence this vague, how can the police help them? 2. Getting to see everyone’s POV reveals the dynamics of the group. While there were aspects I didn’t like (see above), the change of points of view is an effective way of revealing the group dynamics. Jealousy. Tension. Misunderstandings. Coupling off. Again, nothing unusual in these dynamics, as any teenager could tell you. But Masters puts a fresh spin on them. Rupesh and Jen couple off, but must contend with her parents’ bigotry. Will is strange, as is his friendship with the older male neighbor, but are the others misinterpreting his actions? Steve is the alpha male (I wanted to say “queen bee”!) who plays architect of their summer, creating an unusual–and vicious–scavenger hunt, resulting in an increasing tension that threatens to break apart the group. 3. The recurring theme of the problems with nostalgia. Adeline’s podcast is called Nostalgia Crush. She and her co-host rip apart classic films, while another co-host argues against them, and they decide whether to consign the movie to the “crusher." It’s an apt metaphor for the story. Each character must decide whether to give in to the temptations of nostalgia, that desire for the “good old days,” or whether to move forward. Should they try to reignite their old friendship? Were the good old days really that good? Do they have a responsibility to correct the wrongs of the past? Or should they forget it? 4. Adeline. I liked the present-day Adeline. As a narrator, she doesn’t know how much she knows. The past Adeline could be a bit bratty, but weren’t we all at that age? Overall, a strong book and well worth reading.
SuesynZ 5 months ago
This book was so much more than I expected. It sounds like your typical thriller but it's so much more than that. As I read, I couldn't help make comparisons to coming of age movies like Stand by Me and Goonies. Like those, this story revolves around a group of friends who spend a few teenage summers together before moving on in life. Endless days of sitting around watching movies and exploring out in the fields., creating their own games and adventures to pass the time. The setting moves back and forth between the past and present, and between the different characters as well so you get many points of view. The friends are meeting up for a reunion about 17 years after their last summer together and when one, Will, does not show up, they all remember some of his final words about what he would be doing in life - becoming a serial killer by murdering 3 people in distinctive ways so that the friends would know it was him. They spend their time back together reliving their old times and searching for their missing friend who just might have done as he foretold. It really feels like a saga as you read, it's a very detailed story with strong character development and scenarios you can picture playing out in front of your eyes. It would make a great movie especially with the twists throughout that keep you guessing just when you think you've got it all figured out. I definitely recommend this one!