Book Review: What You Don’t Know

Book: What You Don’t Know

Author: Joann Chaney

Publisher: Pan Books (Pan Macmillan)

Rating: 3.5

Get it on: Amazon


A beloved businessman, Jacky Seever was loved by every one of the Denver community, until thirty-one bodies were discovered in the crawlspace of his house. Following his arrest, detective Paul Hoskins and Ralph Loren were praised for bringing down a notorious killer. Sammie Peterson, the lead reporter on the case finally got her big break. And Gloria, Seever’s wife insisted on being in the dark.

Seven years have passed since the arrest of Jacky Seever, who is just a year away from facing execution. Rotting away in homicide’s basement, Hoskins is still obsessed with Seever. Having lost her stardom, Sammie is no longer a reporter for the post. And Gloria is still devoted to her husband as ever. Denver is once again rattled by a killer that has the same modus operandi as Seever. Is the new killer an old accomplice of Seever? Has the obsession with Seever driven Hoskins and Loren over the edge? Will Sammie go to any lengths to get her post back?

What I loved 

The aspect of the book that I loved the most is how it stood out from a typical crime thriller. Unlike the usual crime thrillers which follow the pattern of a murder-investigation-catching-the-culprit-the-end, What You Don’t Know began from the very end- they already have caught the serial killer. Through this book, the author dwells into the lesser (or maybe never) trodden path of what happens once the murderer is caught.


The story progresses through the perspective of three entirely different people- Hoskins, Sammie and Gloria. The author goes into great detail the impact a serial killer has on the lives of the detective that caught him, the journalist that covered his story and his wife. The entry of the new killer after seven years further boosted the story. The suspense element was quite high, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book from the very first page to the last.

The writing was quite commendable. Joann Chaney has made a remarkable debut with an unputdownable book, with her ability to engage the readers adding the cherry on top.

What didn’t work for me

Even though the book began with a brand new angle to a crime thriller, the second half of the book did not have anything new to offer-it dwindled to just another crime story. All though she kept the suspense going, I was able to figure out who the secondhand killer was.


What You Don’t Know by Joann Chaney is an engaging, well-written, and unputdownable thriller that will keep you glued to each page. Though the suspense level was quite high in the beginning, it gets predictable towards the end. I highly recommend the book if you love crime thrillers and is looking for something different in the genre.


Story – 3.5/5





PS: I received a copy of the book from the publishers in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: What You Don’t Know

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