WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW by Susan Furlong
GENRE: Psychological Thriller/Domestic Mystery & Suspense
PUBLISHER: Seventh Street Books
RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2022
A picture-perfect suburban life fractures . . . and a darker reality bubbles beneath the surface.
Mona Ellison’s life is as perfect as the porcelain dolls lined up on her shelves. She has a successful husband, a loving son, a beautiful home, and a supportive group of girlfriends ever ready for their weekly wine night.
But when Mona’s son gets entangled with the wrong crowd and runs away from home, her blissful suburban world begins to unravel. She tells her friends that boys will be boys, that he’ll be back as soon as his money runs dry . . . but deep down she knows there’s something else going on.
Then the police show up at Mona’s door. A young girl has turned up dead in their quiet town, and her missing son is the prime suspect.
Determined to reunite with her son and prove his innocence, Mona follows an increasingly cryptic trail of clues on social media, uncovering a sinister side of suburbia and unveiling lies and betrayal from those she trusted most. And as Mona spirals further from her once cozy reality, a devastating revelation shatters everything she thought she knew. Now the only thing she’s sure of is that she can’t trust anyone . . . not even herself.
With unrelenting psychological suspense and a wicked twist, What They Don’t Know marries small-town thriller and domestic mystery—suburban paranoia at its best.
“Part domestic thriller, part small-town mystery, WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW is everything suspense fans want: characters who’ll make you think twice, a subversive plot, and pages that seemingly turn themselves the deeper you get into the story. In this portrait of suburban life tinged with malice and intrigue, paranoia lurks just around the corner. Read it at night. Don’t plan on sleep.” (Tosca Lee, NYT bestselling author of The Line Between )
Let me preface this review by advising you to read this with the lights on & with enough time to finish it in one sitting. Because Furlong has created a story that will have you questioning everything, looking over your shoulder, jumping at night sounds, and devouring every word. You won’t want to put it down, and the pacing is so well-timed that it feel like the pages have passed in a blink
Psychological-thriller-slash-domestic-suspense is one of my favorite genres when done well. After all, it has to be a pretty amazing novel for me to not miss the romance haha. (#priorities) I especially love it when you’re not sure whether the narrator can be trusted or not because it keeps me all twisted up for the duration of the story, mind racing as I try to figure it all out. What They Don’t Know is one such novel, and I loved every minute of this twisty puzzle.
The characters in this book are deliciously layered and deceptively flawed, and even the most seemingly-insignificant player has an important role in this drama. At the core of the suspense are some underlying questions – namely, who can be trusted and what can be trusted. Mona’s grip on reality fades in and out (or does it?), her friends all have buried secrets (or do they?), her son is missing (is he really?) and her husband is overmedicating her (are we sure?). Furlong has done a masterful job of keeping us twisted and tumbled inside out and upside down from the first word until the book’s exhilarating final chapters.
Bottom Line: What They Don’t Know by Susan Furlong is a delightfully creepy, atmospheric roller coaster ride through small town suburbia, a little bit Desperate Housewives and a little bit Rear Window. Whose reality can be trusted? Who will remain standing when it’s all over? If you’re a fan of Lisa Jewell, Carrie Stuart Parks, or Jaime Jo Wright, you’ll want to read this book! (but please see my reviewer’s note below)
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some mild cursing throughout this novel, as well as a stronger word used a couple of times. Otherwise, I would consider it a clean novel.
Susan Furlong is the author of eleven novels including SHATTERED JUSTICE, a New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. She also contributes, under a pen name, to the New York Times bestselling Novel Idea series. Her most recent novel, WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW, has been praised by reviewers as an engrossing and delightfully creepy read. She resides in Illinois with her husband and children.
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