I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne
Genre: Mystery/Psychological Suspense
Length: 262 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, July 18, 2023
Reviewed by Leoma Retan
If I met Petal Woznewski, who prefers to be called Petta, as she is at the start of psychological thriller, I Know What You Did, I would not seek a second encounter. Hard-edged, introverted New Yorker, Petta, would be fine with that. Despite her rough edges, I could not stop reading her story.
When non-reader Petta learns that someone dedicated a novel to her, her first impulse is to ignore the book. As its popularity soars, Petta reluctantly dips into the first chapter and is stunned to recognize the two girls who were her best friends until one of them died. In fact, so many of the events of her early teens are laid out in perfect detail that she stops reading. But when complete strangers come to her apartment to ask about the book, Petta realizes that she needs to learn who wrote it and why are they trying to publicly destroy her life if she’s ever going to get her much-valued privacy back.
Her guiding motto, “the only way out is through,” leads her back to Madison, Wisconsin, the city she couldn’t leave fast enough when she turned eighteen. Those words push her forward when her inquiries seem stuck and give her the courage to continue. As she faces the personal demons she thought she’d buried decades ago, one by one, she begins to understand that asking for help is not necessarily a sign of weakness.
In chapters that alternate between current time, teenage memories, and excerpts from the novel that starts Petta’s search for answers, debut novelist Cayce Osborne deftly weaves a tale of long-held secrets, half-truths, and complete lies that keeps you guessing until the closing pages. You will want to stay with Petta as she unravels the connections between past and present in search of answers that she never knew she needed.
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Reviewer Bio: Leoma Retan is an engineer by day, writer by night, and techno-freak always. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she’s lived in many places. A member of the Wisconsin Writers Association, she builds worlds in her dreams and loves to relax by exploring possibilities for the past, present, and future through the visions of others.
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