I knew nothing about this before I downloaded it. I’d simply been looking through the Audible website to find something new to listen to in the Crime/Thriller section and this caught my eye. In fairly typical fashion, the cover design is similar to a lot of things I’ve read before and so I figured it was probably a safe choice.
Usually I’m somewhat suspicious of audiobooks with many different narrators. I think this stems from accidently downloading performances of stories, which I find quite awkward to listen to. How Will I Know You? has five narrators but in the case of the book, this is entirely necessary.
The story details the death and consequent case of the murder of Joy Enright, a teenage girl, whose body was discovered in the local lake/pond. It is told through the eyes of a variety of local characters: Joy’s mother, Suzanne; the main suspect, Martin; Joy’s best friend, Harper, and Tom, the son-in-law of the stand-in police-chief who did the original lake search for the body and is hired by Suzanne to do a bit of investigating into the death. We also get a section from Joy herself.
The narratives jump around a lot. We start just after the death, but sometimes we skip back in time to the lead up, where we experience Joy, a very intelligent and creative girl, distancing herself from her parents, making her death all the more mysterious.
The joy of the different narrators is that you really don’t see the full picture until the very end. And I mean the very end. I thought the book was going to end maybe an hour and a half before the actual end, but unlike with A Little Life, I’m very glad it didn’t end there! The reveal is satisfying and surprising, but also kind of frustrating for various reasons I cannot reveal here.
There’s something very significant about those who don’t get a voice in the story as they all have something to offer, such as the police-chief himself, or the rebellious ‘bad-influence’, Delaney.
It’s very cleverly told and I really enjoyed it. The characters are all fairly independent of one another so they all know parts of the truth, and it’s almost as if it’s your job as the reader to piece these clues together, but, as is the case with Harper’s father’s puzzle, you’re never entirely sure if all the pieces are going to be there.
The other thing I quite liked about this is there aren’t any characters you truly dislike; you are frustrated by the police chief but then there are aspects of his life that are revealed that make you feel some sympathy for even him. I hate books where you struggle to sympathize with anybody, they’re so much easier to put down and I think I listened to the 12 hours of this in the space of a week or so, and that’s alongside the book I have on my kindle and the one I was proofreading.
One criticism I had was that the second arrest happens very fast. Obviously I can’t tell you much about it but it’s very much as if one minute we’re just a bit suspicious and the next it’s all come out and they’re just gone. The rest is all pretty good. You get just enough information to stay interested, but not so much you feel like things are being spelt out for you.
It’s a very sound and engaging story. Give it a go.