Thursday, January 5, 2017

How Will I Know You? (Jessica Treadway)

Jessica Treadway’s How Will I Know You? has a simple whodunit premise: a teenage girl has been murdered.  Joy was found close to a pond in the woods, presumed drowned but actually strangled.  Treadway succeeds in developing the suspense this type of book needs, until what really happened is finally revealed in the last few pages.

 The actual narrative is told through four different perspectives: Harper (Joy’s best friend), Susanne (her mother), Martin (the man accused of her murder who is also having an affair with Susanne), and Tom (a rescue diver and the son-in-law of the town’s police chief).  If done poorly, this style of storytelling can distract from the cohesiveness of the book, but Treadway does it very well.  She also effortlessly goes back and forth in time.  What happened before the murder to lead up to it, and what are the repercussions to everyone involved following the tragedy?

How Will I Know You? was definitely a solid 4 until the ending, which I found disappointing and unsurprising.  However, 95% of the story is very suspenseful, so I’m going to split the difference for a 3.5.