I’m sharing a review today of the debut novel The Killer You Know by S.R. Masters. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for my invite onto the tour and my review copy of the book.
About this book…
Summer 1997. When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something darker lurking behind his words.
Winter 2015: Years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang – except Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.
As the group attempts to track Will down, they realise that he is playing a sinister game that harks back to one they used to play as kids.
Only this time there are lives at stake . . .
I’m always looking for the next intriguing plot line and this one caught my attention as soon as I saw it! What if one of one of your teenage friends said that they would grow up to be a serial killer? And what if they said they would kill 3 people and leave you a sign that it was them who had murdered 3 strangers? I know right?! How intriguing is that?! And that’s how The Killer You Know starts off. We are then thrown forward 18 years to a “gang” reunion but Will hasn’t turned up. When the others discover a series of murders that they think may be connected to Will, they realise that a childhood game has been resurrected that may put them all in danger.
There’s a slow and steady build up to the dark secrets that have been buried here. The dual timeline works well in developing the characters both in the past and present as the plot follows the teenage gang of friends after Adeline joins them. Years later there’s a disturbing discovery and the atmosphere becomes much darker and I think I preferred the present because of this. Adeline’s relationship with others in the group especially Steve was the most interesting part for me as I loved watching how the dynamics changed between them all.
This is a well written and intelligent debut novel with a killer premise! Gripping and absorbing from start to finish.
Meet the author…
S. R. Masters studied Philosophy at Girton College, Cambridge before working in public health and health behaviour for the NHS. He is a regular contributor to UK short fiction anthology series The Fiction Desk, having won their Writer’s Award for his short story Just Kids. His story Desert Walk was included in Penguin Random House USA’s Press Start to Play collection and he continues to have short fiction published in a variety of magazines. He grew up around Birmingham but now lives in Oxford with his wife and son. The Killer You Know is his first novel.