Last Updated on April 9, 2023
Meagan Jennett’s You Know Her is a gem of a debut. A tense, psychological thriller that makes you root for the murderer rather than for the victims or those chasing her, it is smart and unique – and rather unsettling. This is the sort of story that you can’t put down, that makes you question your own morality. I don’t often read non-speculative crime, and few manage to capture my heart fully. This did. I am convinced I’ll be thinking and talking about You Know Her for a long time to come. I have been raving about this book to anyone who would listen ever since I finished it, and I can’t wait for Sophie to capture reader’s hearts and imaginations on release.
It is rare that a thriller sticks with you not because of plot and pacing, but because of its characters and atmosphere. And You Know Her does so brilliantly. In her debut, Meagan Jennett creates a cast that in turn captivates you, scares you and charms you. As you read more, you get to know the actors in this particular drama, and as you begin to care for them, you need to know how their story goes. There is one particular moment, about halfway through the book – if you read it, you’ll know exactly what I mean – that had me yelling out loud at the book because it was just so brilliantly done, such a great moment for the characters that just made sense with who they are.
That isn’t to say that the writing and pacing isn’t immaculate – because it is. You Know Her is all the better for it. Evoking a thick Southern Gothic atmosphere and making sure the tension never dips helps the novel go from strength to strength. This is a novel about feminine rage, at its centre, about being a woman in an industry where women are often considered commodities and Sophie is done. Hit on too many times. Groped too many times. Meagan Jennett’s clean prose helps bring the sentiments across without making You Know Her read like a polemic, but still resonate with a whole generation of readers who know. We may not have been bartenders, we may not have murdered, but we’ve certainly been Sophie in other ways. This is a novel for all of us – a thriller about what it would be like to follow those darkest urges and thoughts when we just need a break from society. And it’s a damn good one, well written, impeccably paced and dripping with Southern Gothic atmosphere.