Book Reviews

I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my advanced copy of I Know What You Did by Cayce Osborne! This book is available wherever you buy books on July 18, 2023. This is Cayce’s debut novel, so congratulations!

The Story

When a bestselling novel fictionalizes the death of her childhood best friend—and accuses her of the murder—Petal Woznewski must figure out who wrote it and why. Truth and fiction collide in this captivating debut novel by Cayce Osborne.

Petal Woznewski is content with her quiet, introverted life in New York City: she has her junk food, her movies, and her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Gus. That peace is shattered when her name appears on the dedication page of an anonymously written thriller with a cryptic note: “I know what you did, Petal Woznewski. And now everyone else will, too.”

As she reads, Petal realizes the story is rooted in a secret she buried thirty years earlier, when she was fourteen. A secret involving the tragic death of her friend, Megan. A secret that only one other person knows—their old friend, Jenny. Armed with a copy of the book and her own suspicions, Petal returns to her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. There, she discovers more questions than answers. Jenny has disappeared, and Petal’s old high school crush, Ben, doesn’t know anything about the book—at least not anything he’s telling.

As sinister clues pile up, and the thriller’s plot detours dangerously from the facts, Petal has no choice but to confront her past and solve the mystery of who wrote it—before her very real life ends as tragically as the novel.

My Thoughts

Take note: This is NOT I Know What You Did Last Summer, even if search engines try to tell you that it is.

This is such an interesting concept for a book! I mean, we all worry about what would happen if some of our deepest and darkest secrets somehow became known to the public. Petal unearths this book (at the actual worst time, btw) and then it just follows her everywhere.

The story is told in alternating first-person POV of Petal and excerpts from the fictional book she discovers. I wish there were more excerpts! There were a couple that felt unnecessary, and then some context I wish I would have gotten from missing ones.

Truthfully, no part of Petal is likeable. She is brash and just feels dirty as a whole. Between the excessive drinking and the excessive weed smoking, I just didn’t like it. Have I mentioned how over I am of authors using substances to contribute to storylines. JUST WRITE BETTER. She did, however, begin to redeem herself with the cop and her New York non-boyfriend.

I Know What You Did certainly felt lengthy and clunky in parts. I wish there had been a bit more flow, and a bit less second-guessing across the board. I did, however, appreciate that the bulk of the story took place in Wisconsin. It wasn’t some pretentious chateau in France or big city. Just a standard midwestern place.

Now, I will say that the ending of this book was so far-fetched or outside of the general plot (however you want to say it) that I didn’t enjoy it. Did I see it coming? No, but it also didn’t quite make sense. Felt like it came from left field.

Would I recommend buying the book? Probably not. However, if you can get it at the library or a second-hand shop, go for it! It will be entertaining.

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