No One Knows You're Here - Rachel Howzell

I received a free copy from Beyond the page Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


I've got mixed feelings about this book. There were moments I really enjoyed reading it, but at times I didn't like it at all. The writing is OK, and the story sounded really interesting, but it had its flaws. The story is based on (but not a description of) a real Los Angelos murder case, where Afro-American women (mostly prostitutes) have been murdered over a long time, without people paying a lot of attention to the case. Of course, it's very good that these things are brought to our attention.


My biggest problem was with the main character, and more specific with all the melodrama surrounding the main character. The list is almost endless, discovering bodies, stalkers, hate-mail, an it's-complicated boyfriend, breast cancer (and her sister has probably cancer as well). Oh, and she's a best-selling author/journalist, but actually she's just doing the job the police should do: investigating the murders. Her it's-complicated boyfriend, who's running the investigation (sleeping with the author who's going to write a book on your case seems a bit, uhmm, unprofessional?), even asks her to run some errands for him on the case; could he not ask his police-minions to do those kind of things for him? And besides, they keep her updated on every aspect of the case as well, even though the case is still open and she's a reporter! It's not just the it's-complicated boyfriend, the pathologist happily joins in and shares even more information with her.


There were a number of chapters with the POV of the serial killer, but I had some trouble understanding what they added to the story. It was obviously a way of creating more suspense by foreshadowing what was going to happen, I can see that. But it was an opportunity to give the serial killer character a body, and some character development other than him just being the big bad guy. (Not that serial killers aren't bad, of course they are). Unfortunately, the only things that becomes clear trough these chapters is that he's clearly mad and delusional. And that's the end of the explanation we get on why he does these things? (But why does he only murder one person a year if he is so mad and delusional?)


Overall, I really thought it has a good theme, but I've read a lot of detective stories, so obviously I've become more critical, especially when it comes to details like the ones I described above.