Arcadia “Cadie” Wells is sick to death of her life in her tiny Florida town with her broken-down father and her four-year-old brother. Cadie is tired of being the de facto caretaker for her family. She is tired of putting what she wants last. Now that high school is over, all she can see ahead of her is an endless stretch of stifling sameness with work and family obligations pulling her down.
Cadie wants something more.
She wants adventure.
She wants a little act of rebellion.
It starts with a campfire party and a cute dress. It turns into a sudden road trip with two unbearably attractive cousins and the exact kind of escape Cadie’s been yearning for. It will end with dangers Cadie never imagined and a dead body in The Devil You Know (2015) by Trish Doller.
The Devil You Know is a sexy and exciting thriller. Doller’s writing is taut with tension as Cadie tries to step outside of her everyday routine with risks that are sometimes shocking even to herself. While this story follows many familiar conventions as Cadie questions who she can trust and the wisdom in falling hard for a handsome stranger, The Devil You Know is not your average thriller.
In this slim novel (256 pages, hardcover), Cadie struggles to reconcile her own wanderlust with the obligations weighing her down. Coming from a small town and a family that is struggling to get by, Cadie is very aware of the limitations on her life. She is also confident in her own ability to achieve more than life in her small town has to offer and also in how much she deserves it.
Cadie is a strong heroine with absolutely the best feminist ideals that are presented as a seamless part of her character. Throughout The Devil You Know Cadie takes ownership of her life and her sexuality in moments that are refreshingly empowering. The chemistry between Cadie and her love interest is palpable with dialog and descriptions that absolutely sizzle.
Although parts of the story veer toward predictable or even contrived, this book is decidedly clever and often entertaining. The Devil You Know is a smart thriller that uses this familiar form to subvert as many conventions as it follows.
Possible Pairings: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando, With Malice by Eileen Cook, Breaker by Kat Ellis, The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler, I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest, Damaged by Amy Reed, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten, The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*
8 thoughts on “The Devil You Know: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review”
I definitely agree about some parts of the book being way too predictable, but I ended up really enjoying this one. I was pretty engrossed in the story. Great review!
Same. I do really like how subversive it was in places.
This sounds a lot like Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas to me. Have you read that one to know if they’re similar?
Hmm. I haven’t read that one but I see what you mean from the synopsis. Although it sounds like a lot of the similarities are more in the superficial premise. My guess is if you liked Dangerous Girls then you will probably like this one.
Great review Emma! You just single handedly revamped my interest in this book!! Which is awesome since I have to read in the next week or so. 😜
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
I don’t love thrillers, but I may have to try this one out! Plus, I’ve never read anything by Doller, so I suppose I should remedy that eventually.
It wasn’t a favorite while I was reading it but I have come to respect it more as I have distance from it and can see all of the things Doller did well to make this book eloquent and subversive.