I Know Everything

Image of I Know Everything
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
August 6, 2019
Publisher/Imprint: 
Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 
334
Reviewed by: 

“Matthew Farrell’s skill as a storyteller is evident from the first pages of this novel. He draws the reader in, assures him the story will be a typical murder mystery following the usual pattern, then tears up the outline and throws it away.”

Dr. Randall Brock had everything a man could want: a beautiful wife he loved who was also a wealthy woman heading a famous charity organization, a collaboration with another doctor on a breakthrough in the treatment of violent disorders, and a happy, ordered life.

Then Amanda dies, on the night of a gala honoring her for her philanthropic work.

The police say it’s murder. She was dead before her car went through the guard rail that had been cut. Her phone is missing.

Brock is devastated.

“It was never about anything other than love for the two of them. They were meant to be together and now the love of his life was dead. They hadn’t been given enough time. It simply wasn’t fair.”

A stranger appears. He says his name is Sam, the name of Brock’s dead younger brother. He has Amanda’s phone.

“Amanda was murdered and I know who did it. I saw the whole thing.”

Randall shot out of his chair and stormed across the room, the shroud of guilt and remorse falling to his feet. “Tell me who did it. Tell me and we’ll go to the police.”

“That’s not how this is going to work.”

There are things Sam wants Brock to do: He wants Brock to tell the truth—all his truths—but Brock didn’t kill Amanda. He has no idea what he means.

“Amanda’s truths were inside her phone. Truths the police needed to know. Truths that could lead him to the person responsible for her death. Truths about a life he might not have known as completely as he thought.”

He soon learns some of them and that much of the truth finishes the destruction of his world.

“He wanted to know what Amanda knew. Of what Sam knew. Of what others might know.”

With fumbling hands, he pulled the documents out of the box. His breath caught in his throat. How could Amanda possibly have this? He grabbed the third set of papers. It was a copy of a new will. Amanda was redistributing her assets. The last set of documents were unsigned copies of divorce papers.

“This can’t be,” Randall muttered.”

Investigating officer Susan Adler had ruled Brock out as a suspect, but slowly and surely, thanks to Sam’s machinations, she changes her mind.

Did Brock kill Amanda?  What are these “truths” Sam demands? Brock knows he didn’t kill the woman he loved but what else does he know, what has he buried in his subconscious that could make him look guilty?

“Everyone had secrets. He was no exception. Neither was Amanda.”

It always seems a bit of a dirty trick when an author creates a character the reader will like, then reveals he’s not what he seems. In I Know Everything, author Farrell does this not once, but several times, and very well.

The reader is in for more than one shock. His revelations don’t stop with the identity of Amanda Brock’s killer. As the old commercial says, “But wait! There’s more!”

There’s one twist, then another, and another.

The reader may feel a bit of a betrayal when he learns how he’s been fooled but that’s only evidence of this author’s expertise with words.

In this story, even the most innocent are guilty in some way, and those who aren’t may worry the facts until they convince themselves they are. Everyone’s guilty and no one’s guilty, but in some way, all are to blame for what happens.

Matthew Farrell’s skill as a storyteller is evident from the first pages of this novel. He draws the reader in, assures him the story will be a typical murder mystery following the usual pattern, then tears up the outline and throws it away. None of the story follows that carefully laid down profile. Once the three pages of Prologue are read, the reader will find himself not wanting to stop until all those truths are revealed.

Afterward, he will be enlightened, horrified, perhaps saddened, but above all, satisfied.