In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

Image of In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: A Novel
Release Date: 
August 3, 2021
Sourcebooks Landmark
Reviewed by: 

Jessica Miller is returning to Duquette University, her southern, elite school, ten years after graduation. She is determined to show she is successful, beautiful, and, well, perfect. She deserves for people to see what she has become since they all left those hallowed halls. To show everyone she is not the failure she always feared she would be.

“I would show them all. And then I would finally rid myself of that dark suspicion, that insidious whisper—the one that said I’d done it all wrong, made the worst possible mistakes, ever since the day East House first loomed into view through my parents’ cracked windshield. And maybe long before then. At long last, I was going back.”

But the reunion is not what she longed for. The murder of a friend back in those college days looms large over the gathering. While some think they know who killed Heather, not everyone believes it, and the murdered girl’s brother wants to bring the killer to justice. Jessica’s grand reveal of her new self, much to her dismay, is not to be. Instead, she remembers what she and her friends were like in college, what secrets they held, and what betrayals they performed. But she also remembers the good times and the desperate way they found and kept each other.

“I could see their faces, shining in the dark. And I think I knew, even then, that it would never get better than this. I think some part of me could sense—even here in our triumph, in our wild, perfect beginning the small seeds of our destruction.”

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is a twisty, dark puzzle, told in chapters that alternate between present day and what happened in college. Winstead unravels the story gradually, showing bits and pieces, revealing just what is needed to pull the reader one step closer to knowing what actually happened that night a decade earlier. The narrative captures the reader, each chapter teasing out information to make it seem clearer, only to throw in some new detail that changes everything. Fans of books such as The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will find this book captivating, as will anyone who enjoys being led down a winding, frightening path. Highly recommended.