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The Killer You Know

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  648 ratings  ·  143 reviews
I'll murder three strangers. And you'll know it was me. That way we'll all be connected. Always.

When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But Adeline can't help but feel there's something more sinister lurking behind his words.

Fifteen years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang - except Will doesn't show up. Rem
Paperback, 426 pages
Published August 30th 2018 by Sphere
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S.R. Masters
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 ·  648 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is SR Masters dark and disturbing debut psychological thriller featuring five friends living in Blyth as teenagers, all with various problematic issues, who spent their summers in 1997 and 1998 together. They all disband to never see other until years later in 2015 when a nostalgic reunion is organised so they can catch up with each other and reminisce about the good old days. Adeline, who puts out a successful film podcast with Xan and Jon returns, staying at a hotel because she and her mo ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easiest 5* I've given this year and probably for a while before that. Brilliantly atmospheric tale of toxic friendship, with a killer hook - what if one of your gang turned out to be a serial killer? Loved it. More nearer publication when I'm actually SUPPOSED to be reading it. :)
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
You are a bored teenager during the summer hanging around with a bunch of your friends. The five of you have been together all summer with lack of anything else to do in your small town. One of your friends states it is his goal in life to become a serial killer. You all laugh and think yeah okay weirdo, lay off the drugs. Yet there is something disturbing about the depth of details he goes into. He states there will be 3 murders all made to look like a suicide. He gives you all the details, so ...more
Mandy White
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
What a great story, although it was a bit long and slow for a bit. But that twist at the end completely shocked me. Friends as kids who get back together for a reunion.. except for one....
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Mysteries that involve friends and the secrets they keep.
So I have had this book in my TBR section for awhile.

I like the premise greatly. The plot concerns a group of friends, one of whom tells the others they want to grow up to be a serial killer.

He says he will commit three murders and explains how he will do it so later on in life, his friends will know it is him.

Years go by. When the group gets together for a reunion and the above mentioned Gent does not show up they turn to google..and discover a few shocking crimes committed in exactly the same
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
'The Killer You Know' is a highly accomplished debut that reminds me a lot of 'The Chalk Man' by C. J. Tudor as both feature a dual timeline and follow a group of young friends as they grow up and move on with their lives. 'The Chalk Man' is one of my best reads of the year, and I found this to be just as compelling.

It's December, 2015, and Adeline has moved back to the village of Blythe, where she spent her formative years, to reunite with her childhood cronies for a Christmas Eve get together
“The Killer You Know” is a fantastic, dark and disturbing début psychological thriller written by author S R Masters. It features five friends that lived in Blythe while they were in their teens and spent the summers of 1997 and 1998 together. Each one has their own problems and issues to deal with.

They all move on and don’t see other again until, in 2015, a nostalgic reunion is organised, so they meet up with each other and reminisce about good times past. Adeline, a successful film pod-caster
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very exciting debut novel – without doubt, S.R. Masters is an author to watch for in the future. It has a very contemporary feel and is set partly in 1998 and partly in 2015.

It is Christmas, 2015, and Adeline is returning to the small village of Blythe, where she moved as a resentful teen. Adeline does a movie podcast with friends Jon and Xan. However, her love of films came from those teenage years, when she became friends with Jen, Steve, Rupesh and Will. Having always had a difficu
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of us are lucky enough to form lifelong friendships when we are younger but more often or not friendships drift apart once we leave school and our lives go in different directions.

Adeline hasn't seen Will,Steve,Jen and Rupesh for fifteen years so she is equally surprised,shocked and intrigued when she receives an email inviting her to a reunion of her old gang. Adeline returns to the small,isolated village of Blythe where she lived during her late teenage years for the reunion - except Will
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting premise. One I enjoyed reading about, and hadn't really seen exactly like this before.

The bond between the group of friends was lovely to see, and although one of them had a startling, creepy revelation, we carried on with the dynamics and eventually all was revealed.

I was guessing right the way through and looked out for all those bits and pieces that I was hoping could let me in on what was going to happen. I didn't guess who/if/why the killer was, if there was one?!

Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Killer You Know was my first read by this author and what a read it was! It came across my goodreads feed and the cover grabbed me right away. I love a book about old friendships and secrets from the past! This book does not disappoint! I was reeled in from the beginning and stayed on the edge of my seat all the way through. I found myself trying to work it out when I wasn’t even reading. A few times I thought I had it figured out but each scenario of mine turned out to be wrong. This was a ...more
Christina McDonald
This debut novel has a contemporary feel with an interesting mix of thriller and nostalgia a la Stephen King in 'Stand By Me'. It follows a group of friends who are torn apart at age sixteen by a number of strange events. While it is atmospheric and interesting, be aware that this is not a fast-paced thriller. So if you need something that really turns the pages, this probably isn't for you. But if you're looking for something with a unique concept and a relatable protagonist, this is a good cho ...more
Paula Sealey
The synopsis of the book sounded really interesting, but unfortunately the story just didn't hold my attention, and I found the plot very implausible. It was a bit of a struggle to get to the end if I'm honest, as I didn't really care about any of the characters or their outcome.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Visit the locations in the novel

This is an interesting and gripping read. What would you do if one of your friends had told the group that they were going to be a serial killer and years later, you discovered that those same crimes HAD been committed and that the friend in question had gone AWOL.

Well that is the premise of this fine read - a mix of Stand by Me and the classic tales of youngsters who say things to annoy their friends, torment each other, make dares etc.. The characters were all
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So a bunch of young people (kids, really) come up with a dare based game that resurfaces with much more dire implications at their reunion almost two decades later. Sounds familiar at all? If so, it may be because that’s a lot like the plot of Christopher Yates’ Black Chalk, a superlative thriller and infinitely superior to this one. To be fair, I’m not calling this book a rip off, it does enough of its own thing to be considered an original, just saying that if you want to read a thriller with ...more
Rachel Burton
I know it's only early March but I think I may have already found a strong contender for my book of the year.

But Rachel, I hear you ask, don't you usually love tragic love stories? Well yes I do. but there is a tragic love story here - one fuelled by nostalgia, deception and what might have been - so you see, right up my street.

The Killer You Know is the story of a group of kids, thrown together by circumstance and splintered apart at the age of sixteen by a series of strange events that none
Rachel Edwards
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Killer You Know is a book that grips you by the hand straight away - just as if you might be one of its gang of brilliantly rendered characters - then leads you through a maze of twists and turns, not letting you go until it is done with you. This plot genuinely keeps you guessing. Moreover, Masters perfectly captures the ever-shifting dynamics and evolving loyalties of these '90s teens – now adults - who have shared particularly bright, bittersweet and dark times. It is this fascinating int ...more
Lel Budge
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anne-cater
All of this started the night Will told us he was going to be a serial killer”

This is S.R. Masters debut novel, a psychological thriller set in 2015, with flashbacks to the late 90’s.

December 2015, and Adeline has come home to Blythe….she’s stopped by to visit her parents. she didn’t have a particularly close relationship with them, but her mum is ill….but nothings changed and the little digs are still there.

A reunion of her teenage friends has been arranged and so she leaves her parents as soon
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very exciting debut novel – without doubt, S.R. Masters is an author to watch for in the future. It has a very contemporary feel and is set partly in 1998 and partly in 2015.

It is Christmas, 2015, and Adeline is returning to the small village of Blythe, where she moved as a resentful teen. Adeline does a movie podcast with friends Jon and Xan. However, her love of films came from those teenage years, when she became friends with Jen, Steve, Rupesh and Will. Having always had a difficu
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you loved Stephen King's "Stand By Me" then this is definitely one for you. A wonderful mix of thriller and nostalgia, told through the view-point of a group of friends, who drifted apart after school and come together once again to put old demons to rest.

There are lots of film references that really bring the story to life and the author does a great job of separating and explaining both the individual characters as well as jumping between the past and the present as a way of bringing all th
DarkRaven Reviews
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a bad book but very slow to start.

Well, this certainly was an interesting story. This book was full of twists and turns that you never knew what to expect. Once you get going with this storyline this book is guaranteed to keep you gripped to every page.

A decent read with a good storyline. I instantly fell in love with the characters and really enjoyed reading their journey. Once you get into the storyline it is very immersive.

Fabulous work
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is part whodunnit, part psychological thriller, and part serial killer thriller. When a group of friends meet up for a reunion having not seen each other since their teenage years, they start reminiscing about the past. One of their number hasn’t turned up and they recall how he said he wanted to become a serial killer, that having learned that one needs to commit three murders to be categorised as a serial killer, one day he would go off the radar and kill three people in three particular ...more
Melanie’s reads
My Review

This book is a coming of age story wrapped in a mystery then wrapped again in 90’s nostalgia. It’s a gift you will want to slowly open and enjoy each layer.

First layer is a dual timeline , this worked really well for me and I enjoyed both the present and past . My age probably helped as I remember the 90’s with great fondness ( although I was slightly older than they were cough cough) . Funnily enough in 1997 I was working at Blockbusters video rental and there are some cracking movie r
Joanne Robertson
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m always looking for the next intriguing plot line and this one caught my attention as soon as I saw it! What if one of one of your teenage friends said that they would grow up to be a serial killer? And what if they said they would kill 3 people and leave you a sign that it was them who had murdered 3 strangers? I know right?! How intriguing is that?! And that’s how The Killer You Know starts off. We are then thrown forward 18 years to a “gang” reunion but Will hasn’t turned up. When the othe ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kept me guessing right up until the end!
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am lover of thrillers, so I had high hopes going into this one. But unfortunately, reading this felt like a chore. The plot took a long time to get going, and once it did, I didn't really care about the characters, I just wanted it to get to the point. And the ending consisted of so much over-explaining, I felt like the plot was trying to convince me that all of it made sense. And sure, it did make sense, in so
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Don’t start this book on your lunch break. In fact, don’t start this book in any situation that ends with you having to stop reading to do something else. Learn from me and my tactical mistakes, and start this on your day off (so you can also, most likely, finish it on your day off, because you will not put it down).

This was such a thrilling read. I have seen this book recommended alongside the likes of “Stand by Me” and “Stranger Things”, and fans of either or both will definitely enjoy the no
Sarah Oxford
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved how this book took all the crazy thoughts you had as a teenager and explored what would happen if you revisited that time. It made think about who I was and who I am, and that of those in my life. There was so much atmosphere - the summer boredom and yet adventure, the community, the love and trust and tenuous friendships, family dynamics. It emphasises the teenage self obsession and how we move on from that. It's also a page turner, you're second guessing, trying to figure it all out,tr ...more
Meredith Rankin
Many thanks to Redhook Books, Netgalley, and S. R. Masters for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it!

Overall, The Killer You Know is a strong book, but there was a big distracting issue:

The dual timeline isn’t consist.
Adeline narrates the present story line in 1st person point of view and in past tense. The past story line is narrated by all five in turn, in 3rd person point of view and in present tense. It was jarring to me to skip from Adeline’s narrat
Rachel Bridgeman
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: may-2019
What an astonishing, deep and morally invested debut this is-it is so well plotted that it does not feel like a first novel aat all.

Adie, Rupesh, Will, Steve and Jen grew up in the Midlands in the 90's , friends thrugh circumstance then by choice. They watch bootleg films and discuss the minitiae of the plots in Steve's house, the only one who has access to a continually empty house. Something awful happens to Will, and he ends up being a year behind them , academically ,which might as well be a
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S R Masters is a philosophy-pop culture hybrid originally from the West Midlands, and he writes things both long and short.

His short stories have been published internationally, including his story Desert Walk, which was included in Penguin Random House USA's Press Start to Play collection.

The Killer You Know is his first novel and will be published by Sphere/Little,Brown in the UK and Redhook in

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