What You Don't Know by JoAnn Chaney is a gripping, terrifying debut novel that follows those most affected by an infamous serial killer.
“He doesn't deny anything.” Coming from Paul Hoskins, the gumshoe detective who has just identified a man responsible for deadly attacks across Denver, this admission might set you feeling that his case is done and dusted. But no, it’s just the beginning.
From that start of JoAnn Chaney's staccato tale of a string of connected killings, the certainty of one man's original guilt doesn't stop a lifetime—and several shortened lifetimes—of connected secrets, many guiltily held.
While Hoskins’s suspect, Jacky Seever, is pulled off the streets in 2008, the book shifts forward in time to 2015. His acts might remind you of Illinois killer John Wayne Gacy, but we’re in firmly fictional territory, shifting between perspectives of detectives, reporters, victims, and loyal family living under the long shadow of Seever’s crimes. From that climactic beginning, we see how the bystanders’ ambitions to understand the case shape their lives.