Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Title: Someone Knows
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Publisher: GP Putnam's Sons
Pages: 400
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐

Allie Garvey was 15 when she and three of her school mates, David Hybrinski, Sasha Barrow and Julian Browne, played Russian roulette with an unloaded gun that Julian found in the woods. Only the gun turned out to be loaded and a new boy, Kyle Gallagher, who had just moved into their gated community ended up dead. The death was deemed a suicide.

The other kids were all cooler, and it was pure happenstance that Allie became part of their circle that day. She is a misfit in their group, and she knows it.

At the start of the school term, their own inter-relationships are in a tumult. Sasha is older and sophisticated and used to playing boys for her own ends. Julian has a serious crush on Sasha and stalks her every chance he gets. David, still exploring his sexuality, begins a tentative relationship with Allie, while nursing a secret crush on Julian. Kyle is a loner, who keeps to himself, until he develops feelings for Sasha.

Following the death of Kyle, the four kids lose touch with one another. For 20 years, they maintain no contact with one another, as they grow up and establish themselves in various professions. And then they meet again, at the funeral of David, who has killed himself.

Allie looks forward to the meeting. She is anxious to know how the others have fared. Her own sense of guilt at her complicity in the death of Kyle has never let her rest. She doesn’t know how to live in the present and the future at the same time.

Will Allie ever get rid of her guilt and be happy? Or is she doomed to suffer for the part she played? She cannot shake off her sense of guilt. How unfounded is her sense of guilt?

The Prologue is in the 2nd person present tense point of view, while the rest of the chapters are in the 3rd person past tense point of view of various characters. Each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different narrator and takes the story forward from the point at which the previous narrator stops. Each viewpoint plays its part in drawing us in.

In an attempt to throw light on the four main characters, the author also takes us into the drama taking place in the lives of their parents. We get chapters from the third person PoVs of Bill Hybrinski, Barb Gallagher and Linda Garvey, the father of David, mother of Kyle and the mother of Allie respectively, besides those of Daphne and Scott Browne, the divorced parents of Julian.

Scott is cavorting around with young women, not that older than his son. Bill is struggling to make ends meet after running the risk of losing his small business and borrowing heavily from Scott. 

Barb is struggling financially and emotionally after her husband, Dr Brian Hammond, was arrested for sexually abusing the pediatric patients under his care. Son Kyle too is struggling to cope. They have moved here to escape the harsh media glare at their old town. Then Kyle and Barb’s idyllic life is threatened when the local paper carries a report on Brian’s crime.

As in The Lord of The Rings, a book referenced in the Prologue, there is a breakdown of order and chaos ensues, in Allie's life.

I liked the manner in which the author discussed issues of legal guilt and moral culpability, and the need for redemption. 

The book was interesting, but I didn’t care much for the PoV chapters of the parents. It added too many subplots to the book, and pages to its length, neither of which enhanced our reading pleasure.

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