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Only We Know by Karen Perry

Only We Know

Thriller / Suspense   Books of the Month   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

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One of our Books of the Year 2015.

July 2015 Book of the Month.

A compelling and thought-provoking read, ‘Only We Know’ binds a childhood secret into a tight knot of anguish and heartache. The story is told in two different time frames, 1982 and 2013, steps are retraced and understanding grows as the traumatic secret whispers its way ever closer. If you've read the authors previous collaboration ‘The Boy That Never Was’ (published outside the UK and Ireland as ‘The Innocent Sleep’ so don’t buy it twice) then you will expect the intrigue and uncertainty that may well become their trademark. This time there is a difference, if you can catch them, there are a number of references as to what is to come, this in no way spoils the story, in fact it somehow adds to the tension and yet there is still a sting in the tale. Karen Perry, pen name of Karen Gillece and Paul Perry, have a seamlessly balanced writing style, they write with a wisdom and understanding of the human spirit which has a refreshing honesty about it. Although the stunning descriptions of the surroundings, in particular Kenya, add an intensity to this story, it’s the secrets kept and secrets told that hold the key to awareness and forgiveness in this particular tale. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Sarah Harper - 'A number of good twists and unexpected reveals cemented a solid story and elevated it to a cracking read which I thoroughly enjoyed.'
  • Glynis Elliott - 'Only We Know was beautifully written and very evocative capturing the imagery of a dry and dusty Africa down to the last details.'
  • Suzanne Marsh - ' Only We Know is another great thrilling novel to add for Karen Perry...'
  • Lynda DeFreitas - 'Secrets are hard to keep hidden and lies usually catch up with you.'
  • Alan Brown - 'And I do not want you to. As the story unfolds there is a feeling of great reluctance to tell it.'
  • Arlene Davidson - 'This was a slow burner - I didn't see the end coming!'
  • Victoria Goldman - 'Grabbed my attention straight away and kept me absorbed until the end. Only We Know moves at a fast pace to uncover a dark secret. '
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'The book keeps you guessing right till the end throwing in twists to keep you off the scent. A thrilling book, I will be keeping my eye out for more by Karen Perry.'
  • Sue Muir - '...a book full of suspense. It is well written, has an intriguing plot, and a feeling of dreadful anticipation that makes it a good gripping read.'
  • Carol Peace - 'I just thought I had worked it out when yet another account throws a spanner in the works. I really enjoyed this book.'
  • Shaun O'Keefe - 'Only We Know is a story that isn't that hard to believe, meaning it is as enjoyable as it is frighteningly compelling. It is a gripping and thought-provoking tale.'
  • Jenny Heardman - 'I found the book gripping as I wanted to find out both what had happened down by the river and also the mystery that was unravelling in the present day.'
  • Nickey Hawryszczuk - 'A great psychological thriller which had me hooked from the very start. I loved the way each chapter focused on one person either in the present day or the past.  Highly recommend.'
  • Sarah Tilley - 'A well written and enjoyable read - certainly something for the beach beds this year...The ending was not as I suspected, so it keeps you guessing until the last chapter.'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'This book was a real page turner and an absolutely riveting read...easily one of the best books I have read this year.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is Perry at the highest of her high standard of writing.  The story oozes powerful story-line, identifiable characters, twist and turns and more twists and turns.  Highly recommended.'

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Only We Know by Karen Perry

Only We Know is the captivating new novel from Karen Perry, packed full of secrets and suspense. In 1982, on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday beneath the stifling heat of the midday sun, three children start a game that ends in tragedy. Now, thirty years later, Nick, Luke and Katie are estranged, yet still bound together by the dark truth of what happened at the river that day. Except some secrets won't stay buried. And when Luke suddenly vanishes and the threatening messages begin, it seems that the strings of the past are tightening around them all. Because someone else knows what they did and is intent on seeking justice, at any cost...From the bestselling author of The Boy That Never Was, Only We Know is a gripping novel that shows just how dangerous our childhood secrets can be. Praise for Karen Perry: I shot through this in one sitting. Like Gone Girl, it's told alternately by a husband and his wife. At the very beginning, something very shocking happens...It's the most gripping thing I've read for ages. Evening Standard 'Stunning' Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club 'A pitch-perfect balance of driving plot and honest, complex human emotion. Written in a captivating, lyrical style and brilliantly structured, the story grips your heart from the first pages and simply never lets go' Jeffery Deaver 'Beautifully written, a tense and twisty tale' Sunday Mirror Karen Perry lives in Ireland. Only We Know is her second novel, following the Sunday Times bestseller The Boy That Never Was which was selected for the Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club.


Only We Know builds handsomely on the promise of The Boy That Never Was (2014), plausibly and hauntingly exploring the extent to which guilt, shame and secrecy can shape, define and eventually destroy lives * Declan Burke, The Irish Times * The power of Only We Know lies in the slow illumination of how, under their flimsy cloaks of adulthood, Katie and Nick and Luke are still the traumatised children of a long-ago day by a river, frozen in time by one event. It raises fascinating questions about who we are at heart, about the degree to which damage and guilt can shape our natures, and about whether - and how - we can be redeemed * Tana French * This is an intense and subtle story with some wonderfully poetic passages and a character driven plot which becomes more compelling as the sense of momentum gathers and the true version of events is slowly revealed. Gripping stuff * Sunday Mirror * Don't be surprised if you devour ONLY WE KNOW in one sitting * * The book is beautifully written, with just the right balance of teasing the reader with clues and hitting them with revelations * Best Crime Fiction of 2015, The Telegraph *

About the Author

Karen Perry

Karen Perry is the pseudonym for Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith's Ghost, 108 Moons, The Orchid Keeper, and most recently The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance. A winner of The Hennessy New Irish Writer of The Year Award, he is a Lecturer in Creative Writing for Kingston University, London, Writer Fellow for University College Dublin and Course Director in Poetry for the Faber Academy in Dublin.

Author photo © Edmund Ross

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2015


Karen Perry

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Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


352 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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