The Devil You Know
by P.J. Tracy
A Good Read
Although I had previously read the first book in this series, I opted to start with the third installment and now plan to go back and read the second as well. The author skillfully delves into the thoughts of both major and minor characters, making even the most fleeting appearances feel fully developed. However, the sheer number of characters can make it overwhelming to keep track of all the information presented.
Although the series is named after Detective Nolan, she shares the lead role with Sam, a wounded veteran whom Margaret befriended in a previous book. The portrayal of Hollywood elites is scathing, depicting them as snobbish, cunning, and treacherous, while some can be endearing, and others deadly. The working-class law enforcement types, especially Margaret’s partner Detective Crawford, are much easier to relate to.
The story begins with a murder and quickly escalates as more bodies pile up. The detectives investigate, uncovering a tangled web of suspects that grows more complex with each revelation. While the initial character building can make the beginning feel slow, once Margaret begins to solve the crime, the story becomes engaging. Keeping track of all the suspects may require taking notes.
This book is the third in a series featuring Detective Margaret Nolan of the Los Angeles Police Department. The opening chapter is gripping, featuring murder, investigation, and personal lives of the characters. While the secondary characters are well-developed, readers may find it easier to follow if they have read the previous books. The intricate plot includes several subplots that build momentum toward a somewhat predictable conclusion.
The author skillfully balances the shocking and emotional aspects of the story with the personal lives of the characters, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of actors, police officers, talent agents, veterans, and musicians. Themes include death, murder, friendship, family, privilege, and much more.
Overall, this complex police procedural features compelling characters and subplots that keep the pages turning. Although it can be read as a standalone novel, I recommend reading the series in order for a better understanding of the characters and their development. I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books and P.J. Tracy via NetGalley, and all opinions expressed in this review are my own. If you wish to support the author’s work, you can purchase the book using the link below.