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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: You Don't Know Me by Sara Foster

Twelve years ago, Lizzie Burdett disappeared - and for the Carruso family, nothing has ever been the same since. Tom was Lizzie’s boyfriend, and the prime suspect, but with nothing ever found, he wasn’t charged. This story is told from the perspective of Tom’s younger brother Noah, only 15 when Lizzie vanished, who has a strained relationship with Tom and is struggling to find his own way in life. On a holiday escape in Thailand, Noah meets Alice, who reminds him of Lizzie at first, but soon Noah has fallen for Alice for her own sake.

Alice has secrets and trauma in her own past, though, and it soon becomes obvious that neither of them are in the right headspace for a relationship, no matter how well suited they are or how much they want to make it work. Returning to Australia to attend Lizzie’s inquest, Noah must face the past and accept that he may never know what happened to Lizzie… or discover that he doesn’t really want to know the truth after all.

This is a superbly-written whodunnit with a twist I genuinely didn’t see coming, but which, in hindsight, made complete sense. Noah’s romance with Alice acts as an interesting vehicle for the reader to get information without it being info-dumped, as Noah shares rather naturally with Alice, and in turn we get to see just what in Alice’s past makes her understand Noah so well. While this isn’t precisely a romance (no happy ending) there’s rather an open ending which leaves the possibility of an HEA in the future.

There’s some genuinely great writing here, with a unique angle as a crime podcast follows the events of Lizzie’s disappearance, realistic characters whose pain was almost tangible as I read, and an absolutely believable storyline. A five-star read and easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.

You Don't Know Me is available only in Australia at the moment, and is on preorder elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

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