Debut author, Katie Gutierrez, hits it out of the park with her new novel, More Than You’ll Ever Know.

Weekend Read by Claudine Wolk: More Than You'll Ever Know

Claudine Wolk is an author, podcast host, and book marketing consultant. Find her writing at claudinewolk.substack.com.

Debut author, Katie Gutierrez, hits it out of the park with her new novel, More Than You’ll Ever Know.  Although this is Gutierrez’s first novel, her writing has appeared in many well-known publications such as The Washington Post, TIME, and Harper’s Bazaar.  More Than You’ll Ever Know published in June 2022 to rave reviews in Good Housekeeping, The Los Angeles Times, Parade, PopSugar, CrimeReads and Library Reads to name a few.

Plot Summary

Cassie is a young true crime blogger who desires to break out and write a unique true crime book with all the depth that she found when she used to watch “Dateline” with her Mom as a kid.  Through her research for her current blogging job, Cassie comes across the story of a crime that occurred decades before: a murder precipitated by a woman’s marriage to two men.  A woman marrying two men is so unique and so juicy that it could be the story to make Cassie’s career.  Cassie decides to research the scandalous story starting with Lore, the supposed femme fatale, and the crime that exposed her duality – the murder of Andres, her second husband by her first husband, Fabian.

 

Cassie meets Lore and convinces her to “tell her side of story.” Lore and Cassie fall into a pattern, ala Hannibal Lecter/ Clarice, of chatting at regular intervals with a quid pro quo element to each conversation.  Cassie has her own family issues and sharing the details of her life with Lore in order to illicit information from Lore is taking its toll on Cassie and her relationship with her fiancé, Duke.

 

Gutierrez writes deliciously and takes on some heavy-duty themes in this mystery.  Can you judge a person’s actions from the outside looking in? Is motherhood the blessing and the gift that all women have to pretend it to be or is it as Lore describes, “… the thief you invite into your home?” Are affairs ever really black and white? Lore had judgement from just about everyone in her life over the decades for her actions.  Is the judgment fair?

Cassie has her own relationship issues and wants so desperately to complete this project but her own life keeps getting in the way.  Clearly, she has kept her fiancé at an emotional distance.  Is her relationship doomed because she cannot share her family history with him?  Cassie shares with the reader that she can’t “… tell him about the years of bruises and silence without also revealing I was no better that my parents.  Maybe worse.”

 

Relationships, affairs, motherhood, lies, earthquakes, and history, Guierrez covers it all with deeply developed characters and a well-plotted mystery that keeps the reader interested, learning, guessing and questioning until the very end.

 

Overall assessment

More Than You’ll Ever Know is one of those rare novels that you sink your teeth into and that you don’t want to end.  I thought about it long after I finished reading it.  There is a mystery, yes, but I was far more interested in the characters – their flaws, their decisions, and their story.  Gutierrez has deftly accomplished weaving two women’s stories, against the backdrop of the popular true crime genre, into something fresh and unique.  Her MFA aside, this is a novel that was carefully crafted, for there is no sentence or phrase in it that does not move the story forward. 

It is fantastic debut mystery novel and what I hope is the first of many from her.

Title: More Than You’ll Ever Know

Author: Katie Gutierrez

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

Publisher: William Morrow

Page Count: 448

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