Erin Kelly: We Know You Know


I heard the swish of falling paper. I grazed my knuckles retrieving a beige folder, its grubby white ribbon loose. Looping doctor’s handwriting. Addresses. Dates. Names. Photographs! I had found the patients whose notes would bring the past back to life.’

A lifetime ago, a patient escaped Nazareth mental asylum. They covered their tracks carefully. Or so they thought.
Thirty years ago, Marianne Smy committed a crime then fled from her home to leave the past behind. Or so she thought.

Now, Marianne has been forced to return. Nazareth asylum has been converted to luxury flats, but its terrible hold on her is still strong. A successful academic, a loving mother and a loyal wife, she fears her secret being revealed and her world shattering.

She is right to be scared.


We Know You Know is the first book I have read by Erin Kelly and it definitely won’t be the last. It’s clear she’s a brilliantly talented writer. From the very first page, she had me completely drawn into the lives of the characters and the secrets they are hiding.

The novel is set in the Suffolk Town of Nusstead, and it’s one of those places where everyone knows each other. Kelly’s description of the town and the Nazareth Hospital are absolutely captivating. She creates a very claustrophobic atmosphere really well and I was desperate to read on to find out what happened.

Over the course of the novel, the time shifts between 1958 and 2018. I found this really effective, as it serves a few different purposes. It allows the reader to see the story from the different perspectives and it allows us to see what the characters were like when they were younger and how they came to be where they are today. I was immersed in the story as the twists were revealed.

It is clear that Kelly has undertaken a huge amount of research to complete this novel. I find the subject of mental health incredibly fascinating and I loved the way she incorporated her knowledge so well into the plot.

I didn’t expect the ending but I felt that it fitted the novel as a whole really well.

We Know You Know is available from Amazon.

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