If You Tell...by Gregg Olsen

Too Much Detail. Too Little Plot

Sorry for the delay, it’s been a hectic past couple of weeks.  Happy to say, I’ve finished three books for the year so far!  Today, I’ll be reviewing “If You Tell” by Gregg Olsen and soon after that, “A Knock At Midnight” by Brittany Barnett.

Synopsis: “If You Tell” by Gregg Olsen is like an episode of Dateline in book form.  I can practically hear Keith Morrison’s tantalizingly ghastly voice as I read the pages of Gregg Olsen’s 2019 thriller. The book chronicles the life of Michelle “Shelly” Knotek and profiles her descent from rambunctious child to sadistic killer. While Knotek doesn’t explicitly kill anyone directly, her barbarous punishments for both her kids and boarders leave her culpable.

What I Liked: I am a true crime buff. I am constantly dumbfounded, yet enamored with cases that show the darkness of how some people devolve into predators. “If You Tell” is a case study in this. If you like being entertained and don’t care about the quality of writing or storytelling this book is for you. Olsen does a good job of narrating the devolution and mental breakdown that Knotek was responsible for with her victims.

What I Didn’t Like: The book (weighing in at 410 pages) is about 200 pages too long.  Much of the middle of the book is essentially the same thing. As the book wore on, Olsen seemed to want to go into more detail about the audacity of the punishments Knotek performed on her victims. The problem is that once you have an idea for how mean and evil this lady was, you didn’t need much more description about it. It’s like, we get it, she’s a nutcase and she was like an emotional tsunami, never letting up. Now tell us what happened to her and her victims so I can move on with my life . In my opinion, if this was a slim 200 page story, it would’ve been much better. Instead, it is a rambling account of each gory detail.

Summary: Don’t waste your time.  If you’re at the beach and you don’t mind a lot of filler, it isn’t the worst thing to read, but I wish I would’ve chosen a different book to read for my second book of the year. I didn’t even find the need to write too much about this book, because I think it’s so mediocre.

Verdict: Overall, I rate this book a 5/10. Again, not the worst thing to read, but certainly I wouldn’t make it a priority. I think I got this as a Kindle First book for free, so at least I didn’t buy it. Until next time.