Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead | Critical Book Review

Eleanor Kelley’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead plunges readers into a disturbing and disorienting realm where fractured family ties and personal demons threaten to shatter the fragile reality of its flawed protagonist, Kate O’Brien.


A Twisted Odyssey

Set against the backdrop of a road trip in Ireland, Kate and her best friend, Molly, embark on a journey that blends melancholy with hilarity. However, odd occurrences and the misplacement of Kate’s mother’s ashes raise an eerie unease, setting the stage for a psychological thriller akin to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train.


Unraveling Truths

As the narrative unfolds, Kate’s reliability comes under scrutiny, a doubt rooted in her tumultuous past with her gaslighting ex-husband, Harry Johnson. Strange events, uncertain recollections, and disputed circumstances create a constant ambiguity, leaving readers questioning whether Kate is a reliable narrator or a victim of her own volatile nature.


The Complex Protagonist

Kate O’Brien emerges as a polarizing figure, sympathetic yet challenging to like. Her volatile temperament and penchant for alcohol hint at hidden depths, making it unclear whether she is entirely truthful about her relationship with Harry. The mystery deepens as allies and adversaries alike withhold information, complicating Kate’s quest to uncover the truth behind Harry’s supposed death.


The Enigmatic Allies

While characters like Kate’s sister Sue and best friend Molly play crucial roles, their behaviors toward Harry’s death and Kate’s suspicions add to the enigma. The mass reticence surrounding critical details begs for additional backstory, leaving readers in a state of uncertainty akin to classic mysteries like “The Lady Vanishes.”


In the Shadows of Flynn

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead captivates with its psychological intricacies, offering enough mystery to keep readers guessing. Fans of Gillian Flynn will find satisfaction in this unsettling journey through fractured relationships, elusive truths, and a protagonist teetering on the edge of reality.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressMystery, Thriller & Suspense240 pages9781639887972

Eleanor Kelley’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead plunges readers into a disturbing and disorienting realm where fractured family ties and personal demons threaten to shatter the fragile reality of its flawed protagonist, Kate O’Brien. A Twisted Odyssey Set against the backdrop of a road trip in Ireland, Kate and her best friend, Molly, embark…