Will I know You,
by Jessica Treadway, is not just a crime story, it also has
a psychological aspect. The storyline refers to a small town
community where everyone knows everyone else’s business.
This time around, Treadway decided to have multiple narrators
telling the story, ranging from a teenage girl, black graduate
student, a middle-aged art teacher, to a policeman.
The plot begins when a high school teenager, Joy Enright,
in upstate New York, is found in a pond strangled to death.
Martin Willett, her mother’s teaching assistant and
lover, has been accused of the crime. The arresting officer,
interim police chief Doug Armstrong, has his own agenda for
solving the crime quickly. He is hopeful that the town board
will appoint him the full-time police chief.
Treadway noted, “ The premise for the book came from
two places. Several years ago a family I knew went out ice-skating.
They all fell under, but one of the daughters slipped away
and drowned in the pond. I was haunted for years by this family’s
grief. Then there is a well-known murder case in Massachusetts
where a mother dropped her teenage daughter off at her lifeguard
job. She disappeared and was never found. I decided to make
the pond the focus of the drama involving a girl who first
disappears and then is found murdered. My previous novels
are based on actual incidents, but this one was much more
Most of the characters appear to have their own set of problems.
Joy wants to be part of the in-crowd and has turned into someone
mean and nasty, compromising her own values. Her mother, Suzanne,
is an elitist who had an affair to reconnect with her artistic
self. Allison, the daughter of Doug, is a daddy’s girl
who makes her husband feel inferior to her father. Each is
affected by their decisions, which have huge consequences.
This novel strings together small town secrets leading readers
to the conclusion of the plot where the truth behind Joy’s
killer is revealed. It is a study of how humans react under