If you tell

If you tell

If you tell is a horrifying but fascinating true story of the Knotek family. Perfect for the fans of true-crime fiction. I refrain from rating it because of the difficult subject of the book.

Shelly Knotek lived with her husband Dave and their daughters Nikki and Sami in Raymond, Washington. When she was about to give birth to her third child, Tori, she invited her friend Kathy to live with them. On the outside, the Knotek house seemed perfect, but behind closed doors, it was a place of manipulation, abuse, both mental and physical and mental, and murder. 

Shelly was narcissistic, manipulative and cruel. Her family, and especially Nikki, Kathy and Shelly’s nephew Shane struggled with her moods, pointless punishments and plain abuse. The shared suffering created a powerful bond between the Knotek sisters that allowed them to face the truth about their mother and the consequences of her behaviour.

The story in If you tell is disturbing. I cannot say that I enjoyed reading and listening (audiobook) about the hell Shelly forced her family to live through. It is not a light read but a true story of an American psychopath. Still, I finished it in no time. Olsen’s writing, although repetitive at times, made the story fascinating. I had to find out how this story ended. I had to know what happened to Shelly. Most of all, I had to know if Nikki, Sami and Tori were safe and sound.

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