The Devil You Know
by P. J. Tracy
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Pub Date 17 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2023
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books
Darkness is nothing new to LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, but in P.J. Tracy’s The Devil You Know, even she isn’t prepared for the scandalous deception of deadly proportions that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood and its untouchables…and leaves her entangled in its rotten core.
Los Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarefied world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into this insular realm of privilege, and gives her a glimpse of the decay behind the glitter.
Beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his luminary friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, Hobbes’s agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned.
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Average rating from 325 members
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from St. Martin’s Press and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
Perfectly balanced, well-paced and a strong plot.
This book, The Devil You Know, continues the series with Maggie Nolan, Detective in Los Angeles, and Sam, the PTSD former soldier, he's not in this book much, this time. But Maggie has a case, or two, or three, that all seem linked and affect Hollywood greatly. One of their adored actors died in an earthquake, but was he alive or dead before that happened? Murder or accident? Maggie has to find out, then more bodies appear. Very good book, love the characters and highly recommend this book.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the copy of The Devil You Know. This is the third book I have read in the Nolan series. I love the writing style, but Nolan is not really an interesting character to me so the book was difficult to get into. If you enjoy stories of Hollywood and stars you will probably enjoy this book because the story was well thought out. I’m sorry it just wasn’t for me.
Still writing as PJ Tracy, the Maggie Nolan series is written entirely by Traci Lambrecht and is a worthy companion to the co-authored Monkeewrench series. This third book is mainly Maggie's story as Sam only makes a couple of cameos, but his absence doesn't diminish the book (and based on the ending, it's possible that he will have a bigger role in future installments). A good read that spans police procedural and Hollywood satire. If you like the Monkeewrench novels, you must pick up this!
Thanks to St Martin's Press for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read The Devil You Know, the third book in the Nolan series. Very enjoyable read, and recommended.
My first time reading this book from P.J. Tracy. I usually like Mystery & thrillers so this story is perfect for that. Kept me suspense and thrilling actions throughout the end. It was slow paced and well written. I'd recommend it for those who loves Mystery and suspense in Hollywood.
Enjoy this series so much. Maggie Nolan and her comrades are interesting and buried under so much human deceit and violence. Behind the veil of entertainment evil prevails. This is an excellent addition to the series. I hope that there is some redemptive happiness for these troubled individuals in future books.
The Devil You Know is the third book in the Detective Margaret Nolan series by P.J. Tracy. I have not read the first two books in this series and I do not think that it is necessary. That being said, I am intrigued enough with the characters to go back and read the first 2. I would suggest you read these first as you would get some of the backstory that I was missing. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book.
Maggie Nolan is a detective for the LAPD. She is used to all its residents from the rich and powerful to the destitute and homeless. In this particular case, they delve into the life of the movie stars, but it is not all glitter and gold. It is a world of drugs, alcohol, psychotic bosses, cheating spouses, deranged ex-girlfriends, and pedophiles.
After a large, lavish party, a popular actor is found dead.
Hundreds of people attended the party, giving her lots of suspects, but where to begin. Who is telling the truth, and who is a great actor.
P.J. Tracy is a talented mother/daughter team of story tellers. The characters are well developed and have interesting story-lines. This is a fast-paced novel with many twists and turns. I highly recommend it.
Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley
One day after a deepfake video destroys the career of a beloved actor, his body is discovered in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide following an earthquake. Was Evan Hobbes’s death an accident? Suicide? Murder?
Who was responsible for the fake video? Was it a factor in Evan’s death?
As Detective Margaret Nolan and her partner, Al Crawford, delve into the mystery of the actor’s death, they find the glitz and glamor of Hollywood tarnished by rudeness, vile acts, reprehensible actions, and outlandish behavior. With hundreds of people having attended the party at which Hobbes met his death, there is no shortage of suspects.
A second death, that of a studio executive for whom Hobbes had worked, raises even more questions for the detectives and soon it becomes a race to find the killer before there is another victim.
Although this is the third book in the Detective Margaret Nolan series, it works well as a standalone.
Well-drawn characters, a strong sense of place, and a twisty plot keep the pages turning in this compelling tale. Short chapters keep the action moving at a brisk pace. A separate story thread, running through each of the books in this series, deals with PTSD and grief at the loss of a family member and gives the characters added depth and believability.
Lingering questions and unexpected events keep readers the unfolding story provides readers with intriguing character insights.
Surprising revelations and plot twists lead to a denouement readers simply won’t see coming.
Thanks to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for the free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I did not realize that this was book #3 in a series for LAPD Homicide Detective Margaret Nolan when I read this, and I don't think you have to read the prior books to understand what is going on but it may help.
In this case, Margaret Nolan, aka Maggie and her partner are investigating the death of Evan Hobbes, a famous Disney star, who has just been the victim of a "deep fake" where he is accused of possessing child pornogrophy. It is discovered that Evan's claims of innocence in the child pornography but its too late. Was Evan murdered or was it really a suicide? Next, a Disney exec that closely worked with Evan is murdered. Now Maggie and her partner are off to investigate who killed Evan and why.
My only complaint with this book is the lack of character development and extra characters thrown in that do not add to the story. Granted this is set in LA in the "Hollywood" film industry but there seems to be myriad of interconnected characters who are cheating, sleezy, greedy agents and possible murderers who are loudly in the background adding no value. Maybe I would feel differently about this is I had read the 2 prior books but I am not convinced of that.
This is a fun quick read that I do recommend. 3.5 stars rounded up!
Overall this was a good book with an interesting, twisty plot. It's the third in a series (which I haven't read) and there were obvious references to the previous books, but it also worked well as a stand alone.
One thing about the book that bothered me was that Sam and Melody were characters from the other books who didn't really belong in this one. Their story line had nothing to do with this book.
Also, at times I felt like I was reading a thesaurus, or needed one. There were flowery word choices throughout that seemed stilted. Words that average people don't use in conversation.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Devil You Know is a ride through the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. It then takes you to the dark deep secrets and evil that resides below the surface.
An actor, Evan Hobbes, is found dead in mudslide, the day after a tape was released showing him molesting a child. He swears it is doctored and untrue. So is his death an accident or a murder? LAPD detective Margaret Nolan is assigned the case. With glamorous folks living with the height of privilege it is very hard to follow the threads.
The Hobbes' agent - a man who enjoys this own level of privilege becomes involved after dealing with some nasty folks that were involved in the actor's life. He ends up joining forces with Nolan to solve this mystery.
There is a subplot when Sam, a friend of Nolan's, receives an old letter that leads him to do some sleuthing.
The characters are fun - some so slimy they are true slugs. The integrity of Nolan, the story of her friend, the writing that is so engaging - all make for a terrific read.
A mystery full of scandal and Hollywood glamour confronts Detective Margaret Nolan in her third outing.
The career of Ethan Hobbes, former teen heartthrob and popular actor, is on the verge of destruction. A salacious video of Ethan with an underaged sex partner has been released, and the public is outraged. He swears its a deepfake, and while people like his agent Seth believe him, others don’t….including Seth’s boss, who wants Ethan cut loose immediately. The situation is resolved when, the morning after an A-list party at the home of a Disney head, Ethan’s body is discover amidst the rubble of a rockslide in Malibu. As Detective Nolan begins the investigation, it seems like it might have been a drunken misadventure….but then another body turns up. And another. All are from the highest levels of Hollywood influence, and so are the suspects. When you are investigating people who have risen to the top of the world of make-believe, it is almost impossible to know who can be believed. Nolan is going to need all the help she can get to find out who is behind this string of murders, and to prevent the body count from climbing.
From an author best know for the Monkeewrench series, this is a well-crafted mystery full of plot turns and a fascinating web of characters. You don’t need to have read the first two installments in the series in order to enjoy this one (I hadn’t, though I intend to rectify that). There are several characters who play a supporting role here that were introduced in the earlier works, but not knowing their full backstory doesn’t impede the reading of this one. P J Tracy has always presented well-developed characters and chronicled their relationships within the context of each novel, and the same is true here. I recommend The Devil You Know not just to fans of the Monkeewrench and Nolan series, but to lovers of a well-plotted whodunnit full of complex characters and to those fascinated by the lives and woes of the rich and famous. Many thanks to Sara Beth Haring of St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for letting me get a sneak peak at The Devil You Know
This is the third novel in the Detective Margaret Nolan series. A bizarre accident or murder takes place and Detective Nolan and her partner have to determine if this was an accident or a murder or possibly even a suicide. Many suspects, minimal evidence.
This case is tied in with a double murder case in another city and so they are sharing information as yet another murder takes place and all the parties are tied together.
I enjoyed the investigation and was a little surprised at who was involved. There was a side story with Sam and Melody who were in the previous books, but it was so separate they could have easily not been there. I was also stuck with wondering about a police officer who kept and then later turned in a diamond earring found at a crime scene. No idea why that was included. Maybe all these things will tie up in another story.
I have read all P.J. Tracy books and I am glad they are still coming out.
Thank you Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this early read!
Excellent mystery. You won’t figure out who did it and why until the end of the book. My kind of murder mystery. Lots of good guys and bad guys in this one Hope the series continues b
The writing is wonderful - Tracy really knows how to flesh out a scene and make it real enough to taste. The characters are very well drawn, as well. This wasn't my favorite in her series; it just never grabbed me. Still, any PJ Tracy is a good read.
This one has several related murders: a questionable 'fall' (or was it just a fall in the fog?) and two more victims, both with gun wounds, and clearly homicide. She manages to flip back and forth among the cases, the people involved, and some personal issues as well.
All in all, I love her writing and will follow her anywhere.
I received a complimentary copy of The Devil You Know by P.J Tracy in exchange for my honest review.
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, aka Maggie, is investigating the case of a body found in the rubble the day after a huge A-list party, in the aftermath of an earthquake in Malibu. The body is that of an up and coming, heart throb, actor Evan Hobbes. The day before his death, a career crippling, salacious, video was released showing Evan involved in sexual activity with a minor. Evan insisted it was a "deep fake" video, that it was a complete fabrication, but the public is outraged. Was Evans death an accident? Suicide? Murder? Shortly after Evans death, his boss is found dead, then another body is found. Can Maggie figure out what is really going on before the body count rises even higher?
The ugly side of Hollywood is brought to light, the greed, privilege, deceit, and complete lack of moral consciousness is just the beginning of what Maggie has to wade through as she searches for answers.
I did enjoy this book, and would recommend it, however, the author used so many words to describe situations that the general public just simply does not use. I found the writing style to be cumbersome and wordy.
The Devil You Know by P J Tracy is the third book in the Maggie Nolan series. I have read all of them and this one was particularly good. This book written entirely by Traci, part of the mother/daughter team... I really loved their Monkeywrench series. After her mother passed away Traci continued to write. This one I can tell she has hit her stride. The writing was smooth and the twisting story believable. I thought I knew who did what but then…. There is another character Sam but is not featured much in this story. But reading the end I am sure he will feature prominently in the next book.
I recommend this book highly. I did enjoy the first two – which will help my enjoyment of this one
I love a good mystery/thriller and this one didn’t disappoint. The characters were interesting and connect with the reader. The story was exciting kept you interested. It was a great read, I highly recommend it.
Evan Hobbes, beloved Disney actor, has been caught in an Internet scandal with a deep fake, purporting to show him in a sexual encounter with a child. His agent, Seth Lehman, is dealing with it, along with his psychotic boss and a woman he scorned weeks ago. Hobbes ends up dead at the foot of a cliff slide along the Malibu shore; he was attending a party and fell (or was he helped over the edge?). Lehman's sister, Essie Baum, was the hostess at the party. She is dealing with a cheating husband, and her own kleptomania. Daphna Love, Lehman's new girlfriend, is trying to recover from being abused as a young Disney star. Bodies begin to pile up and Margaret Nolan and her partner, Al Crawford, investigate. Maggie and her friend, Sam Easton, are both damaged goods, but they help each other survive. Third in Tracy's new series, which is getting better with each book.
Detective Nolan and her partner are sent to a crime scene of Hollywood’s beloved actor Evan Hobbes. They have to determine if Hobbes died by accident, suicide or murder., I had a hard time following this book it seemed disjointed, too many characters introduced with out a backstory. Just not my favorite book of this Author’s. Looking forward to another book in the Monkeewrench series.
Maggie Nolan and her partner, LAPD Homicide Detectives, are called in when the remains of a prestigious Hollywood star are found in a landslide in Malibu. Their investigation takes them to the heights of Hollywood and to the depths of depravity. The story is told through many voices and sometimes felt convoluted to me but always kept me involved as a reader. Thanks to Net Galley and Minotaur Books for an ARC for an honest review.
The Devil You Know by P. J. Tracy is book 3 in the Detective Margaret Nolan Series.
Talk about being a compelling story.
I already jumped on my Kindle Store to save book one and two.
TDYK was enthralling and exciting. Tracy does an exquisite job of keeping the reader engaged and wanting more.
I personally thought it was uch a great read with real characters. The story keeps you glued to the pages. With many twists and turns. Plenty of action and tension to keep you wanting to find out what happens. The characters are well crafted and engaging.
I thought Nolan was a well rounded Detective who held my attention and she had hooked throughout.
I did absolutely nothing today other than read to finish this book.
Crime novels are one of my most favorites and IMO this author created an interesting story here.
A superbly crafted crime procedural and mystery.
I hate starting a series without reading the ones before.
So I'm most definitely buying one and two now because I need to know more about these characters.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!
Great mystery! This author has a flowery style of writing that accentuates every thought and every event. Every action has a deep meaning to it and yet I was still surprised at the end. I'm going to have to visit some of these scenic spots!
Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of The Devil You know.
This was my first book in the Nolan series so I might have been missing something there.
It was well written, but the main character was not someone I could identify with nor someone I could root for. There was just too much darkness in the plot for me, but I’m sure it will appeal to many others.
Best wishes to the author in her new career-life as a “single” author as her literary partner and mother has died.
"The Devil You Know" was a good book. The reader will benefit from having read the earlier books in the Detective Margaret Nolan Series. The author introduces a whole bunch of characters very quickly and it is obvious there are connections and past history among numerous characters, but it is somewhat difficult to keep everyone straight and figure out how everyone is connected. The story revolves around the deaths of an actor (Evan Hobbes) with a wholesome image who may not be so wholesome (a video has surfaced that is either a great deepfake or reveals Evan to be preying on young girls) and a movie executive (David Baum) who also has significant skeletons in his closet. There are multiple plausible suspects in Evan's demise, and these individuals are obnoxious and loathsome. There are also convoluted connections among numerous characters that are fitting for a Hollywood drama. The story has plenty of surprising twists, especially the killer(s).
I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
I received this book as an ARC. The beginning was a little slow, but that may be due to it being third in the series and I have read the others. I liked the characters. A few chapters in I was hooked and wanted to continue reading even when I should have been sleeping. Very engaging. The ending was a little abrupt and it seemed like it could have been more developed. I’m not sure if that is due to this being a series or not. I would definitely recommend this to a friend.
This is the third novel in this mystery/crime series. I loved the fact that the lead character is a strong female detective. Margaret Nolan has the murder of a famous actor to solve and unfortunately the body count grows. The novel had a lot of characters and at times I did have some trouble following who was who. However I think this was due to the fact that I had not read the first two books in the series. I did enjoy this novel especially the ending so I definitely want to go back and read the previous two.
This novel is set in LA and it was an interesting look into the world of the rich and famous. The mystery will keep you guessing and I definitely did not see that ending coming. I recommend this novel for anyone who likes mystery or crime novels.
Thank you to Minotaur Books and St. Martin's Press for this advanced copy.
The Devil You Know is a series of convoluted murder mysteries. The characters: police, suspects, victims and all are flawed humans. PJ Tracy does write well, and she does love adjectives. The novel reads like a Jackie Collins story, and considering her success, that isn’t a bad thing.
The Devil You Know is an intricately woven mystery with a series of murders that conveniently appear just as the detectives collect enough evidence for an intriguing case for the prior murder making everything more complicated. As the twists and turns progress, P. J. Tracy keeps the suspense building until the ultimate surprise at the finale. Great book.
While I enjoyed the overall premise and mystery, I felt like something was missing…maybe it’s that I haven’t read the previous books or the other series that this is connected to. But I enjoyed the book so much that I will be reading the others so that I am caught up and fill any voids I seem to have missed.
That said, it was a good mystery and I really like Maggie. Strong female protagonists are always a wonderful thing! Fast paced and full of page turning script.
I really enjoyed this book. I received an opportunity to receive an ARC of this book for an honest review. My opinion of this book was in no way influenced by that. I believe that this is the first book that I have read by this author. This book just goes to show that you never really know what is going on in someone’s life, even if they are Hollywood stars or agents. Did not expect the end of the book to be what it was, but you never know. Would recommend this book.
This book just kept getting better and better as I got deeper into this book. I found myself reading faster so I could find out whodunnit. Such great characters that kept me guessing .
A clever, gripping thriller with lots of twists and a fun detective to root for. Maggie Nolan is a detective for the LAPD who’s used to working cases for not only the rich and glitzy actors, but the homeless and destitute. When the body of a popular actor is found dead after an earthquake, she needs to find out if he was alive or dead before But then, more bodies start appearing. Wonderfully twisty and fast-paced.
I’m a huge PJ Tracy fan and was super excited to get an ARC of her newest release from NetGalley.
In this third volume of the Maggie Nolan series, I feel the characters starting to be well-fleshed out. The tone and feel of this series is edgier than the Monkeewrench series, and I can sense Tracy finding her individual style after writing so many books in partnership with her mother. I like the reinvention a lot.
This series is set in the LA region and adds a fresh spin to other series set there. If you’ve been a fan of Jonathan Kellerman, for example, I think you’ll enjoy delving into Maggie Nolan’s world. Mystery fans who love the backstories as much as the mystery will also find this series fun to follow. I’m now seriously attached to each character’s well being and will snarf up every volume to come.
Do not read this book out of sequence with the prior two; they are meant to be read in order and the personal stories will fall flat if you haven’t become acquainted with each character’s personal struggles. There are also unavoidable spoilers that would ruin the reading experience of the first two books.
As a mystery, this volume works well. It’s a more traditional police procedural, well plotted, with good twists and turns. I figured out the ending a bit a head of time, but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment.
If you are already a fan of this series, I predict you will enjoy this addition. If you haven’t started the Nolan series yet, go back to the first and be excited that you have three books to binge through. Now I have to wait a year or so for the next update. Boo hoo.
This is the third in the Detective Margaret Nolan series and my first in the series. I enjoyed the mystery novel and if this is your genre I believe you'd enjoy it. I have to like the main character and Margaret is a strong likeable female detective. An actor is found dead on the rocks after having his career ruined by a fake video. Margaret has to decide if it is an accident, suicide or murder.....I enjoyed it enough that I plan on reading the first two books, I wasn't 'lost' but if you haven't read the first two, read them, I plan to. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur books for the ARC....and especially thank you to P.J. Tracy.
This is number 3 in the Detective Maggie Nolan series and my first to read, and even though I picked it up fairly quickly, I do feel like I would have gained insight into the characters/history by starting at the beginning.
Maggie and her partner Al look into not one but FOUR murders within three days of the rich and powerful in the entertainment business in LA. Are they related? And if so, are there accomplices? Is there just one motive for all four deaths or multiple ones?
There are sordid secrets/misdeeds, backstabbing and surprises here. My only distraction was switching back and forth between multiple characters (mains and second-tier) with most chapters…it was a bit disorienting and interrupted the flow at times. Otherwise, it was absorbing and humorous too, and I enjoyed the read enough that I’d like to go back to the beginning of the series.
My thanks to the author, NetGalley and Minotaur Books for providing the free early arc of The Devil You Know for review. The opinions are strictly my own.
Having not read the previous books, some of the characters seemed superfluous without any added value to the plot. It was a bit slow going in the beginning because of all the characters, and trying to figure out if they were critical to the plot or not.
There were a couple sentences that were missing a word but otherwise the book kept me engaged enough to read it in one sitting. The outcome was a surprise to me.
I would continue to read the series just to see the personal development of the main character.
Another complete winner by one of my favorite author duos....
Smart, complex, and layered, this is a great story with intriguing and well-written characters.
This is 3rd in the Nolan series but can 100% stand alone.
Thank you to the publisher for gifting e a copy. It is my pleasure to write an honest review.
Quite complex mystery, story line was somewhat contrived. It was a pleasure to read, a light read, for the 'read in bed' group. it was interesting, but didn't keep me awake.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review a pre-publication copy of <i>The Devil You Know</i> by P.J. Tracy. This is the third book in the Detective Nolan series. I had not read the previous two. Even so, it worked well as a stand-alone mystery. The characters were well developed and relatable despite the Hollywood setting.
The mystery begins as a well-loved actor is found dead in a landslide. Was it an accident, or was he murdered before ending up in the rubble? It is up to Detective Margaret Nolan to discover what happened. Her investigation becomes more involved as more and more bodies show up.
This was an enjoyable read. I recommend it to mystery lovers in general and to readers of Hollywood noir in particular.
law-enforcement, veterans, PTSD, murder-investigation, crime-fiction, thriller, noir, family-dynamics, friendship, triggers, procedural, suspense, toxic-people, multiple-murder, psychological, lies, LAPD ****
A dive into the harsh realities of those traumatized by extraordinary circumstances. A gritty story with emotionally fragile, often suicidal protagonists working The Job one day at a time. One at a time, no less than four loosely connected deaths come under the LAPD scrutiny of Detective Margaret Nolan. The investigations are messy, as only Hollywood can make things messy. I good but exhausting read.
I requested and received an EARC from St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you.
When the perfectly polished veneer of fame and fortune is stripped away, what remains often fall tragically short of glamour. Author P.J. Tracy explores Hollywood’s decadence and excess as the backdrop of a series of murders stemming from the worst of human nature as Detective Maggie Nolan returns in this third installment as the hard as nails Los Angeles homicide detective in the suspense thriller “The Devil You Know.”
Battlelines are drawn and loyalties are tested when a salacious video of a Disney superstar with an underage actor hits the internet. Swearing he’s the victim of a deepfake as the public, the industry, and even his agency questions his innocence, Evan Hobbes is found murdered outside of a party of Hollywood elites. Rich and powerful suspects abound, but clues are few and far between. Within days, three additional murders are tentatively linked to the Hobbes murder and Detective Maggie Nolan and her partner must wade through the dregs of humanity disguised by fame and fortune to find justice for a man who may have gotten exactly what he deserved. All the wealth and fame in the world aren’t enough to hide the truth that monsters roam among us in “The Devil You Know.”
P.J. Tracy created a wonderfully dynamic and engaging cast of characters with 2021’s “Deep into the Dark” and 2022’s “Desolation Canyon.” The characters return once again, and the characterization of the protagonists remains one of the strongest elements of the novel. Detective Margaret Nolan and her partner Detective Al Crawford return as LA homicide detectives balancing intense investigations with empathy and relationships that feels genuine and thoroughly developed. Both detectives clearly care about the work they do and are a far cry from the cynical, burned-out detectives that often populate the genre. Sadly, two of the series most engaging characters, Sam Easton and Melody Traeger, are largely under-utilized in this installment. While they make appearances and contributions to the plot, their character evolutions seem to largely lay the groundwork for a future installment featuring both characters. Detective Jenny Wyler of the Santa Barbara PD is also likeable and a dedicated detective but adds little to the plot. The standout characters remain Maggie Nolan and Al Crawford with the remaining cast serving as little more than accent pieces to service minor subplots.
A distinctly mysterious tone rings throughout the narrative as the plot gets increasing more complex with each chapter. New victims, suspects, and investigations arise throughout the narrative and add to the intrigue inherent to the subject matter. Evocative descriptions of characters and settings support the mysterious tone throughout by adding texture and nuance to a very complicated string of investigations.
The themes of technology and the darker side of fame are explored in great depth. Technology from a social media standpoint and the contemporary advent of “deepfakes” serve as anchors for the plot. The unfortunate global trend of the vast majority of society living their lives fully immersed in electronic devices result in a phenomenon where everyone feels as though they truly know the personalities they “follow” on social media. By providing the entire world a vantage point into our lives, even if that vantage point is wholly manufactured and manipulative, a deeper sense of familiarity is resulting in unrealistic expectations, both elevated and diminished, of those we allow into our spheres of influence. As an extension of the pseudo-intimacy garnered through social media, an obsession with fame has grown uncontrollably over the past several decades. Through social media and entertainment outlets, the lives of the rich and famous are on full display to the world, and not always for the right reasons. These windows into the lives of the rich and famous, once again result in expectations that are in no way commensurate with reality. P.J. Tracy does an amazing job of exploring these deeply relevant themes from the perspective of a homicide detective and the victims and suspects involved in her investigation.
As with previous entries in the Nolan series, there are troublesome story elements that prevent a fully immersive reading experience. Several murder investigations are being led by different investigators and the result is a somewhat muddled composition as a whole. While each investigation has tangential connections to the others, a sense of narrative cohesion is never achieved, and certain lines of investigation are never fully resolved. The inherent covenant between writer and reader is somewhat neglected as certain plot points remain unresolved and a level of satisfaction that might have otherwise resulted is never fully realized.
The story is told from several 3rd person POV characters, and similar to previous entries the head-hopping effect felt early in the story results in a jarring narrative flow. While most of the POV characters are lead protagonists, some are very minor characters whose perspective lends little more than confusion in the sense that certain characters feel more important that they truly are. The narrative eventually gains enough traction to support the literary weight of multiple POV characters and the intrigue created through the many POV characters adds to the mysterious tone of the narrative.
As a fan of earlier entries in the Nolan series, I am once again a fan of the 3rd entry. The plot in engaging and the characters are compelling. While there are weak points that I feel burden the overall enjoyment of the story, I am hopeful that certain unanswered questions and underutilization of important characters will be resolved in future installments. Fans of the series will enjoy this newest entry, and fans of character-driven suspense thrillers will thoroughly enjoy P.J. Tracy’s latest entry “The Devil You Know.”.
I really liked this novel, despite not being a big fan of police procedurals. I used to read P. J. Tracy all the time when P. J. And Tracy Lambrecht, the mother daughter author team wrote about the Monkeewrench Gang, an operation of computer geeks in Minneapolis that used their talents to solve crimes. After P. J. died, Tracy changed the setting and style and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to like the new series. I chose to read an ARC of this, the third Detective Margaret Nolan offering, based solely on my good experience with the Monkeewrench series.
I read The Devil You Know in essentially one week (fast, for me) while on vacation. I was cruising from San Diego to San Francisco. Santa Barbara, one of our stops, was also one of the settings of the book. The context of the book is basically a look at Hollywood insiders and the strange things that keep them together and apart.
It might have been helpful to have read the first two offerings in this series, but it certainly was not a necessity. The characters are well developed. But I think I will go back and read volumes one and two based on my positive reaction to this one. To that end, I have already backed up and purchased the first of the series.
It seems to me that there is a lot of room for this series to go on at least as long as Monkeewrench did. Margaret (Maggie) Nolan and her partner Al are smart and dedicated L. A. cops. There are lots of other ancillary characters, including a vet with PTSD, an F.B.I. computer geek named Darcy, and a singer with a need for a fresh start.
I haven’t told you much about the plot, but needless to say, murders abound. Deepfakes and the Dark Net raise their ugly heads. But there is also tenderness and reunion at some points. I’m looking forward to learning more about the mysterious Remy, Nolan’s love interest. In fact, I’m rather glad that P. J. Tracy is back on my radar screen.
I received a complimentary electronic copy of this Detective Margaret Nolan, #3 of the series, from Netgalley, the author P. J. Tracy, and at the invitation of publisher Minotaur Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read The Devil You Know of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am happy to recommend P. J. Tracy to friends and family. She writes an excellent police procedural and paints exceptional mental pictures with her prose.
I am so pleased to have found Ms. Tracy. Our story flows occasionally back to 1864 in Lancaster, Pa. for the Easton family history, but for the most part, we are in the present day in Southern California. Los Angeles Homicide Detective Margaret Nolan and her partner Al Crawford battle their way through L.A. traffic and up and down to coastal towns via Pacific Coast Highway. When Malibu calls them in to investigate the death of Hollywood heart-throb Evan Hobbes, whose body was found on a section of a cliff face that separated and fell down onto State Highway 1 (PCH) during the earthquake. Traffic is backed up on the one-lane highway for miles in both directions. they aren't sure if the Malibu local police didn't want to handle such a high-profile case or just didn't want to crawl down the 200-foot unsteady cliff face to investigate and retrieve the body. If it was murder, there are a lot of potential suspects - the actor had recently been outed on social media with an accompanying film as a purveyor of kiddie porn and sexual abuse. Rumor has it the film is a deepfake though that has not yet been explored. Or it's possible he was just in the wrong place, the wrong time. There had been a party at the top of the cliff the night of the earthquake, and the victim smelled strongly of alcohol. But before the coroner can determine whether Hobbes's death was a homicide, suicide, or accident, more bodies are found.
The Devil You know by PJ Tracy tells the story of LAPD Detective Maggie Nolan. An accident, suicide, or murder of a well known star occurs in the area. This is the first time I have read this author. I’m guessing there is a history with the characters from prior novels. It was a bit difficult to follow the characters and story line. It did come together and the main plot was really good. It kept me reading. I would recommend this novel. Thank you to NetGalley for letting me review this book.
This books was really full of twists and turns that I often didn’t see coming. The characters were broken into two categories: the law enforcement, who were easy to like and hope for, and the rich and famous, who had seemingly no good qualities. But, the author wove them together with skill and made the story interesting. This was a quick but fun read.
Detective Margaret Nolan is sent to investigate a body found after an earthquake. This leads her uphill to a magnificent home where a large party ran into the wee hours. The body belongs to an actor who attended that party. Wading into the cesspool of lies and pretense of Hollywood's elite, Nolan and Detective Crawford find connections to the wealthy and privileged in LA, Hollywood, and Santa Barbara whose lives intersect and intertwine in shocking ways.
A lively, fast-paced police procedural, this story is told in bite-size chapters with a large cast. In truth, I had to jot a few notes to keep track. Crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions kept the story roaring along.
This book is part of the Detective Margaret Nolan Series. Since it is my first look at the series, I can say this book can be read as a standalone.
Thank you, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy. The release date for this book is January 17, 2023.
This is a great mystery about a murder very well camouflaged during a natural disaster. The first step is determining that the death is not an accident, From there, the investigation explodes to every area of Evan's (the victim) life. He is under a dark cloud for purported activity despite being well liked until the rumors started. He and his agent are surrounded by people that are manipulative and self-serving, some downright mean. When his agent Seth is also murdered, the suspect list expands to include almost everyone around them. Nolan is an excellent detective, and aligns the clues to reach a surprising ending! A wonderful whodunit!
This is a well-written, fast paced, entertaining, crime thriller. It has a likable, intelligent, strong and capable female protagonist, murder, mystery, intrigue, wit, Hollywood scandal, twists and turns, and a satisfying conclusion. This is the third entry in P.J. Tracy's Detective Margaret Nolan series, and can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone. The author's note is interesting, insightful, and truly appreciated. P.J. Tracy, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley kindly provided me with an ARC of this novel, and this is my honest opinion.
The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy
I received this book from Minotaur and NetGalley in exchange for a review.
It’s kind of funny that as I was reading this one, I was thinking I was gobbling it up. I didn’t even think about it being the week of Thanksgiving until I was writing this review. But I did gobble up this story. I read it in part of one day in two sittings. Probably would have read it in one sitting but I had to head to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.
This is clearly the third or fourth book in a series. I have not read any of the others, but that did not take away from my enjoyment at all. There’s enough back story woven in to make it so it’s not necessary to have read the others. I will go back now and catch myself up but not because I need to in order to follow this plot. Only because I did enjoy this one so much that I’d like to read the others.
The story here is very Hollywood heavy and having been to Los Angeles, I enjoyed the way the author made the city a big part of the story. Even including Pink’s hot dog joint on La Brea.
The characters are well written and fully fleshed out. No one seemed one dimensional at all and that takes real talent and care. Especially with the large cast of characters in this story. All of the characters had distinct personalities and quirks.
I did figure out the whodunnits pretty swiftly, but that didn’t take away from the fact that I was scrolling through the pages eating up the dialogue and action.
The pace was well done and the author’s use of language was smart and refreshing. So many times, crime stories are not done with sophisticated language and nuance. This was different and I quite enjoyed it.
The main protagonist is a female detective and she was likable and relatable. Her relationship with her partner was amusing and they worked well together. I was happy to see the author gave both of them insight and that she allowed them to solve the case together with each giving ideas and building off what the other thought. So many times in these stories, the lead character is always the smartest person in the room and never asks for help nor bounces ideas off others. The way these two were written seems much more realistic. I enjoyed the relationship between them.
I don’t often give five stars—four is pretty much as high as I go even when I enjoy a story, but since I got so wrapped up in this one, I’m giving it a five.
LAPD homicide detective Margaret Nolan’s third outing finds entangled in in the messy public and private lives of the Hollywood elite. When an earthquake brings down part of a cliff, it also reveals a body. It is not immediately clear whether accident or murder, but actor Evan Hobbes is dead a day after a deep fake video ruined his career. Maggie and her partner have to wade through powerful agents, producers and actors who all have a stake in Hobbes career. Tracy provides plenty of bodies and possible motives that kept me reading and guessing possibilities to the end. I enjoyed the insights into Maggie’s personal life, that while necessarily brief, kept her character growing. Sam, who also featured in the previous books, is peripheral to the plot. Tracy synergistically weaves hot topics such as Me Too, deep fakes and PTSD into the storyline. Recommended.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.
So this was my first read by PJ Tracy. It is the third in the series, I didn't read the other two, but still enjoyed this book. So Disney actor, Evan, is “filmed” in a career ending, video and it goes viral, but it would appear that it’s a fake. Then before anything can be done, his dead body is found in a landslide. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and her partner are on the case. The more people interviewed, the more questions surface. Evidence is hard to be found and clues have them questioning the same group of people. The FBI cybercrimes finally gets involved & the rest I will leave for you to read and find out! Thank you to NetGalley for the digital advance reader copy of “The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy and to St. Martin’s Press. These are all my own honest personal thoughts and opinions given voluntarily without compensation.
Third in the Detective Margaret Nolan series
When the body of Disney star Evan Hobbes is discovered in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, Detective Maggie Nolan and her partner are called in to investigate. Is his death related to a deep fake video circulating revealing him to be a pedophile? As the guests at a party that Evan was last seen at are questioned, the ties between various guests raise more questions, especially when two more bodies are found. Will Maggie uncover the killer before someone else dies? A story with twists and an unexpected conclusion.
I was excited to get a copy of #TheDevilYouKnow by P.J. Tracy from #NetGalley .
The book and its multiple murder mystery set in the superficial world of Hollywood is incredibly complex, with compelling characters who, because of their background, could very well not be who they seem to be.
Within the pages are sometimes profound insights on social issues such as PTSD, and on the toll some cases can take on those who solve them. The book is well-written and the mystery one that carries you, intrigued, to the ultimate conclusion.
This was the first time I'd read a book in this series and it stands well on its own. One problem I did have was the authors' tendency to use complicated and sometimes rare words throughout the book when a simpler word would do. Each time it takes the reader out of the book, trying to decide whether to look up the word, guess as to its meaning through the use of context, or ignore it entirely. Whatever decision, the reader is still slammed out of the book and the enjoyment of reading.
Some instances include the use of the word 'colloquies' instead of the simpler 'conversations', 'obviating' instead of 'removing', 'ersatz' instead of 'fake', 'gustatory' instead of 'tasty', 'susurration' instead of 'whispering', and the list goes on.
It's as though the writers are trying to seem brilliant through the use of a thesaurus, when the storyline itself speaks to their brilliance. And instead of enhancing the book with bigger words, they are detracting from it instead.
All in all, however, it is an excellent, suspenseful, and intriguing book.
At first, the characters were a little confusing, but as the story wore on they became much clearer. Very good storyline! Since this is part of a series, I am eager to go back and read the first two as well.
The main character is likeable, yet flawed. And the main character is also a strong woman which is nice to see. The plot was well organized, and I did like the different points of view through the story.
I’m excited to read more by this author
As with any series, if you jump into the middle, the main characters have already been developed and some of the subtleties of their defining moments have been played out elsewhere. Nonetheless, the heroine's character seemed familiar enough that I felt almost as if I had read one or two of the previous novels.
The first several chapters are a series of sketches in minute detail; an excellent psychological study of people you wouldn't want to know. But there is positive character development on several of the main protagonists as well.
You may well figure this one out. I didn't quite, but was left satisfied with the ending, whether or not justice was adequately served.
Works as a stand-alone as I hadn't read the previous books I followed it well. There are a lot of characters and I did stop and kept a list so as to not get confused, but saying that all the characters are needed to flesh out the full story. Twists and turns are all over the pages and it is fairly fast action, I enjoyed the main character and her partner, they worked well together and off each other to solve the mystery presented to them, along with the rest that piled on as the book continued. Well written who done it with interesting tidbits thrown in. Look forward to catching up and following further stories in this series. I received this book from Minotaur and NetGalley in exchange for a review, thank you very much enjoyed it.
I received this complimentary book from the publisher and the reviews are strictly my own opinion.
It took a me a bit to get wholly involved with the characters with the first chapter kind of disappearing for several chapters. Once I got involved it was a hard book to put down. The storyline kept me guessing and wanting to know more. All the likely suspects that should get their due were in this story. Highly recommend this book and get your thinking caps on because it keeps you guessing.
The body of a famous Disney actor is found after a landslide due to some minor earthquake tremors. What first appears accidental or suicide quick becomes questionable. Detectives Nolan and Crawford are hard pressed to find answers. A murder in Santa Barbara of a main Disney boss is thrown into the mix along with a video released that was a deepfake but closer to home than anyone realized. Nolan and Crawford are working overtime to find the killer when another body of a main player is found. Who dunit and will they catch them?
The third in the detective Margaret Nolan series works best if you've read the series in order. Otherwise, there are too many relationships that might confuse the reader.
Tracy sets up a great premise here. A Disney actor is “filmed” in a compromising video, but it would appear that it’s a deep fake. Then before anything can really be done, his dead body is found in a landslide.
L.A. is as much a character as the humans in this story. The earthquakes, ocean vistas and high end real estate. There are also a host of characters, mostly mentally unstable. It’s not a flattering portrait of the Hollywood set. But it did make for an interesting whodunit. Nolan and Al have their work cut out for them, especially as the body count rises. There’s also a side story concerning Sam which has nothing to do with the mystery and appears to just be a method of keeping him as part of the story.
I adore Tracy’s use of the English language. “ “Steady, girls and boys, don’t drop my body!” Weil crowed to his corpse Sherpas like a Teutonic coxswain.” And that’s just an example of a vocabulary rich book.
There are lots of moving parts here which demand the reader pay attention. I was able to suss out the murderer early on, but there was a twist I didn’t see coming. It didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the story.
My thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
It has been said that Hollywood is not only a geographical place on the map of the world, but an idea and a frame of mind. The author’s success in this installment is that she perfectly conveys the idea and mindset of Hollywood. While I might not have liked the Hollywood characters, they were a true representation of this ‘unreal’ setting.
What I loved:
✔️LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan returns
✔️Shows us the many faces of the City of Angels
✔️Explores the scandals and deceptions of Hollywood
✔️Fast paced crime thriller/police procedural
✔️Refreshingly rich vocabulary for this genre
✔️Hooked for book 4
✔️Reveals more of her central characters backstories
What I struggled with:
🤔Swearing and sex
🤔Too many secondary characters and subplots bogged the story down
🤔Sam’s role was unclear as were the ‘way too long’ glimpses into the Hollywood scene
🤔Mystery too easy to solve
Although I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the previous two in the series, it won’t stop me from anticipating another great read in book 4!
I was gifted this copy by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
This is a very good series by a very talented writer. This compelling book, complete with Detective Maggie Nolan and Los Angeles glitz, can be read as a stand-alone. Recommended!
Hollywood at it’s darkest, trust no one. Mystery, fractured relationships, multiple murders and enough suspects to keep it interesting. I was a bit confused about a few of the characters in this book as they seemed to add little to the story. Now that I am aware that this is the third part of a detective series I understand that there must be more in depth character development in the first two novels. It works as a stand alone but I’m interested in reading the first two books in the series.
Fast-paced crime drama taking place in the entertainment industry. Who has it out for whom and why? I figured out the plot fairly fast but still a very interesting action packed read.
Thank you Netgalley for this arc
The Devil You Know
By P.J. Tracy
This is another murder mystery with plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on edge. It involves a female detective, Margaret Nolan; an "accidental LAPD asset", Sam Easton, who suffers from PTSD; a movie star, Daphna Love; Seth Lehman, an agent; and various others who love and hate each other alternatively. As people are murdered, it's up to Detective Nolan to figure out who is behind all the murders and why. Plenty of red herrings here!
This is a quick and entertaining read and will delight mystery lovers – especially the ending!
Los Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarefied world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into the realm of privilege when beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, Hobbes’s agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned.
This was a very good and well written book that seemed to capture the life of the privileged celebrities in Los Angeles. It describes the characters so well and the life these people live. It also reminds us that the wealthy are not always happy and have many problems to overcome. I did not realize that the book was #3 in a series and enjoyed it so much that I will be looking up the first two in the series to read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting my request to read this author that was new to me.
The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy is book 3 of the series, but the first book I read of it. I’ll admit, it took a minute to get into, but once I was hooked, I wasn’t putting it down. The vocabulary was a bit daunting at first, and the story jumped around from character to character in each chapter. The tale is put together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Each chapter containing bits of the story from the various characters points of view. Until finally, the pieces begin to fit together and illustrate a bizarre murder mystery. The characters are so real, the plot line, so compelling. Give it a minute to hook you and you will not be disappointed.
I haven't read any of the Nolan books before, and really enjoyed this book. Because this is part of a series, I can understand Sam's part in the book, but felt he didn't add much to the overall story. It also seemed that the ending was a bit obvious, however I think it is more common in police procedurals to have a limited choice of suspects and therefore be able to solve the crime quite easily. I read more mysteries so wasn't used to that. That said, it really didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book.
The Devil You Know by P. J. Tracy
Thriller - Available on January 17th.
The Devil You Know is book 3 in the Detective Margaret Nolan series. I read it as a stand-alone. The characters took me a while to get acquainted with since I had no knowledge of the history of the first two books. Soon after I started reading, it became an intriguing murder mystery with unexpected twists. This novel would make an excellent movie with such a diverse cast.
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan is called to investigate the death of well-known actor Evan Hobbes. He is found dead in the debris of a rock slide in Malibu the day after a hoax video was released to tarnish his reputation. There are three possibilities: an accident, a suicide, or a murder. Detective Nolan has to decide which one it is. The investigation expands to Evan's friends, family, and coworkers as police follow the baffling clues in the case.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to review this amazing thriller. I look forward to reading more from P. J. Tracy.
I'm always on the lookout for new authors so when St. Martin's Press offered an advance copy of The Devil You Know by P. J. Tracy, I read the synopsis and decided to give this new-to-me author a try. I'm glad I did.
Actor Evan Hobbs is the victim of a disturbing fake video and is trying to keep it from ruining his career just before his body is discovered in a rock slide on the Pacific Coast Highway. Was it an accident, suicide or murder? Detective Margaret Nolan and her partner Al Crawford quickly determine there was foul play involved and the suspect list widens the more they look into Hobbs's life. It appears he wasn't as clean-cut as his publicist and agent made him out to be. Then the body count begins to mount and Nolan and Crawford must determine if they are dealing with a serial killer.
This is a good look at the wealth and power surrounding the movie industry. It is also an excellent police procedural with an interesting story line. The pacing is fast and the characters believable. This is the third book in the series and although it can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the first two books in the series first. In fleshing out the background of the characters, too much of the plots of the prior books are revealed. There is also a character who apparently played a major role in the previous books but whose inclusion in this book is a bit puzzling. There are enough viable suspects to keep even the most dedicated thriller reader guessing. Overall, this is a very good read.
I really love a female lead detective and in LA there so much crazy going on.
Detective Margaret Nolan is investigating the murder of a actor involved in a scandal. This is a long book with lots of characters so you really have to pay close attention or you’ll get lost.
This daughter of the mother daughter team of PJ Tracy is doing an excellent job of keeping this name alive for all of us who have loved and enjoyed this author for many years.
I wasn't paying attention when I requested this book that it was part of a series, and I kind of wish I had read the ones leading up to this one. However, with that being said, it was still pretty darn good and I don't think I really missed anything not having read the others. I don't understand why a couple of the characters were in this story, but that is probably due to the aforementioned not paying attention that this was a series...but I digress. This was really good and police procedural thrillery and engaging and fast paced. I'd definitely read more of these!!
Book Title: The Devil You Know
Series: Detective. Margaret Nolan #3
Author: J.P. Tracy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press. Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Pub Date: January 17, 2023
My Rating: 3 Stars
P.J. Tracy is the pen name for the mother daughter team PJ and Traci Lambrecht. Unfortunately PJ died December 2016 but Traci continued to write the Monkeewrench series. I have not read any of those novels but on my TBR list.
I read "Deep into the Dark" as well as "Desolated Canyon" and liked both - so was pleased when I saw this the third in the series.
Maggie Nolan is a detective with LAPD. She has worked cases that involved LA’s rich and famous as well as those living on the streets. She has been called to a case where a body of popular actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of Malibu rocks after an earthquake. (Hobbes has recently been the victim of a fake video showing him as a child molester and was viewed on social media. He claims the fake video was produced by someone with a grudge against him.) Maggie needs to investigate as to whether this was a homicide, suicide, or was it an accident.
There is another storyline with Maggie’s friend, a disabled vet with PTSD, who finds a letter from a scorned ancestor which reminds him of his own struggles.
I was disappointed that I didn’t connect with this as much as I thought I would.
I love Santa Barbara so was sure I was going to enjoy this.
I did enjoy reading the Acknowledgements.
Want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Book for granted me this early eGalley.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for January 17, 2023
The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy is an amazing thriller! From the start, I was captivated by the intricate plot and the suspenseful twists and turns.
Love this book SO much! I can see it being a book of the month pick without a doubt - book clubs, check this one out!
After selecting this book I realized it was the third in a series. I’m mostly a completist so I decided to read Books 1 and 2 first and I’m glad I did. I think “The Devil You Know” stands on its own and you can follow the story without having read the first two, but there’s just more depth and interest to the characters if you know the details of their back stories from the first two novels.
All three were page-turners, well-written with fast-paced plots. While they are all set in LA, “The Devil You Know” is the first to deal heavily with the entertainment industry. I enjoyed the story and new characters in this one, as well as some interesting directions for the recurring characters.
I’d recommend this series for lovers of crime fiction! It’s not too violent or gory (a couple of things here and there but not too bad) and not too graphic.
Thank you to the publisher - I received a complimentary eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This story had too many characters and side plots that detracted from the main plot. I guessed the killer which is always a test and although the subject was a little late in a metoo kind of way there were some redeeming features. Strong dialogue and crisp settings were highlights but not enough to make up for this quick reads lengthy cast of characters.
Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
I enjoyed the book but I found it a bit challenging not reading books 1 and 2 in the series. I will probably read the others to get the background information on the characters.
The dark, ominous tone of Hollywood was a great atmosphere. The story kept me interested and it was not obvious who the killer was plus I loved the twists that were interwoven in the story.
Thank you for providing me this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion
Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC of this book for an honest review.
This is the third book in the series and the first one I have read. There are different characters to keep up with in the book so you have to pay attention. It’s a quick read and a mystery you can figure out fairly early on. I will read the other 2 books by this author in the series since I can tell this author is good.
This is a new author and series for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the chance to read and review!
The case revolves around Evan Hobbes , a Disney actor who was apparently set up in a compromising video and is subsequently found dead, fell off a cliff at a Hollywood party. The LAPD detective Margaret Nolan gets the case and at first it is unclear if it is even a murder.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and its plot. There were lots of twists to keep things interesting. What I enjoyed most was the varying viewpoints the reader got from all the characters embroiled in the murder mystery itself. It felt like I was solving the crime(s) ahead of the detectives. The characters were strongly depicted but I never really felt connected the Margaret Nolan and her views of the case.
The story was a most interesting exposure of the inner working of Hollywood and felt very real and relevant. The plot was well thought out. The pacing was at times a little erratic but the ending was satisfying and clever.
I am curious to read more Margaret Nolan to flesh out her character more and see other sides to LA.
Expected publication date is 1/17/2023.
This is the 3rd book in a series - which I didn't realize when I requested this book from NetGalley. This was my mistake, and makes the book a little trickier to review. The story and writing were interesting and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more if I had the background knowledge of the characters that was missing when reading this as a stand alone novel. If you read the first two, I think you're in for a treat with this one!
Enjoyable crime drama that is the third in a series but which I read as a stand-alone. A beloved actor is found dead and Detective Margaret Nolan has to determine whether he died by accident, suicide, or murder. Then additional bodies start turning up.
I found the plot to be pleasingly complex with some twists I didn't see coming. I also liked that the book was a bit more character-driven than some detective stories. I didn't connect too much with the main character, but that might not have been a problem if I had read the previous books in the series.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC of this book.
The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy
(Detective Margaret Nolan #3)
I listened to the first two books in this series and read this third offering. There are so many characters in this story and we get deep into the head of not just the regulars but characters that we'll probably (or for sure) just see in this book. Even little used side characters can be given some character development, which I like, but it can add a lot of information to wrap one's mind around. Detective Nolan is the person this series is named after but she shares the starring role with a wounded veteran, Sam, who Margaret befriended in an earlier book.
The Hollywood movers and shakers are a pretentious, snooty, snotty, conniving, stab you in the back, spit on your grave, best caviar and champagne for breakfast bunch. A few of them can have their endearing moments and a couple are deadly vipers with the venom they spew without much provocation.
I could barely get through the overly wordy thoughts of some of these people. They make my thoughts seem like a first grade primer but I think I'm happier than this lot. I connect much better with the working class law enforcement types, especially since a few of them can be pretty simple and funny, such as Margaret's partner, Detective Crawford.
The story starts with a body and then more bodies pile up. This is a tangled tale and the farther the detectives go in their investigations the more the same names seem to appear in the trails that are left behind. How many more people are going to be snuffed out almost under the detectives' noses? There are a lot of people that I suspect until some of them are "eliminated" from my suspect list in a very permanent way. The story starts very slowly for me since there is almost too much wordy building of character for the Hollywood types. But once Margaret gets on the job of solving crime, I think the story gets good. You might want to take notes if you want to keep this tangled web from scrambling your brain.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for this ARC.
The Devil You Know is book 3 in the Detective Maggie Nolan series, which I was unaware of prior to reading. I do think this one worked as a standalone, though there were several times characters referred an incident from the prior books. I’m sure knowing a bit of the character backgrounds would help the reader feel more engaged with the story!
Maggie Nolan is a detective in LA, and an interesting case falls into her lap in this one. A deepfake video of actor Evan Hobbes goes viral, and then the next day his body is found in the rubble from a rockslide. Maggie and her partner begin their investigation and bodies start to pile up.
There were things I liked about this book- the interesting characters that become the suspects, the storyline itself, and the short chapters. I am guessing some of the other characters such as Sam are main characters in the other books, but here his storyline felt like a waste of time. I also felt that it was very slow to get going at the beginning of the book, while I enjoyed the second half much more.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book was so interesting and kept me on my toes! I've always loved a good Hollywood scandal and this was no different. There were so many jaw-dropping moments and twists and turns, which is everything you would want in a thriller. I have not read anything from P.J. Tracy before, but I loved the writing style. P.J. knows how to lay out a good thriller!
I loved how the plot also went deep into the inner workings of Hollywood and why some celebrities acted the way they do. That was so interesting and added another layer of depth to the story.
Overall, this was a good read and I would recommend it! Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this free arc in exchange for my honest review.
Another well done mystery by PJ Tracy. The characters are well developed and the story line will keep your attention. The action is fast paced and very suspenseful. A great mystery book to read in one sitting! I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
I really enjoyed this book but I was wishing I had taken the time to read at least one of the previous books in the series as there are many references to people and previous events that went over my head. I wasn't totally lost but I did have to keep going back to remind myself who someone was. The writing was very smooth and I really liked Margaret Nolan as a character as well as her partner Detective Al Crawford. Some of the Hollywood characters were also quite quirky and well fleshed out. You might need a score card to keep everyone straight. I'd really like to read one or both of the previous books as it sounded like there were some tantalizing threads in them. If you're a fan of this series, I highly recommend this installment ... or even if you're not! Also, what a beautiful cover! 3.5 stars rounded up. I'm pretty sure it would've been a solid 4 if I had read the previous books.
My thanks to Minotaur Books and Sara Beth Haring of St. Martin's Press via Netgalley for providing access to this novel. All opinions expressed are my own.
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
First time reader of PJ TRACY - so I missed the first two books in the series. I was able to juo right in and with a little imagination keep up with the book. I think I'll now go back and catch up - it was that good!
A series of murders in Hollywood - with all the weird to that goes as along with the setting. The murders keep coming so fast - you wonder when they will stop! Good pace, interesting characters and a who done it that keeps you guessing till the end.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. This book is a part of a series which I did not know when I selected to read it on NetGalley. I have read many series out of order but this is one that will not work as a standalone. I was missing too much back information to be able to understand or enjoy reading this book. I decided to DNF at about 20 percent of the book.
The Devil You Know is #3 in the Detective Margaret Nolan series. This installment sees Nolan and her partner investigating the death of embattled actor Evan Hobbes. Was it murder, suicide, or a tragic accident? This novel pulls back the glittering veil of wealth and prestige of Hollywood to expose its darker side.
The thriller and police procedural aspects of this story are solid, and I really enjoyed the Hollywood intrigue. As a new entrant to this series, I would say that while you could read this as a standalone novel, fans of the first two novels will probably enjoy this more. Being new to these characters, I found their development lacking. It wasn’t clear to me why Sam was included at all, but my understanding is that he played a bigger role in the previous books. I also found some of the vocabulary choices to be unnecessarily pretentious to the point of distraction.
Fans of Hollywood-style plots and P.J. Tracy’s other books will likely enjoy this story. Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books for providing me an advance copy of this book.
This is the third in the LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan series; I have read all of them. After a possibly fake video of a popular actor caught in a compromising position with an underage female surfaces, his body is found in the rubble of an earthquake induced landslide. As his agent scurries to do damage control, his brother-in-law, a Disney executive, is found murdered, also in a compromising situation. Nolan and her team pursue the truth as yet another body is discovered.
There are a number of characters in this book, along with a side story about Sam Easton, a wounded veteran suffering from PTSD. In the first of this series, the story focused more on Sam; here he is more of a peripheral character. In fact, if you have not read the prior books, you might wonder what he is doing in the story.
One thing that I noticed, particularly in the first few chapters that I don’t remember from the prior novels, is the author’s abundant use of adjectives! The Devil You Know is a fast paced, entertaining police procedural. Maggie is a strong, capable, likable protagonist. If you can overlook confusion/questions about some of the secondary characters and their backgrounds and just focus on the case, then this may work as a standalone.
Maggie and Al are back at it again solving crimes. This time multiple murders happen with each of them knowing each other. I love P.J. Tracy’s books because I think I know who do it, but there’s always a twist if I should have thought of that.
I missed having more of Sam in the midst of the case. Im glad to see Melanie back and can’t wait to see more development of Melanie and Remy.
Thank you #NetGalley for the advance copy
The Maggie Nolan mysteries are always great and this one is no different! It is good to see how the characters are developing and what is happening their lives. I really enjoyed #thedevilyouknow but found it to be very confusing at first with the myriad of victims and who was connected to who and how. I received a copy of this arc and wish to thank #netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review this-all opinions are my own.
The Devil You Know is the twisty third installment of P.J. Tracy's crime thriller series featuring Detective Maggie Nolan.
A terrible deepfake video ruins the career of a famous actor. So questions abound when his body is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? As detective Maggie Nolan investigates, Hollywood's ugly side is exposed, more bodies are found, and the mystery deepens.
Told in multiple POVs with a large cast of interconnected characters and lots of moving pieces, this is an intricately plotted and twisty story. The curtain is pulled back on the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, with shallow, deceptive, scandal-plagued power players muddying the waters for Detective Nolan. Despite a handful of subplots, this is fast-paced, with crisp dialogue and plenty of action. This can be read as a stand-alone, but I do wish I had read the first two books in this series to have had more background on the characters. If you like police procedurals with a side of Hollywood scandal, you'll want to check this out!
Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this ARC.
This is a really good gritty detective novel that is much like Los Angeles. I think you can easily read as a stand alone also .
It was fast paced with good plot and setting and overall was just a good book.
Thanks to Netgalley for letting me review this book and the publisher
I have not read the previous books (but they are on my list to read) – so it took me a bit to get the characters straight, but once I was into the story, I could not put it down! Oh the web of LA actors, their agents, …. Ending was very surprising. Looking forward to catching up on book 1 and 2, and what other adventures await.
I was expecting more of a police/ detective procedural story. It seemed the detectives were an after thought.
The story was a bit twisted and I was surprised by the ending.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
P. J. Tracy returns with the third installment in the Detective Margaret Nolan series with THE DEVIL YOU KNOW —where the author explores the underbelly of the Los Angeles area in her latest cop procedural with its celebrities, power, wealth, glitz, and glamour. Good versus evil.
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan's latest case takes her to Hollywood to investigate the death of a well-known privileged actor Evan Hobbes.
A Disney actor is “filmed” in a compromising video, but it would appear that it’s a deep fake. Then before anything can be done, his dead body is found in a landslide.
Hobbes is found dead amidst the debris and rubble of a rock slide in Malibu after a fake video (having sex with a minor) was released to ruin his career and reputation. Hobbes had been among hundreds of well-heeled guests celebrating at a lavish party on the Baum estate.
Was it an accident, suicide, or murder?
The investigation expands to Evan's friends, family, and coworkers as police follow the baffling clues in the case. Those who attended parties and were closely associated were many.
Maggie Nolan is used to working cases for not only the rich and glitzy actors but the homeless and destitute. Nolan and Detective Crawford find connections to the wealthy and privileged in LA, Hollywood, and Santa Barbara, whose lives intersect and intertwine in shocking ways.
(I love Santa Barbara and Ojai and enjoyed my extended visit there- beautiful!).
Meanwhile, Hobbes’ agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he has scorned.
When his powerful brother-in-law is murdered, he and Nolan both find themselves entangled in a scandalous deception of deadly proportion that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood’s rich and famous.
Tracy keeps the reader guessing in this twisty fast-paced, complex cop procedural with a large cast of characters (you will need to keep a scorecard) as the bodies pile up. An intriguing murder whodunit mystery with unexpected twists for a satisfying conclusion.
Nolan is a likable, intelligent, strong, and capable female protagonist, and would like to have heard more from her and her partner and their personal lives.
Her descriptions of the area are vivid and will draw you in. Short chapters keep the action moving and there is a storyline dealing with Sam (army vet and a letter) —PTSD, grief, and the loss of a family member, which adds a personal balance to the crime investigation. He is a friend of the detective, a troubled Afghan War vet who suffers from PTSD.
I also enjoyed the Author's Note regarding her inspiration, where she drew from her family (grandfather/cousin) and PTSD in relation to Sam Easton's character.
This book is part of the Detective Margaret Nolan Series—Desolation Canyon and Deep into the Dark. My first book in the series. It can be read as a standalone. However, I plan on picking up the audiobooks to listen to the previous ones in the series. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous two books.
Thanks to #MinatourBooks and #NetGalley for a gifted e-book ARC.
Blog Review Posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Jan 17, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
Jan 2023 Must-Read Books
The Devil You Know is a fast paced read with twists and turns and a lot of characters that make you think and