There are many pieces of fiction that attempt to capture and explore our collective fascination with true crime, but while those stories manage to convey at least some of the truths surrounding that obsession, few ever reach its emotional core. Katie Gutierrez’s debut novel, More Than You’ll Ever Know, joins those select ranks, as this elegant, evocative tale of suspense burrows straight to the heart of our cultural true crime fixation through an intense emotional dance between two seemingly different women.
Cassie Bowman is a true crime blogger who dreams of more. After years of trafficking in the seediest corners of the genre, she wants to take her journalism prowess to new heights and prove that she has something to say about the ways people hurt each other. When she stumbles upon the story of Dolores “Lore” Rivera—a banker whose double life led to one of her husbands murdering the other in 1985—Cassie thinks she might have finally found a tale worth telling. When the two women finally meet, though, the tension between their personalities kicks off a series of conversations that reveals the truth about both of their pasts.
Told across two time periods set decades apart and narrated through both Cassie’s and Lore’s perspectives, More Than You’ll Ever Know has all the ingredients necessary for a good thriller. Gutierrez writes with an instinctive understanding of the scaffolding necessary to keep readers turning the pages, and the narrative flies by as the dramatic and emotional tensions in both women’s lives ratchet up.
Beyond the novel’s well-executed, suspenseful structure, Gutierrez also clearly understands her characters, where they’ve come from and what they want and need. Both women are searching for something, longing for understanding in a world full of mysteries that are never solved. Whether it’s Lore’s emotional journey or Cassie’s deep dive into her chosen journalistic genre, Gutierrez has crafted detailed, vulnerable portraits of women searching for clues to their own survival. In the process, she unearths some truly compelling insights about our cultural obsession with true crime.