Book Review // Girl Unknown by Karen Perry

About Girl Unknown

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (February 6, 2018)

“Explores emotional danger with relentless, surgical accuracy.”
— Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of The Trespasser and Into the Woods

David and Caroline Connolly are swimming successfully through their marriage’s middle years–raising two children; overseeing care for David’s ailing mother; leaning into their careers, both at David’s university teaching job, where he’s up for an important promotion, and at the ad agency where Caroline has recently returned to work after years away while the children were little. The recent stresses of home renovation and of a brief romantic betrayal (Caroline’s) are behind them. The Connollys know and care for each other deeply. Then one early fall afternoon, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David’s university office and says, “I think you might be my father.” And the fact of a youthful passion that David had tried to forget comes rushing back. In the person of this intriguing young woman, the Connollys may have a chance to expand who they are and how much they can love, or they may be making themselves vulnerable to menace. They face either an opportunity or a threat–but which is which? What happens when their hard-won family happiness meets a hard-luck beautiful girl?

My Thoughts

I loved how atmospheric this is and really enjoyed the writing. It was a book I was always excited to sit down on the couch with the pup and get back into. This moves a little slower than some thrillers, so it’s not necessarily the type of book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I wanted to come back to it, though. It has some of my favorite things: tense family dynamics, a college setting, beautiful writing to tell the story. I’ll keep an eye out for more books from this author duo.


Full of intrigue and incident–keeps us guessing until the very last tragic page.  Liz Nugent, bestselling author of Unraveling Oliver and of Lying in Wait

Compulsively readable, with surprises until the very last page. . . . A chilling tale about a family under threat from one of its own.  Jessica Treadway, author of Lacy Eye and How Will I Know You?

“[Girl Unknown] is must-read literary suspense, with dueling character perspectives and sly twists forming a gut-wrenching exploration of trust, manipulation, and obsession.  Booklist (starred review)

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Photo by Edmund Ross Photography

About Karen Perry

Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece. Together they wrote Girl Unkown.

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A recipient of the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, he teaches creative writing at University College, Dublin.

Karen Gillece is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland).

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  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for your honest thoughts. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one, and you were always excited to get back to it even if it was a bit slower than most thrillers.


  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I like the sound of this!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ It's A Hero
    March 2, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Oooh! This book sounds RIGHT up my alley!

  • Reply
    Ashley Solberg
    March 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Sounds like such a fabulous read! I kinda like when they aren’t all fast paced, otherwise I read compulsively and can’t put them down hehe!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    This sounds like an interesting book even if it is a little slow. I may have to add this to my reading list! I’m definitely trying to make more time to read this year.

  • Reply
    Taylor Reese
    March 4, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Sounds good! I like that I know it will move slowly ahead of time. Thanks for the review. Can’t wait to add to my reading list.


  • Reply
    March 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

    This sounds like an interesting read! I always love a good thriller; wish it were a bit more edge-of-your-seat, but the fact that you wanted to keep returning to it speaks highly of the writing and storyline itself. Thanks for the recommendation, and hope you’re enjoying your weekend! XOXO

  • Reply
    Kate • The Gold Sister
    March 4, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    This sounds like such a good book! I’m not a huge thriller fan (afraid of the dark over here) but I’m gonna add this to my list.

    Thanks for sharing!

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