2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · suspense · thriller

New Release Book Review: You Need to Know by Nicola Moriarty

Title: You Need to Know

Author: Nicola Moriarty

Published: April 7th 2021

Publisher: Harper Collins –AU

Pages: 416

Genres:  Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

From the bestselling author of The Ex and Those Other Women comes a thrilling family drama about the secrets we keep, the lies we tell and the truths that won’t stay hidden.

Everybody’s hiding something …

Jill, her three sons, their wives and children are driving in convoy on Christmas Eve. But something sinister is simmering behind their happy smiles.

Mimi is struggling with her new twins, but at least a glass of wine smooths out life’s jagged edges. Andrea’s starting to wonder if her marriage is as happy as she’d thought. Darren is reeling from a surprise request and teenager Callie has become increasingly withdrawn.

On the way to their holiday house, a terrifying car accident devastates them all. But someone unexpected was in one of the cars. No one is searching for them. And their time is running out.

You Need to Know is a dark domestic drama about family secrets and lies, fractured relationships, tragic mistakes and the ultimate betrayal.


International bestselling author Nicola Moriarty returns with a scintillating domestic drama full of tension, apprehension, secrets, lies and devastation. Building on a shocking picture of a life shattering car wreck, You Need to Know examines the moral and ethical decisions involved in this dramatic event. Heartbreaking, contemplative and connective, You Need to Know is another standout novel from Nicola Moriarty.

We are all guilty of hiding things and keeping secrets, often protecting our loved ones from the cold hard truths that might hurt them. You Need to Know pulls apart the lives of four characters who are all damaged by impact of a serious car crash on Christmas Eve. From mothers, wives, young children and teenagers, no one is immune. You Need to Know reveals the private struggles and individual problems faced by the cast members featured in Nicola Moriarty’s latest release. From questions of motherhood, marriage difficulties, parenthood pressures and teenage anxiety, You Need to Know is a book that will send shock waves through your system. At the heart of it all is the build up to and the eventual fallout of a horrific car accident.

I was immediately drawn to Nicola Moriarty’s latest effort, You Need to Know. Inspired by the famous children’s picture book, Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen, Nicola Moriarty’s new book considers the ‘who’ aspect of a tragic car accident. The reader must place themselves in the shoes of the characters confronting this devastating roadside scene. The question is – was it the first, the last – or perhaps neither that caused this crash? With plenty of theories and presumptions to draw on from this devastating scenario, there is much to work through in You Need to Know. With a strong moral spin, Nicola Moriarty’s new novel made for a jolting read!

It did take me some time to get used to the four very different voices that fill the pages of You Need to Know. However, once I was able to absorb these contrasting viewpoints I hit the ground running. Moriarty does an excellent job of portraying each separate protagonist and she also develops the interplay very well between the cast. The dialogue was a highlight for me personally, it is defined by a strong sense of authenticity, which allowed me to play out the key events of the story in my own mind. I was also able to place myself directly in the shoes of the protagonists featured in You Need to Know. Sometimes this was a uncomfortable reality, while other times I felt a sense of connection to the characters. I seemed question the cast and their responses a fair bit in this novel, but I think this was Moriarty’s goal with You Need to Know.

I’m trying my hardest not to delve to deeply into the mechanics of this book, as I do not wish to deliver any spoilers. I will say there are some powerful themes centered around the domestic life side of things. Moriarty also offers up a thorough interrogation of motherhood, parenthood, teenage life, relationships, family, trust, betrayal, addiction, fixation, compulsion, choice and liability. With each of these core themes covered within a short time frame, You Need to Know packs a punch. The last 60 pages will leave you reeling, it winded me!

An arresting domestic drama that outlines the dark moments and the trail of destruction left behind following a terrifying car crash, You Need to Know is an unmissable read!

You Need to Know by Nicola Moriarty was published on 7th April 2021 by HarperCollins – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of You Need to Know, Nicola Moriarty visit here.

*Thanks extended to HarperCollins Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

You Need to Know is book #35 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge

3 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: You Need to Know by Nicola Moriarty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s