Review: Takes One To Know One by Susan Isaacs


Title: Takes One To Know One

Author: Susan Isaacs

Published: October 1st 2019, Grove Atlantic

Status: Read September 2019, courtesy Grove Atlantic/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

I was excited by the premise of Susan Isaacs Takes One To Know One and I’d really been looking forward to it reaching the top of my pile.

“Just a few years ago, Corie Geller was busting terrorists as an agent for the FBI. But at thirty-five, she traded in her badge for the stability of marriage and motherhood. Now Corie is married to the brilliant and remarkably handsome Judge Josh Geller and is the adoptive mother of his lovely 14-year-old daughter. Between cooking meals and playing chauffeur, Corie scouts Arabic fiction for a few literary agencies and, on Wednesdays, has lunch with her fellow Shorehaven freelancers at a so-so French restaurant. Life is, as they say, fine.

But at her weekly lunches, Corie senses that something’s off. Pete Delaney, a milquetoast package designer, always shows up early, sits in the same spot (often with a different phone in hand), and keeps one eye on the Jeep he parks in the lot across the street. Corie intuitively feels that Pete is hiding something–and as someone who is accustomed to keeping her FBI past from her new neighbors, she should know. But does Pete really have a shady alternate life, or is Corie just imagining things, desperate to add some spark to her humdrum suburban existence? She decides that the only way to find out is to dust off her FBI toolkit and take a deep dive into Pete Delaney’s affairs.”

So when I was considering giving up on it, just a little more than a quarter of the way through, I opted instead to put it aside for twenty four hours, and then try again. Honestly I picked it back up reluctantly and I have to admit the next quarter or so was still a slog, then at about the halfway point, the pace picked up and I suddenly couldn’t put it down.

I’m not exactly sure why I found the first half of Takes One To Know One so laborious. Told through Corie Geller’s first person perspective, the narrative felt, at times, closer to a stream of consciousness, bogged down in the details of Corie’s life. To be fair I think the poor formatting of the e-arc may have contributed to that impression, as there is no spacing between paragraphs, or even chapters, resulting in an uncomfortable run-on effect. That I didn’t really warm to Corie’s angst regarding the changes her marriage had wrought, probably didn’t help either.

For me the story finally got interesting when Corie began seriously investigating Pete Delaney and the narrative became more interactive (if that makes sense). As Corie considers and discards potential criminal scenarios that Pete Delaney could be involved in, she calls on ex colleagues for information, uses her best friend, Wynne, as a sounding board, and involves her dad, a retired police detective, in her investigation. It all eventually leads to a tense confrontation that I found unexpectedly thrilling.

I’m not sure that I can say the last half of the book was enough to redeem Takes One To Know One for me, but it’s entirely possible that you may not find the first half as problematic as I did, it may be worth a try if the premise appeals.


Available from Grove Atlantic

Or from your preferred retailer Indiebound I Book Depository I

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Sep 30, 2019 @ 00:59:19

    I have also had difficulties with e-ARCs and their formatting, so I am eager to read this one in the new release version, coming up in a few days. I’m a fan of Susan Isaacs, so I am looking forward to it.

    Great review.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  3. Vicki
    Sep 30, 2019 @ 05:53:37

    I used to HAVE to finish a book no matter how much I wasn’t liking it, but a few years ago I decided to stop wasting my time. I like moving on to a book I like a lot better. but I know that sometimes I may be missing out on a book I would have ended up really enjoying.

    Liked by 1 person


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