When Malin Ahlberg starts her freshman year at Hawthorne College in rural Maine, she is immediately befriended by a group of freshman who are brought together by chance during their first few days as new students. Malin, along with Gemma, Ruby, Max, John and Khaled remain a tight-knit group throughout their four years at Hawthorne, but their years together are marked by drama, suspicion, betrayal and, ultimately, murder. Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman is a psychological thriller with a unsettling and, frankly, disturbing series of events with an ending that is literally jaw-dropping!
Malin tells her story in alternating chapters with gradual glimpses of problems at home with her family, most notably with her brother who passed away years earlier. She always stops short of revealing too much, so the reader is left with more questions than answers as the anticipation grows. What is she hiding from her past? She replicates this secrecy with her current group of friends, not letting anyone know the real Malin. To be honest, Malin is not a very endearing or likeable character. As I was reading Tell Me Everything, I could tell pretty quickly that something was clearly not right with Malin, but Brockman has a great way of keeping the reader on their toes!
As the years progress, it becomes apparent that Malin is choreographing many of the dramas, misinterpretations and misunderstandings between the group. While stirring the pot, it becomes clear that she enjoys watching the drama unfold. The crescendo of both plot lines (family drama as a child and currently at Hawthorne) comes together seamlessly with not only one but two murders that are equally disturbing.
I highly recommend Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman. I cannot guarantee that you will be a fan of some of the characters, but this is a well-written and suspenseful debut. I am impressed with Brockman’s first book and am excited to see what she comes up with next!