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If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by [Gregg Olsen]
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If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 5,783 ratings

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Length: 410 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Editor

If You Tell is an astonishing story of survival of three sisters who were raised by a sadistic mother, Michelle “Shelly” Knotek. Much of what happened in the Knotek house will be nearly incomprehensible for those of us raised by nurturing mothers—those who made favorite meals on birthdays or sat beside us when we were sick. No, the opposite is true of Shelly. She was a monster.

Despite their childhood, the women survive, even flourish, after their mother is incarcerated. But the PTSD and triggers abound to this day. For one, a morning shower can be a trigger; for another, it’s the smell of bleach that brings on the bad memories.

New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen is a master of both true crime and domestic suspense, and with If You Tell he has brilliantly combined his talents. The riveting true story told by the three sisters who survived their brutal childhood in the tiny coastal logging town of Raymond, Washington, reads like a fast-paced thriller. But unfortunately, it is all true. Every single excruciating detail.

- Liz Pearsons, Editor

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Review

"This riveting account will leave readers questioning every odd relative they've known." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Olsen presents the story chronologically and in a simple, straightforward style, which works well: it is chilling enough as is." --Booklist

"An unsettling stunner about sibling love, courage, and resilience." --People Magazine (book of the week)

"If You Tell accomplishes what it sets out to do. The result is a compelling portrait of terror and a powerfully honest, yet still sensitive, look at survival." --Bookreporter

"A true-crime tour de force." --Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of No Stone Unturned

"Even the most devoted true-crime reader will be shocked by the maddening and mind-boggling acts of horror that Gregg Olsen chronicles in this book. Olsen has done it again, giving readers a glimpse into a murderous duo that's so chilling, it will have your head spinning. I could not put this book down!" --Aphrodite Jones, New York Times bestselling author

"A suspenseful, horrific, and yet fascinating character study of an incredibly dysfunctional and dangerous family by Gregg Olsen, one of today's true-crime masters." --Caitlin Rother, New York Times bestselling author

"There's only one writer who can tell such an intensely horrifying, psychotic tale of unspeakable abuse, grotesque torture, and horrendous serial murder with grace, sensitivity and class...A riveting, taut, real-life psychological suspense thrill ride...All at once compelling and original, Gregg Olsen's If You Tell is an instant true-crime classic." --M. William Phelps, New York Times bestselling author

"We all start life with immense promise, but in our first minute, we cannot know who'll ultimately have the greatest impact on our lives, for better or worse. Here, Gregg Olsen--the heir apparent to legendary crime writers Jack Olsen and Ann Rule--explores the dark side of that question in his usual chilling, heartbreaking prose. Superb and creepy storytelling from a true-crime master." --Ron Franscell, author of Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story

"A master of true crime returns with a vengeance. After a decade detour into novels, Gregg Olsen is back with a dark tale of nonfiction from the Pacific Northwest that will keep you awake long after the lights have gone out. The monster at the heart of If You Tell is not your typical boogeyman, not some wandering drifter or man in a van. No. In fact, they called her...mother. And yet this story is about hope and renewal in the face of evil and how three sisters can find the goodness in the world after surviving the worst it has to offer. Classic true crime in the tradition of In Cold Blood and The Stranger Beside Me." --James Renner, author of True Crime Addict

"This nightmare walked on two legs and some of her victims called her mom. In If You Tell, Gregg Olsen documents the horrific mental and physical torture Shelly Knotek inflicted on everyone in her household. A powerful story of cruelty that will haunt you for a long time." --Diane Fanning, author of Treason in the Secret City

"Bristling with tension, gripping from the first pages, Gregg Olsen's masterful portrait of children caught in the web of a coldly calculating killer fascinates. A read so compelling it kept me up late into the night, If You Tell exposes incredible evil that lived quietly in small-town America. That the book is fact, not fiction, terrifies." --Kathryn Casey, bestselling author of In Plain Sight

Book Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen’s shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother’s house of horrors.

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Top international reviews

Sandi Rocks
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money. Sick book about sick people, protected by more sick, irresponsible people.
Reviewed in the United States on 7 November 2019
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Patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Evil exists
Reviewed in the United States on 3 November 2019
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P. Candice Goddard
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 November 2019
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Christine L. Land
5.0 out of 5 stars A similar story is mine.
Reviewed in the United States on 3 November 2019
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Nicky
1.0 out of 5 stars Do no recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 November 2019
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2.0 out of 5 stars A tragic story, but...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 November 2019
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Lynda Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best He's Done
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 November 2019
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frog
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject let down by bad writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 November 2019
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Mammacita
1.0 out of 5 stars Protracted horror story
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GRB
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing account of unbelievable cruelty.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 December 2019
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Faye Mussett
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking yet captivating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 December 2019
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Emm D
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, wish I hadn't bothered reading this
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Katieboo12
4.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 January 2020
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Sherrie J.
5.0 out of 5 stars How can a mother do this
Reviewed in the United States on 2 November 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A horrific true story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 April 2020
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