By Chris Karenbauer
As someone who isn’t a big fan of thrillers, I resisted reading Ashley Flowers’s “All the Good People Here.” But after a friend convinced me to read the book, I can say that I’m glad that I gave it a chance.
“All the Good People Here” is full of twists and unexpected outcomes. Released in August 2022, the novel follows two women, Krissy Jacobs and Margot Davies, and their investigation of the murder of January Jacobs, Krissy’s 6-year-old daughter.
In 1996 in the small town of Wakarusa, Indiana, Krissy Jacobs and her husband Billy called the police because their daughter went missing, and eight hours later, she was found dead. After interviews with the family, the police and the press began to suspect one of the family members murdered January. The police suspected Krissy was hiding information, Billy acted too jovial after hearing about his daughter’s murder, and January’s twin brother Jace was known to live in his sister’s shadow.
Due to a tampered crime scene, January’s murderer was never found, and her case went cold. But in a town where nothing happens, the townsfolk still talk about January’s murder 25 years later.
Flashforward to 2019, another little girl called Natalie Clark was found dead in a nearby town. The townspeople suspected the same person who killed January also killed Natalie. Journalist Margot Davies, who recently moved in with her ailing uncle, began to investigate both Natalie’s and January’s murders, believing there is a connection. Margot’s investigation led her to many discoveries about January and herself.
Even for someone who doesn’t enjoy thrillers, this book was fantastic. Flowers planned out the crime perfectly, from a supposed kidnapping turned murder, to a tampered crime scene and multiple suspects.
Normally I’m not a fan of changing perspectives because they get jarring, but Flowers revealed enough backstory in Krissy’s chapters that it didn’t feel like I was reading two different stories. By the middle of the book, Margot and Krissy’s connection was established and enough context of the mystery was revealed that I almost forgot that the perspective had changed.
However, the most riveting moment of “All the Good People Here” was the very end. My jaw dropped at the plot twist – don’t worry, I won’t spoil it. After 25 years, January Jacobs’s murder was solved, but perhaps too late. For any crime junkies looking for a compelling novel, “All the Good People Here” is the best fictional crime book I’ve read in a long time.
I give “All the Good People Here” a 10/10
“All the Good People” can be found on Audible, the Kindle Bookstore and anywhere books are sold.
Chris Karenbauer is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-Chief for Cedars. She enjoys reading and writing, hanging out with friends and listening to music.
Image courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers