If You Tell by Gregg Olsen: Book Review

, If You Tell by Gregg Olsen: Book Review, The Travel Bug Bite

I picked up If You Tell by Gregg Olsen on a whim, it was recommended by my Kindle, so I didn’t do any research and dived right in. Before you do the same, I suggest that you do read up on it first. Although it was a great book, it was rather disturbing. The author did a great job at building up to the terrible events so that you are hooked and keep reading even though it gets really dark. The fact that it is based on a true story only makes it worse.

If You Tell by Gregg Olsen Synopsis

“A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood

After more than a decade, when sisters Nikki, Sami, and Tori Knotek hear the word mom, it claws like an eagle’s talons, triggering memories that have been their secret since childhood. Until now.
For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors.

Through it all, Nikki, Sami, and Tori developed a defiant bond that made them far less vulnerable than Shelly imagined. Even as others were drawn into their mother’s dark and perverse web, the sisters found the strength and courage to escape an escalating nightmare that culminated in multiple murders.”


What I Liked About This Book

I’m a big fan of horror and psychological thrillers, but I tend to shy away from books that get this gruesome. I probably wouldn’t have read it if I had known in advance, but I am glad that I did. The book was fascinating, shedding light on the power of manipulation and how people can be completely brainwashed into staying in terrible situations.

Although the author didn’t make up the story, since it is based on a true story, Gregg Olsen did an amazing job putting it on paper. The book was written at a pace that made it impossible to put down; in fact, I read it in just two sittings because I couldn’t tear myself away. I also liked how real quotes and recollections were included from time to time. It reminded the reader that this was real despite the horror depicted being hard to imagine.

What I Didn’t Like About This Book

There was honestly nothing I didn’t like about the book’s writing, pace, or tone. I think it was a perfect execution of a horrifying story. I do wish that books like this had a bit more of a warning. If this had been a movie, I probably would have turned it off. It is a little ridiculous that movies get strict ratings on tiny acts of violence or swearing when a book like this is a free-for-all. But that is my personal opinion, and I feel this way even though I do seek out and read pretty terrifying books.

By the way, if you want to learn more about the story that If You Tell by Gregg Olsen is based on, read this, but it will spoil the book for you!


Should you read If You Tell by Gregg Olsen? It depends. It is a great book, and Gregg Olsen is a fantastic author. If you enjoy the gore and horror that humans are capable of committing, you’ll enjoy this book. It may shake you to the core as it did me because no fictional story can be scarier than the atrocities committed by real-life humans. You can purchase it on Amazon using my affiliate link.

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, If You Tell by Gregg Olsen: Book Review, The Travel Bug Bite

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