REVIEW - Among Those You Know (Joshua Valentine)

Among Those You Know"Vivid and thoughtful, a character-driven piece from a new young author!"
RainHand Rating:
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(Review appearing for the first time on!)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this one up – the synopsis makes it sound like a hard-boiled crime novel, or not. But hey, you really can’t judge a book by its cover, and sometimes you just have to dive in. I think I’ve come out the better for it.

The first thing I can say I appreciate about this story is that it’s first person, written by an author that understands how first person is supposed to work. Yes there are large chunks of narration in it that may require you to take breaks here and there, but that tends to come with the territory. We’re kept on task with our narrator and his take on the facts, and we’re drawn into his life until we feel like we know him – like he’s there with us in the room, telling us his tale. I appreciate that, and as it turns out the mystery I was looking for is not only there, but it’s there really well.

My main issue with this story was a personal one. It just feels…young. No, that’s not a bad thing. But it’s on an edge that I’m not really on anymore in my life, and as a result I found myself not quite able to hit a sweet spot in terms of my interest. That’s a personal misgiving, but I think a somewhat younger audience demographic is better suited for this story.

There are some technical issues that would lead me to suggest another runthrough by the book’s editor, but in general, neither that nor the above issues aren’t enough to ruin the story, so if you’re up for it, I would still recommend this read.

Note that there’s a big focus on gender and sexual identity in this book. Not a good or bad thing, just it might be good for a reader to be aware of. The story leans a bit more towards character study than it does hard-boiled mystery work.

About the Author: Joshua Valentine began writing 'Among Those You Know' at the age of 14 and finally published it earlier this year at the age of 16. Primary influences for Joshua's written work(s) include a wide range of things, from musical taste, to life experiences, and all of the way to a passion for politics. As a young member of the LGBT community, Joshua has a passion for writing about LGBT characters, and exposing the countless injustices faced in their community.
('About' info abridged from