If You Tell by Gregg Olsen

If You Tell

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 ...

Details If You Tell

TitleIf You Tell
Release DateDec 1st, 2019
PublisherThomas & Mercer
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Audiobook, Sociology, Abuse, Contemporary, Drama, Autobiography, Memoir, Adult

Reviews If You Tell

  • Debra
    This was a disturbing book. Sometimes things that really have happened are far worse than anything one can dream up in their mind. This is a tale of abuse, manipulation, and complete and utter disregard for human suffering. Where one woman got off on the emotional and physical pain she could inflict on others - mainly her children and those closest to her. How she got away with this for so long is a mystery. I loved my mother because I didnt kno...
  • Dem
    2.5 Stars Just to be clear I am not judging or rating this book on the horrific happenings or the cruelty that took place within this family and I cannot imagine what it would be like to grow up in a home with fear and violence part of every day life or with parents like the Knoteks. My rating reflects how the book came across to me as a reader who had never heard of this family or what took place within the household. We all react differently t...
  • Shaina
    It took me no time at all to read this. Why? Well you hear about crimes and crazy things ppl do or split minute decisions made in haste, but I have never heard of someone like the mother in this story. She had a switch. She seemed to have a hair trigger. The book even remarked on that. It also well documents and shows you exactly what this means. Happy to horribly mean, calm to hellaciously evil and vengeful. Im not sure she had all of her humani...
  • Grace Anderson
    Im pretty horrified that Shelly was allowed to get away with so much. Horrified. I’m pretty horrified that Shelly was allowed to get away with so much. Horrified.
  • Lisa
    A tragic story, but...I found it difficult to engage with the story. I understand that the author has had to cobble together, many different points of view and try to create a coherent timeline for the story, but if found it clunky and sadly lacking in depth.Don't get me wrong, this is a truly tragic and mind boggling account of terrible acts and my heart goes out to the victims. The strength and bond the sisters have retained is incredible. On t...
  • Dan McDonald
    Dark, Disturbing, Drawn Out, and Ultimately DissatisfyingIf you're going to write a book about a mentally ill, sadistic serial killer you should probably spend more time talking about her mental illness or at least trying to explain the "why" instead of just the "what." I never felt like I understood the motivations or motivating force behind any of the people in this tragedy. Was Shelly suffering from borderline personality disorder, narcissisti...
  • Christina - Traveling Sister
  • Effie
    Poorly written. Poorly interpreted. Yuck. Just yuck. The subject matter...the written word. I wanted to find out what happened. But it was a REAL struggle to read. So many ways this story could have been shortened. So much superfluous text. Just yuck. Poorly written. Poorly interpreted. Yuck. Just yuck. The subject matter...the written word. I wanted to find out “what happened”. But it was a REAL struggle to read. So many ways this story co...
  • Ileana Renfroe
    Why? How? How could she have done all those things?From the moment I started reading this book I was hooked. I kept asking, why did the police not react sooner? They are to blame for Rons death, no question. But most importantly, How terrible these girls had to endure all those years of torture. However, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and in this story it tells of three sisters who found the courage to finally tell the truth. T...
  • Valerity (Val)
    This is a crazy good book by Gregg Olsen about a really dysfunctional family that becomes painful at times to read. The more you read, the more you see it going off in the ditch. You cant help but watch the train wreck though. The main twistee, Shelly, is a real piece of work. She loves to inflict maximum punishment and humiliation on her victims, who are her own three children, along with a young male nephew shes taken in, along with her former ...
  • Debbie
    3 starsI had a hard time understanding why the older girl did not go to the police sooner after the deaths of 3 people. She was 20 and still living with the mother and tolerating the abuse after 2 people were killed. Her "brother" disappears and she suspects her parents killed him and did not report? The other part that bothered me is that the 2 elder girls were trying to decide if the younger child could take the environment for a couple of year...
  • Cheryl James
    This is a 5 star book of craziness and sadness. I could not believe that this mother, wife, aunt, and friend was able to manipulate, torture, harass and kill people in this day and time. I pray that this story goes viral. Children and Adults need to know that there is help to get them out of a horrible situation. People like this mother and father should rot in jail with no chance of getting out. How do they sleep at night? Kudos to the 3 sisters...
  • Jade Violet
    I'm going to need a minute on this one. Feel like I have to go take a shower first and bleach my mind before I say anything... Oh, that was a bad choice of words considering.
  • Lynda Kelly
    The best book Gregg Olsen has ever written. It's the fifth I've read by him and I've usually been pretty disappointed as his proofreaders or editors have done an atrocious job, but this one is WAY better presented altogether. I see it's been a few years since he wrote a true crime book so the break's done him the world of good as this one is fascinating. I did dither a little over selecting it as my Kindle First choice for the month, but I'm plea...
  • Nancy Hudson
    2.5 stars. Horrific story that went under the radar due to the nature of the crimes and the way Shelley Knotek and her husband were convicted and sentenced . The story is unbelievable at times but I think this is largely due to the way Olsen writes. He doesnt have a solid timeline, gets bogged down in repetitive details that dont add to the story and doesnt really add the depth needed for a good TC book. I read one of his years ago and it was the...
  • Deborah Rogers
    If You Tell is quite a story...It's not that often that you get an inside view into the world of a female psychopath and, god, what a disturbing journey that is. I can't wrap my head around the fact that Shelly, the central perpetrator and aforementioned psychopath, was a mother of three children. She was a truly wicked woman...If You Tell is a detailed account of what went on behind closed doors and a must read for all true crime fans.
  • Elizabeth George
    I suppose it's because I'm a crime writer, but I've always been drawn to true crime books. The psychopathology of the criminal both intrigues and interests me. Gregg Olsen's book is no exception. This book chronicles the abuse and horrors inflicted upon both her family and friends by Shelly Knotek over a period of years in Washington state. It's a compelling portrait of psychosis, borderline personality disorder, and the power of denial. For anyo...
  • Margaret Jones
    Talk about dysfunctional families!Unbelievably sadistic, psychopathic mother. Weak, submissive husband. Three abused daughters. Three tortured, murdered "boarders". Another true crime horror story by Gregg Olsen. He's not the best writer. Repetitive and illogical reiteration of a cult-like group of inadequate, two dimensional characters who never come alive on the page. Disappointing.
  • Lauren Morse
    Wow this was....terrible. I mean, the story is obviously terrible, and would be no matter what, but couple that with the awful writing, lack of editing, repetitive phrasing, and cutesy metaphors and puns - and you get this dumpster fire.
  • Miriam
    5 stars audio5 very tough read story.
  • Jess☺️
    Ok I'm giving If You Tell by Gregg Olsen 5🌟 not for the story but for the 3 very strong and brave sisters who survived their horrendous piece of SHIT mother I'm sorry for saying that but that women is just terrible (so no I'm not really 😏)How can anyone from such a young age do the things she did still get married 3 times have 3 children have most people think she is some kind of normal human being, not everyone but most and have so much po...
  • Ruthy lavin
    A truly Horrifying real life tale of the vile person who is Shelley Knotek, and the fatal misery she inflicted on those around her.
  • Karen R
    A shocking and heart-wrenching story of physical and emotional abuse which absolutely broke my heart. I cannot fathom what these sisters went through as children. Such a desperate situation in which they learned that the only way to keep safe from a monstrous mother who showed no mercy was to look the other way. How can a mother have such evil in her heart, coming up with so many different acts of horrendous cruelty, to not only her children but ...
  • Jamie
    Wow what an incredible book! I still cant believe this happened and to think Shelly will be released in 2022, I seriously hope that isnt the case. My heart absolutely breaks for Nikki, Sami and Tori! I can only pray they are living happy lives. This book is so well written and told in such a way you really feel each person and take this journey with them. This is a book I wont forget! Wow what an incredible book! I still can’t believe this ha...
  • Debby
    If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood is an exceptional novel. When I chose this Amazon First Read, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to read such a story, however it peaked my interest from my TBR. This story is a riveting, suspenseful, horrific story that had my mind boggled from the acts of shear horror chronicled on the pages of this book by author, Gregg Olsen.This is a story that takes place...
  • KD Jones
    Once you stayreading this book you won't be able to put it down!! Just an amazing story!!
  • Samantha Gonsalves
    Phew! My emotions were all over the place with this book. I was sad, angry, shocked & heartbroken. If You Tell is a heartbreaking story of three sisters' journey of survival against all odds & cruelties. Unlike other books I pick up, this is a non-fiction - a true story that has all the horrors one might think only happens in the pages of a thriller & not in real life. Michelle 'Shelly' Knotek is a mother straight from hell. She's foul, brutal & ...
  • Cathy
    If You Tell by Gregg Olsen I have read many true crime stories and this one is pretty horrifying and somewhat hard to understand why people put up with crap from other people. This book kept me reading even as my mind kept telling me no and my heart breaks for those young girls that lived through this in real life and especially breaks for the 3 people who were killed by these monsters. I cannot believe they got the punishment they did for the ac...
  • Kathy Barrows
    This was a very hard book for me to read. Incredibly well written...Gregg Olsen gave these girls their voice back. Completely horrific account of the worst child abuse and elder abuse that Ive ever read about. Knowing it was all a true account made this even c worse. You will find yourself crying at certain points of the book. At night I'd lay awake and rethink the parts that I read. This book will draw you in to gre point you feel like you are r...
  • Paul E. Morph
    As ever with nonfiction, Im reviewing the book and the writing, not the events detailed in said book. (Youd think this would go without saying but, judging by some comments Ive read on reviews of other works of nonfiction, apparently not.) The events retold in this book are undeniably horrific and my sympathies go out to the victims and their families. I did have a couple of problems with the book, though.Firstly, the writing style irked me. It w...