In this heart-pounding debut thriller for fans of Lisa Jewell and Celeste Ng, a first-generation Vietnamese American artist must confront nightmares past and present...

Mental illness (OCD & hoarding), domestic abuse, child neglect, animal death, sexual assault.

Annie “Anh Le” Shaw grew up poor, but seems to have it all now: a dream career, a stunning home, and a devoted husband and daughter. When Annie’s mother, a Vietnam War refugee, dies suddenly one night, Annie’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. Her obsessive-compulsive disorder, which she thought she’d vanquished years ago, comes roaring back—but this time, the disturbing fixations swirling around in Annie’s brain might actually be coming true.

A prominent art patron disappears, and the investigation zeroes in on Annie. Spiraling with self-doubt, she distances herself from her family and friends, only to wake up in a hotel room—naked, next to a lifeless body. The police have more questions, but with her mind increasingly fractured, Annie doesn’t have answers. All she knows is this: She will do anything to protect her daughter—even if it means losing herself.

With dizzying twists, You Know What You Did is both a harrowing thriller and a heartfelt exploration of the refugee experience, the legacies we leave for our children, and the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters.

Don't just take our word for it...

“[An] exhilarating debut…Braiding together hair-raising psychological suspense and poignant study of war’s intergenerational trauma, Nguyen adds depth to the familiar setup of the unreliable, mentally ill heroine. Lisa Unger and Tess Gerritsen fans, take note.”
– Publishers Weekly

“This book knocked the wind out of me. On top of its razor sharp twists and visceral scares, You Know What You Did taps into the true horror experienced by so many refugees and war survivors, and the way that trauma lives on through generations. Don’t miss this brilliant thriller from a powerful new voice.”
– Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines

“You Know What You Did is an exciting, complex thriller that takes the reader on a thoroughly disturbing journey through the mind of a protagonist who may or may not be the villain. At times harrowing and heartfelt, You Know What You Did will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.”
– S.A. Cosby, New York Times bestselling author of Razorblade Tears and All the Sinners Bleed

Taste the very first page

Annie Shaw held her mother’s hand one last time. She wrapped her own bloody fingers around the old woman’s fist, which now clutched a rusty dao bào knife.

“Mẹ.” Annie babbled the Vietnamese word for “mom” over and over again. “Mẹ, I didn’t mean it. We struggled but . . . I-I never wanted to hurt you.” She wasn’t sure if she’d said the words out loud or just thought them. Regardless, her mother’s crepe-paper eyelids remained shut, her mouth frozen in a gummy, rictus grin.

Just then, a strange sensation crept over Annie. Was any of this real? The small hand, grasped in hers, felt too light, as if the bones were hollow like a bird’s. Bright red blood on the blade and on Mẹ’s neck suddenly looked as fake as cherry Jell-O. A gurgling sound rose in the back of Annie’s throat. Uncertain if it was a sob or a giggle, she swallowed, embarrassed, though it was just the two of them.

How long had she been crouched over the body—seconds, minutes, maybe more? Tall stacks of mildew-stained books and newspapers blocked out the daylight, creating perpetual dusk inside the carriage house. Field mice had marked the perimeter of the room. The unmistakable ammonia odor of their urine hung in the air.

Slowly, as if in a trance, she let go of her mother’s hand. She rose to her feet, knees cracking. Her legs felt heavy and numb. She took her first step but stumbled and crashed into a wall of empty juice bottles and rancid carryout containers. A fishy stench invaded her nostrils.