15 year old David Geist steps forward at a track practice to defend a handicapped student from being bullied, resulting in the bully tormenting and threatening David. At the same time, his estranged and abusive father is trying to re-enter the lives of David, his mother and his younger sister Janie. His father Max plans a canoe trip for himself and the children to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota,hoping for a reconciliation. However, Max’s inability to admit that he does not have the experience nor the knowledge to plan the trip leaves the family ill-prepared for a canoe trip into the wilderness. When Max has a disagreement with a group of men outside a motel, he incites anger in the group, who track the family through the wilderness. Eventually their confrontation leads to violence and death. David is the only uninjured person in his family and must save Max and his sister from the remaining men. His journey to escape and survive tests both his mental and physical limits, forcing him to find strength and bravery within himself. In The Devil You Know, author Johnson offers insights into the thoughts and feelings of the characters and the descriptions of the characters and landscapes are elegant and detailed–more so than the usual suspense novel. David’s character is a touching portrait of a young man trying to protect the people he loves–his caring and protective relationship with his sister is heartwarming and believable and his conflicted feelings for his abusive father are also realistic. This is a riveting psychological thriller and coming-of-age story that is fast-paced and full of suspense as well as a story about family relationships.