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Winner of the 2023 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime * A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Part memoir and part literary true crime, Tell Me Everything is the mesmerizing story of a landmark sexual assault investigation and the female private investigator who helped crack it open.
Erika Krouse has one of those faces. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” people say, spilling confessions. In fall 2002, Erika accepts a new contract job investigating lawsuits as a private investigator. The role seems perfect for her, but she quickly realizes she has no idea what she’s doing. Then a lawyer named Grayson assigns her to investigate a sexual assault, a college student who was attacked by football players and recruits at a party a year earlier. Erika knows she should turn the assignment down. Her own history with sexual violence makes it all too personal. But she takes the job anyway, inspired by Grayson’s conviction that he could help change things forever. And maybe she could, too.
Over the next five years, Erika learns everything she can about P. I. technique, tracking down witnesses and investigating a culture of sexual assault and harassment ingrained in the university’s football program. But as the investigation grows into a national scandal and a historic civil rights case that revolutionizes Title IX law, Erika finds herself increasingly consumed. When the case and her life both implode at the same time, Erika must figure out how to help win the case without losing herself.
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Buckle up, because this is going to be long.
This book was under attack before it even made it to print. I am so grateful to the following people who fought for this book and helped me during that difficult time. First and foremost are Ken Rossman and Abby Harder, who protected this book pro bono. I don’t know what I would have done without your help and expertise, given so freely and generously. Thanks also to those who offered or facilitated more help and support: Veronica Rossman, Jennifer Sullivan, Bill and Kim Hayashi, Regina Drexler, Kim O’Connor, Andrea Dupree, Scott Nelson, Rick Bailey, and several others I can’t name here for fear of compromising their jobs. Ellis Levine was meticulous and indefatigable in his legal edits, which made the book much stronger and more accurate. You all gave me courage when I was scared and bullied. There is no way to repay you.
I want to express gratitude for the courageous women I wrote about in this book. Each of them came forward to tell their stories at great physical and emotional risk to themselves and their safety. Their altruism renews my faith in humanity.
Thank you to my genius agent, Mary Evans, who has stuck by me through dramatic career swings since 1999. You are always on my side, you have seen it all, and you have been a champion for this book ever since it was a mere idea. Caroline Bleeke, you are a generous, brilliant, and truly gifted editor. Your instincts are perfect. You made this book infinitely better, and I am so lucky to travel this road with you. Thank you to Sydney Jeon, the star who worked so hard and so often behind the scenes, contributing editorial insight while organizing and managing everything perfectly.
I owe a ridiculous debt of gratitude to the many other people who have helped me revise this book in its earlier and uglier stages. Thank you to Baine Kerr, a great friend whose help on this manuscript was immeasurable and necessary. You made the difference. Thank you to the Murphies Group (Jennifer Sullivan again, Rachel Weaver, Jenny Shank, and Paula Younger, who all suffered through early full versions), and the Worriers (Andrea Dupree again, Amanda Rea, Tiffany Quay Tyson, and Jenny Itell and Karen Palmer, who read the entire manuscript). Thank you to all my other friends who supported me in this project, sharing your ideas and experiences.
Thank you to everyone at Lighthouse Writers Workshop (especially Mike Henry and, again, Andrea Dupree—I owe you triple), and all my amazing and inspiring students and clients whom I love so much. Thank you to Steve Almond and Susan Curtiss for your insights about particular elements of this book. For kind and generous writing support, many thanks to Ellen and Jim Anderman; Scott Harrison and Ellen Moore; Caroline and Tony Grant; Sarah Ringler and Steve Kettmann at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods; and Eve and Mike, who pitched in countless times. You all gave me much-needed peace of mind.
Thank you to the many other people at Flatiron and beyond who contributed their extraordinary talents to this book: Sarah Murphy, who chose this book from the pile and helped me with early visioning; publisher Megan Lynch, who didn’t give up on this project when times got hard; Zoe Norvell, for her incredible cover design work, and Keith Hayes for his spot-on art direction; copy editor Shelly Perron for her meticulous work (sorry for the errors!); Donna Noetzel, for the badass interior design; Michael Horner, for the cover photograph; producer Callum Plews, for his audiobook work; as well as senior publicist Claire McLaughlin, marketing manager Erin Kibby, marketing director Nancy Trypuc, production editors Jeremy Pink and Morgan Mitchell, proofreaders Rima Weinberg and Lisa Cowley, production manager Eva Diaz, associate publisher Malati Chavali, and president/publisher Bob Miller. This book is in such capable and creative hands, and I apologize if I’m leaving anyone out. Also thank you to Scott Huff at Playground Entertainment for optioning this book, and David Colden for helping with that. Thank you to Luke Neima at Granta for contracting the essay that made me realize this was a story in the first place.
I would not have survived any part of the events in this book without Jackie Szablewski.
Last and most, I want to thank my chosen family. You’re everything. I love you.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, a list of resources is available at www.erikakrousewriter.com/resources.
- On Sale
- Mar 15, 2022
- Page Count
- 288 pages
- Hachette Book Group