Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: No One Knows

Summary: In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows. -- Gallery

Unreliable narrators are becoming common place ever since the success of GONE GIRL. In fact, I've read so many books over the past few years with unreliable narrators that I've started to question if I want to read another one. While I appreciate what the authors are trying to do, I sometimes feel manipulated.

Having said all of that, I really enjoyed the novel NO ONE KNOWS by J.T. Ellison... and the story as told by an extremely unreliable narrator! I don't know if I realized just how questionable I'd find the main character, but I had an inkling of an idea with the comparisons to Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. I think it goes to show that an unreliable narrator is a great storytelling technique if it's done right. And overall, I think it worked really well in this novel.

NO ONE KNOWS tells the story of Aubrey Hamilton, a woman who can finally move on with her life because her husband was legally declared dead. However, Aubrey isn't quite ready to move on with her life after her husband goes missing five years ago. They had a great marriage and a promising future until Josh mysteriously disappeared. Guess who was the main suspect? That's right -- Aubrey.

Aubrey has spent the past five years trying to get over the pain of losing the love of her life, but she's also been trying to figure out what happened. Why would Josh, the man who loved her, just leave? Who would murder him? And why would everyone consider her to be guilty?

Aubrey decides that once her husband is declared dead, it's time for her to get a fresh start on her life. It's ironic that the man she meets (and hooks up with) reminds her more than a little of her husband. In addition, Aubrey begins to discover that her "perfect" husband and "perfect" marriage might not have have been what they seemed. Is it possible that Josh is alive and well? That he's just been living in secret for the past five years?

I found NO ONE KNOWS to be a fun read. It had a little bit of everything for fans of psychological suspense -- an intriguing mystery, an unreliable narrator, some questionable characters, and lots of twists. In addition to having a great premise, the book was also fast-paced and difficult to put down. All in all, NO ONE KNOWS was definitely a page-turner for me.

I will say that the ending of the novel didn't quite live up to my expectations. Or maybe a better way to express it would be to say that the ending wasn't as strong as the rest of the story. There was a pretty major twist, but I admit that I saw it coming. I have to wonder if there was a different way to execute the ending, but I think I'm just being picky. NO ONE KNOWS was a good book with a great narrator... and it was definitely entertaining.

I think fans of GONE GIRL and GIRL ON THE TRAIN will also appreciate NO ONE KNOWS. Recommended to fans of psychological suspense stories and especially ones who appreciate unreliable narrators.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Beth F said...

I like a good psychological thriller -- too bad the ending wasn't as strong as it could have been.

bermudaonion said...

I still like a good, unreliable narrator but can imagine they got old after a while. This book sounds really good to me!

Celticlady's Reviews said...

I liked this one also, I agree with Beth, I expected a bit more from the ending.

Unknown said...

I did enjoy this one but I agree I saw the twist coming and I found her attraction to a man so similar to her husband a bit false. There was some really good relationships in this book, and all the details of her past were just interesting enough to keep reading too