Author: J.T Ellison
Publisher: Threshold, Gallery, Pocket Books
First Published: March 22, 2016
First Line: "One thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine days after Joshua Hamilton went missing, the state of Tennessee declared him legally dead."
Book Description from GoodReads: 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.
My Review: Suspense, a missing person, twists and turns. This book sounded so up my alley ... and some of it was. There were many red herrings - some surprising, some not so much - to throw the reader off course as well as a rather dark and eerie feeling surrounding the disappearance of Aubrey's husband.
It took me until about a third of the way into the book to really get invested into the story. The book had a different feel (I can't quite put my finger on it) and I liked the premise. Ellison tells her story by jumping back and forth - from Josh and Aubrey's childhoods, to their marriage as well as when he disappeared. Multiple points of view are also used to tell the story and while the changes in POV were clearly stated the switching back and forth between characters and time frames got to be a bit much after awhile.
But, by using these flashbacks the reader sees where they came from, their difficulties and what they meant to each other, as kids and during their marriage. No one truly is as they seem and this idea permeates this book. I liked the fact that my opinions of these two love birds began to change as I learned more about them. While I found the set up to be a little haphazard, things started to fall together and I became engaged in the mystery surrounding Josh's disappearance.
And then I wasn't. My interested started to wane in the middle for a few reasons. While I liked the red herrings there were a few things that didn't sit well with me. I didn't enjoy a few instances and character connections that were too serendipitous and far-fetched to be believable. Aubrey has a love interest but their 'love' was just too instantaneous for me to be believable and his connection to the plot was much too coincidental.
Aubrey was also a hard gal to totally get behind. As a protagonist you want to like her and see her be victorious but I can't say that I ever felt comfortable with her. There was always that feeling underneath it all that I couldn't quite trust her. That leads to some great suspense but also gives the reader the uncomfortable feeling by having an unreliable narrator (which is fast becoming a popular writing method).
Sadly I didn't love the ending. I know it was a big twist (that I didn't see coming) but when I read it I had to step back and digest it. It totally changed how I had viewed a character and I struggled to make sense of the revelation. It just didn't work for me and felt like it was thrown in for a shocker of an ending. This 'a-ha!!' moment can sometimes be awesome but this one didn't and it felt forced after everything I had already read.
This was a rather dark suspense read that had quite a few twists to it. I may not have liked them all but I applaud Ellison for providing a lot of twists and how she slowly revealed her characters to her readers.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Gallery, Threshold Pocket Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary ebook copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.