No One Knows by JT Ellison
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?
I picked this one up without knowing too much about it other than its Goodreads rating.
It sucked me in from the get go. I found the structure of the story and the way it’s told engaging and interesting. It kept me wanting to know more about the characters and see what would unfold next.
No One Knows is told in bits and pieces. Some from the past, from the present, jumping all around in the timeline. While Aubrey is our main character, we also get chapters from others’ perspectives from time to time. In some books, a structure like this might frustrate me. Here, however, I found it worked. Elliston just keeps giving you one piece of the puzzle at a time.
Unfortunately, as the story went on, I found myself less and less engaged.
Here’s the thing. I really love a good thriller. But the problem is good thrillers (to my taste) are hard to find. Enjoyable thrillers? Sure, those are everywhere. If you have no problem suspending your disbelief—pretty much constantly—then you won’t have too much trouble.
But I can’t. I can to a certain extent. I can here and there, if, on the whole, the story is more believable than not. However, continual and unnecessary plot twists left, right, and center make me shake my head.
Why can’t the shocking, bad thing just be shocking and bad? Why does there have to be eight hundred other layers making it more shocking and bad? That is my main pet peeve with the thriller genre as a whole. I like my stories subtler.
With No One Knows, even the “aha!” moment did not hold enough thrill for me to forgive the story’s many holes and inconsistencies. In fact, it just threw in more.
I really wanted to like this one. Instead of getting a complex story with interesting characters, I got an unnecessarily convoluted one with pieces that just didn’t quite fit together.
Honestly, I think this is just a type of thriller that doesn’t work for me. I’ve read many that I’ve had similar feelings about when most other people had loved them. I think it’s just down to your preference. If you like tons of twists and turns and don’t plan to spend too much time thinking through the plausibility of it all, you may like this one. Unfortunately for me it just didn’t do the trick.
For more reviews of No One Knows and the other spring She Reads selections, click here.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.