Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No One Knows ~ J.T. Ellison (earc) review [@GalleryBooks @thrillerchick #NoOneKnows]

No One Knows
Gallery Books
March 22, 2016
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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
No One Knows gives you a thrilling mystery full of turns in an excellent way. From the beginning we know what Josh Hamilton, Aubrey's husband, missing for one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days, has been officially declared dead. We know that he never made it to his friend's bachelor party, was never seen again. What we don't know is what happened to Josh.

Aubrey and her mother-in-law (former mother-in-law?) Daisy are our main characters in the present. They are fantastically different. Each cares for Josh, loves and misses him incredibly; how they feel about each other on the other hand . . .

In No One Knows we go back and forth in time and with different narrators. It really allows us to see who the different characters are, what their past (both the parts that overlap and those that don't) was like and seems to, sometimes, give us more insight into what happened the night Josh vanished.

The one thing I did dislike about the book was the several instances of drunken sex - usually with the girl/woman either the only one drunk of significantly more so. There's an argument that each was necessary for the plot and/or character but . . . It's one of my things.

I have to say that from the beginning I could barely stand Daisy. It's clear that she loves her son but the way that manifests - how she feels about Aubrey, how she treats others, the things we learn from the past about her - is not right. At times it was almost an inverse Oedipus complex (whatever that'd be called). J.T. Ellison does do a brilliant job keeping her a difficult, hard to like character but also showing us more of her history and some of her 'why's.

I loved that things that, in the beginning, were innocuous and innocent sounding, things that you hardly noticed or paid any mind, often took on more weight and were seen in a different light as the story unfolded.  At the outset, Aubrey is Josh's wife, technically now his widow and Daisy is his mother. As we read, we find out just what each of those roles may have meant for and to them (and Josh).

The characters, the events of that night, who did what and when, why they did what they did (or didn't do), all leaves you guessing - and often second guessing - things right up until the very, very end.

"Enthralling! Ellison's twisty, turny thriller is my kind of novel; interesting characters, complex plotting, and an ending you'll never see coming. Suspense at its finest!" Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Find Her

digital copy received for review, via NetGalley, from publisher

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