review: No One Knows by J. T. Ellison

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Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate it, as always!

Official Synopsis:
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.

Something I didn’t expect… I just felt sad when I finished this book.

It’s difficult to review, because the whole book predicates on enjoying surprises and a particular surprise, especially. I guessed the truth, but I was disappointed by it (or maybe the execution of it?), and like I said, it just depressed me. Perhaps because Ellison wrote Josh and Aubrey’s love so well? Perhaps because Chase was like a cardboard cut-out-romantic-hero?

This book is full of unreliable narrators. Trust no one. It’s the twisty story of Aubrey, a young woman dealing with the disappearance of her husband, Josh. It made me think of the famous case of George Smith IV, who vanished off a cruise ship on his honeymoon. Men don’t disappear often, and when they do, we’ll all transfixed… because let’s face it. The supposition is that men can defend themselves. So something really terrible has to have happened to them. It’s biased, but it’s THE bias, so it’s worth listening to it.

Like I said, trust no one in this book. It’s definitely unputdownable, but by the end, I couldn’t have given less of a shit about any of them, except for Winston.

Immensely readable, but not if you want to actually root for anyone. That’s obviously not important to all readers… look at Gone Girl. Literally no one in that book was likable, and yet, it sold like wildfire. And I do see why J.T. Ellison made the choices she did in the writing process. These aren’t character arcs for the faint of heart. They all have secrets. They all have their own selfish desires.

I suppose it just broke my heart a bit. I couldn’t see how one character got to the place that he or she was. I couldn’t understand – on a practical or emotional level – how the characters ended up where they did. I also didn’t understand how no one had murdered Daisy yet. (lol)

Generally speaking, like I said before, this book is unputdownable, and there’s a lot to be said for that. It’s entertaining. It’s well written. It’s mysterious. But I want to care about the characters, as I turn to the last page. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I felt betrayed.

But maybe that’s how I was supposed to feel?

Maybe, in the end, we don’t really know anyone. Maybe that’s the frightening part. Maybe.

Off to lick my wounds now.


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