My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3 stars to J.T. Ellison‘s No One Knows, a suspense and thriller mystery novel. I received this as a giveaway but was very interested in reading it… in the end, I’m glad I did as there were many good parts, but the ending was definitely a puzzle.
Aubrey Hamilton’s parents died young and she fell prey to the repugnance of a bad seed in the foster system. She had a few people watch out for her, including one she married when Josh became the love of her life. A few years into their marriage, he disappears while at a friend’s wedding and is presumed dead. Many think Aubrey did it, and she almost went to jail for it. After a few stints in rehab and jail, she finally gets her life in order, but she’s not really enjoying her time. When her mother-in-law has her son declared legally dead, Aubrey’s world turns upside down. She’s due to inherit $5M but her mother-in-law plans to take it. Sightings of Josh occur around town, and people suspect he might be alive. A look-a-like falls in love with her and she gives him a chance. And a drug dealer starts stalking her. She’s determined to figure out how it all fits together so she can move on with her life, but when it all comes to a crashing revelation 80% through, readers will be left spinning not knowing who to believe anymore!
1. Aubrey has a grave struggle, and readers will root for her. You want her to survive and either find Josh and have their happily ever after, or if he’s truly dead, ride off into the sunset with Chase even though it started out as a lie. She even takes care of her mother-in-law (who HATED her) when she’s sick… so the sympathy card definitely gets played.
2. It’s a page-turner… I read 30 pages the first night and was really tired so went to sleep, but the next day, I sat for 3-4 hours to finish it because I just had to know… was he alive? did she have something to do with it? Was Chase a bad guy? Was it the mother-in-law all along? Was it the best friend? Was it Arlo, her husband’s best friend? Someone was rotten and I couldn’t stop til I knew!
1. Oh what a confusing ending. And I’m a smart guy. Not Einstein, but pretty swift at solving this types of mysteries after reading a few hundred. No spoilers here, but a lot is left out for readers to interpret and/or choose their own ending. I like some openness, but I think the lack of true clarity was a big let-down.
2. Too many holes in the story. Parts left unanswered… Do Tom and Daisy stay together? Why did the foster brother tell us Megan was bad news without any real ending – what was Megan’s deal? Where does the foster brother end up? Who gets arrested? The last page jumps 2 years into the future and is vastly different than the entire wrap up / epilogue. Too offbeat for me.
Overall, I still liked the book. I like the author’s style… it could have been a little tighter, had more suspense and included solid, obvious structure to the way in which it was narrated. But if you can look past those things, and you like a good plot with some intense characters, and a bunch of guess-work, give it a chance! I will definitely try another book by the author.