Book Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

St. Martin’s Press
Published March 27, 2018
320 Pages

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.- Goodreads

Jumping right into this. I wasn’t too happy with this read but it isn’t for what you think. If this was the first book I had read that involved suspected neighbors, mysterious pasts, possible murders but ultimate who done what and when, then I would have loved it. But the author didn’t really being anything new to the table for me. Clara’s triggers and where they were leading were extremely obvious.

I did appreciate and enjoy the different perspectives and voices within the story. The author was able to tie each person’s personal story to the main story flawlessly. I didn’t feel as if the voices were too much or getting too crowded; each person had a place in Kristin’s story.

However, the author takes a lot of time to build the world you would not want to live in. Although it leaves you with that taste, “you never know what is happening behind closed doors,” there is a lot of downtime, a lot of do you know where I am going with this vibe. If this was not my first go around, with this type of mystery, thriller then I wouldn’t have an issue with this. All of these ladies have a lot going and with not knowing what has happened to Kristin, their issue push very forward.

The pace of the novel was slow. As previously mentioned, there was a lot of build up and that took away for me wanting to actually continue the story. But I pushed through and I was impressed with the ending, even though there was a lot of predictability in the book.

Overall, I would recommend this to someone who is either completely in love with this style of book or is looking for a book that will get them into the adult mystery/thriller genre.

2 Pickles

 

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