ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Press

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 27, 2018

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 336

POV: 3rd person and 1st person

Where you can find Not That I Could Tell: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence

My review:

Not That I Could Tell caught my interest. I was in the mood to read a mystery. The synopsis called to me. What I wasn’t expecting was how into the book I got. And believe me, that is a good thing.

Not That I Could Tell had a very basic plotline. A popular, well-known mom who is going through a divorce disappears without a trace. Her soon to be ex-husband, a popular gynecologist, discovers them gone. Clara, their closest neighbor, is dragged into the case. Another neighbor, Izzy, befriends the ex-husband while battling her own demons. Everything comes together in an explosive ending that has a massive twist at the ending.

I enjoyed that the author kept Kristin’s disappearance under wraps. The reader finds out what happens to her in a letter or statement at the beginning of every other chapter or so. So many scenarios went through my head while reading, it wasn’t even funny. So I wasn’t expecting what was revealed at the very end of the book.

I liked Clara and I kind of felt bad for her. She got sucked into the drama. Her mother’s helper decided to start a newsletter and the first thing she writes about? Kristin’s disappearance. She illegally taped a conversation between Kristin’s soon to be ex-husband and the police. She also put Clara’s name on it as a contributor. Which brought an added scrutiny to Clara’s life. It also brings up memories that Clara has tried to forget. Memories that make Clara wonder what exactly was going on at Kristin’s house.

I felt awful for Izzy. She couldn’t win in this book. Her sister marries the love of her life. Then she finds out news that sends her into a downward spiral. Then her father tells her that she needs to stop acting the way she was acting. Everything was not going her way. The only thing that even looked good for her was the friendship she had with Kristin’s ex-husband. And even that…well, read the book.

I loved the ending of Not That I Could Tell. While I saw what happened to Izzy happening, I did not see the twist coming. It blindsided me. But looking back, I could see small hints of it in the book. So, kudos to the author for doing that!!

Not That I Could Tell is a well-written drama that shocked me at the end of the book. The characters were fleshed out. The plot was fantastic. I couldn’t get over the twist at the end of the book. Talk about being blindsided.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: language, sexual situations, and mild violence

I would like to thank Jessica Strawser, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Not That I Could Tell.

All opinions expressed in this review of Not That I Could Tell are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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