Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam
Date of publication: May 9th, 2023
Genre: Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Adult, Adult Fiction, Crime
When an anonymous neighborhood forum gets hacked, the darkest secrets of New York’s wealthiest residents come to light—including some worth killing for—in this gripping suspense novel from the author of Just One Look.
It was all confidential. Right up to the moment when it wasn’t.
UrbanMyth: It was lauded as an alternative to the performative, show-your-best-self platforms—an anonymous discussion board grouped by zip code. The residents of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side disclosed it all, things they would never share with their friends or their spouses: secret bank accounts, steamy affairs, tidbits of juicy gossip. These are the same parents who would go to astonishing lengths to ensure their children gain admission to the most prestigious boarding schools and universities. So when a “hacktivist” group breaks into the forum and exposes the real identity behind each poster, the repercussions resound down Park Avenue with a force none could have anticipated.
And someone will end up dead.
Will it be Heather, the outsider who would do anything to get her daughter into the elite’s good graces and into even better schools? Norah, the high-powered suit failing to balance work and the emotional responsibilities of motherhood? Or Poppy, perfect on the outside but hiding more than her share of secrets?
Each of them has something to hide. Each of them will do anything to keep their secrets hidden. And each of them just might kill to protect their own.
Before it happened, I never noticed how many times a day an emergency vehicle drove past my apartment building. Their sirens blended in with the cacophony of New York City, an ambient noise that never roused my attention.No One Needs to Know by Lindsay Cameron
When a hacktivist group hacks into the anonymous forum, UrbanMyth, it releases a firestorm of secrets for many people. But, in one affluent Upper East Side private school, it affects everyone. Some people will kill to keep those secrets under wraps, but who will it be? Is it Heather, the mother, who wants her daughter to become one of the elite? Or will it be Norah, the breadwinner in her family but failing to balance work and home life? Or will it be Poppy, the one everyone looks up to but who has the most to hide? Out of those three, who will kill to keep their secrets safe?
It is well known on this site that I have three children, two in high school and one in elementary school. I am well aware of the school’s social structure. I also find it silly that people compete for the title of PTA president. It is a huge popularity contest; honestly, I want nothing to do with it. I prefer to help the teachers out one-on-one (like volunteering in class) than to listen to a bunch of people argue over who will get what position. Anyway, when I saw that this book would be centered around three moms and their exposed secrets, I knew I wanted to read it. And I am glad that I did because this book was good.
No One Needs to Know initially captivated me, and I couldn’t put it down. The main storyline centers around Heather, Norah, and Poppy, with appearances by their husbands and children woven into the storyline. This storyline had so many twists and turns that I wondered when UrbanMyth would implode.
There is a secondary storyline that is intertwined with the main storyline. There are two parts to it. The first part is that Heather’s daughter has her picture taken with a vape at a school dance where no cameras are allowed. She is then painted as a drug dealer, and a few parents are on UrbanMyth spreading the lie. The second part is that Norah’s husband is sleeping with Poppy and blackmailing her. Those two parts are closely intertwined and linked to the main storyline.
As I stated in the previous paragraph, this book is twisty. If you aren’t paying attention, it can be easy to miss something. It didn’t bother me because I took notes (that you Kindle Scribe for that built-in feature), but it might be bothersome for some people.
I loved the characters in No One Needs to Know. I connected with the main ones (and the secondary ones) in a way that surprised even me. Those connections made the book so much better to read.
Heather reminded me of some moms I have encountered during my kids’ years at school. She wanted so badly to be accepted and would do anything to get into the inner circles. In the book, I wanted to shake her and say, “Lady, your kid is miserable.” By the end of the book, though, I was starting not to like her. She had lied to everyone, including her husband, about something significant. I understood why her husband freaked out. But Heather did surprise me. She threatened someone actively trying to get her daughter expelled (oh boy, that was a great scene) and secured her daughter’s future with another person.
Norah was an enigma to me. She wasn’t a huge presence in the book until about halfway through. I felt terrible for her and her poor daughter once I realized what was happening. She was a wreck when she told Norah what she captured on camera and how it tied into Poppy’s storyline. No child should have been put into that situation. I was glad that Norah took immediate action and got a little laugh (which then turned into a no way) when Norah’s mother offered to “help.” When Norah called to report her husband missing, she wasn’t expecting everything to blow up the way it did.
I didn’t like Poppy. She lived in her high tower, doing whatever she wanted without caring about who she hurt. She curried favors with people and treated them like they were dispensable. It didn’t surprise me with what she did to Norah. What did surprise me was that she almost felt guilty about it. I loved seeing her character decline mentally because of what she did. It was a perfect punishment!!
I loved that the author chose brief excerpts from UrbanMyth (before and after) and interactions with the police/faculty members (emails mainly) at the beginning of each chapter. It was like an adult burn book (remember those from high school!!) I almost want something like UrbanMyth to exist, but at the same time, I don’t.
The end of No One Needs to Know shook me up. I did not see anything coming, and it took me by surprise. Because of spoilers, I will not say anything else except that everyone got what they deserved.
I recommend No One Needs to Know to anyone over 21. There is violence, language, and nongraphic sexual situations.
Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam, NetGalley, and Lindsay Cameron for allowing me to read and review No One Needs to Know. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of No One Needs to Know, then you will enjoy these books:
Other books by Lindsay Cameron: