Not That I Could Tell
"Full of slow-burning intrigue, Strawser's second novel will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Jennifer Kitses' Small Hours." —Booklist
*Book of the Month Club Selection
An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn in Not That I Could Tell, the next page-turner from Jessica Strawser, author of Almost Missed You.
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.
Early in this engrossing domestic thriller from Strawser (Almost Missed You), Kristin Kirkland disappears with her school-age twins. Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Dr. Paul Kirkland, an ob-gyn in Yellow Springs, Ohio, reports them missing. Kristin inherited a $1 million life insurance settlement when her first husband was killed in a tragic boating accident while she was pregnant with the twins. Has she vanished thinking that her money might be depleted in a divorce settlement, or is something more nefarious taking place? A search of Kristin's computer reveals recent visits to websites advising victims of spousal abuse. Paul, already under some suspicion, comes under intense police scrutiny. As the investigation proceeds, women who socialized with Kristin begin to examine their own lives. Short passages threaded throughout the narrative, presumably written by Kristin, reveal the pain in her marriage and her need to escape before she is murdered. The mysteries of whether Paul is culpable, and, if so, how and whether he will be discovered, make for a taut tale.
Very well written mystery that will keep you on your toes until the very end.
I was expecting a “whodunnit” but it’s more of a “why did they do it?”. A couple of the characters started off pretty immature but they progressed throughout the story in a relatable way. Will definitely read more of hers.
I kept waiting to be surprised and it just ended exactly how I thought it would. No shocking turns. Just not a super interesting read.