Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Title: Not That I Could Tell
Author: Jessica Strawser
Year Published: 2018


Genre: Adul fiction (mystery)
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA (OH)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money


Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Drinks in hand, a group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit to enjoy a Saturday night of laughter and shared secrets. The single newcomer. The imperfect mom. The newborn parents. The military wife. The almost divorcée. By Monday morning, one of them is gone. An innocent night of fun has shocking repercussions.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the small quirky 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.
Review: I got this book from Book of the Month; there is something appealing about the cover and I know, I should choose a book based on the cover alone, but it did help encourage me to choose it.

This novel is a mystery, but also a story of friendship, domestic violence, and trust. When a friend goes missing and you don't know why, what do you do? What role do we each play in a police investigation or in a neighborhood/community?

The women who live as neighbors, Natalie, Kristin, Izzy, Rhoda, Randi, and Carla feel that they know each other, but don't. Like each other, but they don't. Trust each other, but they don't. Look out for one another, but they don't. We hear the story of Kristin's disappearance through the eyes of both Izzy, who is lonely, and Carla who is not. They are all trying to figure out how they fit into the neighborhood as well as the investigation.

The ending is not what I expected, not exactly, and that's good. After a slow start I ended up enjoying this book, wondering what exactly had happened, who the "bad guy" is, and I am glad I got to know the various women.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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