Book Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars 3 Stars

Publication Date: March 27, 2018

I received an advance copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.

We’ve all experienced this: an evening of wine, friends, a fire pit, honest conversation, laughter, and bonding. Then – waking up the next morning slightly (or majorly) regretting that last glass and sharing too much.

It happens everywhere, including the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs. Except that this time, one of the women, Kristin, disappears suddenly without a trace, presumably with her young twins who are also missing.

Tell 2

This book is about the aftermath of Kristin’s disappearance, and how it shakes up her entire neighborhood. As we progress through the book, we find out more about Kristin, her mysterious past, her estranged husband Paul, and her neighbors.

Tell 1

The story centers around the other neighbors living immediately near Kristin – Izzy, Clara & Benny, Randi & Rhonda, Natalie, and young neighbor Hallie. Each neighbor’s past is explained to to the reader slowly throughout the book, but it’s obvious that the neighbors aren’t fully aware of each person’s backstory.  It reminds me that we only know a person as much as they allow us to, and even if we live only a few feet away as neighbors, it can be worlds apart.

All of the neighbors are extremely worried about Kristin and follow the investigation closely. All are disturbed by her disappearance and the re-emergence of Kristin’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Paul, who temporarily moves back into Kristin’s house while she is missing.

Tell 3

The neighbors don’t seem to feel that they’re in danger and living with a threatening individual, but they definitely don’t trust Paul and feel loyalty to Kristin. There is an underlying theme of secrets within this story.

Tell 4

Secrets are uncovered slowly throughout the book, including Kristin’s tragic past, her relationship with Paul, and the whereabouts of Kristin and her twins.

I definitely related to the characters as friends, sisters, and mothers, but the book lacked something for me. The pace of the book is a bit slow and I wish that the heart of the mystery was more developed. The author concentrated more on the supporting character development more than the mystery itself.

This book reminds me of Wisteria Lane and the TV show Desperate Housewives, so if you enjoy books about friendships, neighbors, mysterious pasts, and small town life with dark undertones, you will enjoy this book.

I recommend this book for those that enjoy novels like Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty and The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen.


2 thoughts

  1. I was super excited about this one, when it was announced as a BOTM pick for March; I have a copy and I’m not sure how quickly I’ll get around to it because none of the reviews I’ve read have been all that great. Sigh. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Abby!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, don’t let my review sway you from reading it, especially if you already have a copy! I look forward to hearing what you think of it. But I agree with you – I’ve heard mixed reviews.


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