Review—No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

In No One Knows by J.T. Ellison, Aubrey Hamilton must learn how to live after the mysterious disappearance and presumed death of her husband Josh. However, as in every situation involving a husband and wife, not everything is as it seems, and the truth of Josh’s disappearance—and the truth about the lives of other characters in the novel—is something, as the title says, no one knows.

No One Knows They book is told from multiple perspectives, guided by the viewpoint of an omniscient narrator. The main character, though, is Aubrey, a teacher at the local Montessori school. The reader follows her through several stages of grief, as well as events that occurred during her formative years, as the vignettes of her life flash from the present to the past and back again. Aubrey was orphaned and spent the majority of her young life in a foster home, which she shared with several other children, but most notably her foster brother, Tyler, who remains a part of her adult life.

She and her missing husband, Josh, were sweethearts from their time at the very same Montessori school at which she teaches, and all through their lives, much to the dismay of Josh’s mother, Daisy Hamilton.

Ellison’s narrative maneuvers through several twists and turns, including the introduction a new man, Chase Boden, into Aubrey’s life. A reporter from out of town, Chase resembles Josh so much Aubrey initially believes Chase is Josh, and when she discovers the truth of who he is, and the truth of what happened to Josh, the reader is shocked perhaps as much as Aubrey herself.

Ellison knows exactly how to manipulate the reader, and I for one was putty in her hands. I empathized and sympathized with Aubrey, and wanted her to finally find peace after the five-year ordeal of waiting for the state to finally declare her husband dead. I hoped for her to find happiness with Chase, and to be able to put so much of her past behind her. In short, I was hoping for a happy ending for a young woman I thought had been through so much.

But, really, what is a happy ending for anyone, and what lengths will we go to in order to find that happiness? Ellison’s readers certainly find out what characters in No One Knows will do.

Special note: I’ve now decided, based on several factors, including having to teach The Great Gatsby many times, that if a character is named Daisy, I’m destined to dislike them. It will be interesting to see if other readers feel the same!

Jacket Copy:

In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

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