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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

No One Needs to Know

ISBN: 9780786031627

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: 7/28/2015

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars


In July 1970, actress Elaina Styles was slain in her rented Seattle mansion along with her husband and their son's nanny. When the baby's remains were found buried in a shallow grave close to a hippie commune, police moved in—only to find all its members already dead in a grisly mass suicide.


Now, decades later, a film about the murders is shooting at the mansion. On-set caterer Laurie Trotter ignores gossip that the production is cursed. But then people start dying…


As Laurie digs deep into what happened all those years ago, the truth emerges more twisted than any whispered rumor, as a legacy of brutal vengeance reaches its terrifying climax…

About the Author

Before his thrillers landed him on The New York TimesBestseller list, Kevin O’Brien was a railroad inspector who worked all the live long day and wrote novels at night. He grew up on Chicago’s North Shore, the youngest of six children, and studied Journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He moved to Seattle in 1980.

His railroad job took him all over the Pacific Northwest, and he wrote most of his first novel in Best Westerns and Red Lions. The result, ACTORS (1987) was translated into three languages. He took the advice of author, Terry Brooks, who told him: “Don’t quit your railroad job until you’ve made enough money on your writing to support yourself for two years.”

Kevin’s second book, ONLY SON (1997) was optioned for film rights thanks to interest from Tom Hanks. ONLY SON was also chosen by Reader’s Digest for their Select Editions—alongside John Grisham’s THE PARTNER. That same year, Kevin bid farewell to the railroads and began writing full time. His first thriller, THE NEXT TO DIE (2001) became a USA Today Bestseller. Three more USA Today bestselling thrillers followed, and then came THE LAST VICTIM (2005), which hit the New York Times Bestseller list and won the Spotted Owl Award for Best Pacific Northwest Mystery.

Kevin has continued to turn out New York Times best-selling thrillers, and his books have been translated into fourteen languages.His last nail-biter was TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY (2014) about which RT Book Reviews said: “O’Brien terrifies by immersing the reader in a world of normalcy destroyed by madness…If you don’t read this, then ‘tell me you’re sorry.’”

Look for his new thriller, NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW, in July. Kevin is on the board of Seattle 7 Writers ( , a collective of bestselling, award-winning authors, dedicated to supporting literacy, writing and education. He’s burning the midnight oil while working on his 17th novel. Website Twitter Goodreads

My Review

A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Kevin O’Brien returns with an intense complex mystery thriller with multiple crimes, NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW. The author delivers twists and turns, keeping you glued to the pages, as he seamlessly weaves the past and present for a fast-paced gripping thriller! Set in Washington, as the book opens, we meet Laurie, a trained chef working at an isolated Superstar Diner. A graduate of Central Washington University, she had been married briefly to the star player on the football team, before he joined the army and been sent overseas. Before she wound up here, she traveled to Paris and studied with master chef and living in a tiny expensive studio with a view of the Eiffel Tower. She and Brian got together on the weekends, while they explored Europe. Brian had at least gotten to see his infant son, Joey before dying a hero five months earlier. With some recent robbers in the area, she was not wild about working late nights. However, when a man comes in stating she whored around while her hero-husband got shot in Afghanistan. The man said she had everyone fooled and she was just a fraud. Someone was after her and she wanted to protect her son and get away from her past. She then realizes the guy, Tad (her worst mistake), she slept with a few times while her husband was fighting in Afghanistan (in one of her weaker moments) is stalking her along with his sociopath brother, Ryder. They knew where she lived, and where she worked. Now what? She has to get out of town and away from these stalkers. However, before she can a string of events happen making her move more urgent. Can she ever get away from this family of crazies? However, she has no clue what she is stepping into when she makes the move to Seattle. Next we meet Cheryl Wheeler, the owner of Grill Girl, a popular Seattle food truck recently profiled on the FoodNetwork. Her boss did not know this, but for the last two months, Laurie had been sending her desserts to various Seattle and Portland restaurateurs, in hopes of getting hired—and getting out of Ellensburg. Little does she realize, someone is after Cheryl --her former partner, Maureen was murdered (food truck explosion) and now Laurie is living in her former Hacienda apartment, plus another victim in a years ago murder. Laurie is excited to be working with Cheryl, food, and her passion. However, seems everyone has a past and secrets, running from something or someone. Cheryl also has strange requests from Laurie--she wants to connect with Laurie's Godfather, Gill Garrett a film producer, and get into Evergreen Manor? Can she trust Cheryl, as she seems to know a lot about the long ago murder, and how is she involved? In addition to the mystery surrounding these two gals, there was a murder back on July 7, 1970, an actress, Elaina Styles, along with her husband and son’s nanny. Now, decades (forty-four years) later, there is a film about the murders and the shooting at the Seattle mansion. The stories all connect, when Laurie and Cheryl are caterers for the production set. Caught up in a web of deceit and mystery, a copycat killer-- people start dying, Laurie is afraid for her life and for her young son, while digging into the events years ago. Is Laurie part of Cheryl’s plan for revenge? The movie brings back old resolved issues and the real killer has something to hide—who is the real killer? A multi-layered chilling complex mystery thriller with secrets of the past. As always Kevin O’Brien delivers suspense and intensity for a haunting tale. Loved the tie in with the movie aspects of the seventies with twists and turns around every corner, keeping you guessing. There is a past and someone knows the truth for a whodunit mystery with lots of surprises. Readers will enjoy the one at the end as all the characters connect. My son was born on 7/7/75 (not 70); however, gave me the chills, none the less. In addition to the e-book, I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Jonathan Yen with a wide variety of voices for its multiple characters. Well-done!

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